Lalitastakam *

Lalita

Eight Verses glorifying the beautiful Lalita Devi

 (Shri Lalitastakam)

  By Shrila Rupa Gosvami

radha mukunda pada sambhava gharma bindu

nirmanchano pakarani krita deha laksham

uttunga sauhrida vishesha vashat pragalbhang

deving gunaih sulalitang lalitang namami (1)

She is naturally expert in all the arts (lalita), therefore her service is self-manifested. She cleanses the glittering sweat drops from the lotus feet of Shri Radha and Madhava when They are together. She is perpetually immersed in the most elevated mellow of absorption in satisfying all the desires of the heart of her dear most friend, Shrimati Radhika. I offer my obeissances to the haughty Shri Lalita devi, who is enchantingly endowed with many beautiful and sweet qualities (sulalita).

raka sudha kirana mandala kanti dandi

vaktra shriyang chakita charu chamuru netram

radha prasadhana vidhana kala prasiddhang

deving gunaij sulalitang lalitang namami (2)

I offer my obeisances to Shri Lalita devi, whose beautiful face mocks the brilliance of the full moon, whose eyes are ever-restless like those of a started doe, who is famous for her extraordinary expertise in the art of dressing Shrimati Radhika, and who is the treasure-house of unlimited feminine qualities.

lasiollasad bhuyaga shatru patatra chitra

pattangshukabharana kanchulikanchitanging

gorochana ruchi vigarhana gaurimanang

deving gunaij sulalitang lalitang namami (3)

I offer my obeisances to Shri Lalita devi, whose body is adorned with a splendid dress (sari) as brilliant as the multi-coloured tail-feathers of an ecstatically dancing peacock, whose breast is covered with an exceedingly attractive blouse (kanchuli), whose hair part is decorated with shimmering red vermilion, and who wears various necklaces and other jewelled ornaments. Her complexion defeats that of even gorochana [bright golden pigment that comes when rain-water from svati-nakshatra hits the head of a qualified cow] and she possesses innumerable good qualities.

dhurte vrayendra tanaye tanu sushthu vamiang

ma dakshina bhava kalankini laghavaya

radhe girang shrinu hitam iti shikshayanting

deving gunaih sulalitang lalitang namami (4)

I offer my obeisances to Shri Lalita devi, the charming treasure of all good qualities; who instructs Shrimati Radhika in this way: “O Kalankini (unchased one)! Radhe! Listen to my good instructions which are favourable for you!Vrajendranandana Krishna is very crafty (dhurta). Don´t display Your mood of gentle submission (dakshin bhav) to Him; instead, in all circumstances be contrary.”

radham abhi vraya patej kritam atmayena

kutang manag api vilokya vilohitakshim

vag bhangibhis tam achirena vilayayanting

deving gunaih sulalitang lalitang namami (5)

I offer obeisances unto the abode of all good qualities, the supremely charming Shri Lalita devi, who, upon hearing Shri Krishna speak even a few sly words to Shrimati Radhika, immediately becomes furious and shames Krishna with her biting, sarcastic remarks flowing from her mouth like waves,  “You are so truthful and simple-hearted, and such a chaste lover!”

vatsalia vrinda vasating pashupala ragyah

sakhi-anu-shikshana kalasu gurung sakhinam

  radha balavaraja jivita nirvishesha

 deving gunaih sulalitang lalitang namami (6)

I offer obeisances unto the supremely charming Shri Lalita devi, who possesses all divine qualities; who is also the recipient fo Yashoda devi´s parental affection; who is the guru all the sakhis, instructing them in the art of friendship; and the very life of both Shrimati Radhika and the younger brother of Baladeva.

yam kam api vraya kule vrishbhanu yaiah 

prekshya sva paksha padavim anurudhiamanam

sadyas tad ishta ghatanena kritarthayanting

deving gunaij sulalitang lalitang namami (7)

I offer obeisances unto the supremely charming Shri Lalita devi, the treasure-house of all good qualities. Upon seeing any young maiden anywhere in Vraja and discerning that she is inclined towards her priya-sakhi Shrimati Radhika, Lalita immediately tells Radha that She must accept this person in Her own party (sva paksha). Radha obeys Lalita, who thus fulfils that maiden´s desires.

radha vrajendra suta sangama ranga chariang

variang vinishchitavatim akhilosavebhiah

tam gukula priya sakhi nikuramba mukhiang

deving gunaij sulalitang lalitang namami (8)

I offer obeisances unto Sri Lalita devi, the embodiment of all divine virtues and the foremost of all the favourite sakhis of Gokula. Her primary task is providing pleasure for Sri Radha Govinda by arranging Their meetings. This delightful service surpasses the enjoyment of all the best festivals combined together.

nandan amuni lalita guna lalitani

padyani yah pathati nirmala dristir ashtau

pritya vikarshati yanang nija vrinda madhye

tam kirtida pati kulojjvala kalpa vali (9)

If a person with a cheerful and pure heart recites this ashtaka in praise of Lalita devi, he will be affectionately brought into the Shrimati Radhika´s own group of sakhis. Lalita devi is superbly ornamented with beauty, grace and charm, and along with Shrimati Radhika, is the effulgent wish-fulfilling creeper (kalpa-valli) of Vrishabhanu Maharaja´s family that winds around the kalpa-vriksha of Krishna.

Vocals Radha Kanti dasi