Goddess Lalita or Lalitha Tripura Sundari devi and the red Goddess, is one of the most powerful manifestations of Goddess Shakti. Goddess Shakti incarnated as Lalita to demolish the demon called Bhandasura. Bhandasura was a demon formed from the ashes of Manmadha or Kama deva, the God of Love and seduction.
Legend of Lalita avatara: Significance of Lalitha Tripura Sundari incarnation:
When Lord Shiva was performing severe Tapas (penance), Manmadha tried to disturb him by aiming the arrows of seduction. Lord Shiva was disturbed greatly and with a deep anger opened his third eye and destroyed Manmadha into ashes. Shiva Gana Sevaks collected the ashes of Kama Deva and drew a portrait of a man.
With a single glance of Lord Shiva on that portrait of ashes, it came alive. As we know, Lord Shiva is called as Bhola Shankar, blessed the live form of the ashes, which became demon called Bhandasura.
Blessed by Lord Shiva, Bhandasura started to show his real characteristics of a demon. He harassed Sadhus (saints) and occupied all the lokas including Swarga Loka (the Heaven).
To get rid of demon Bhanda, Lord Indra (the King of Gods and Swarga Adhipathi) observed a Yagna (sacrifice) to please the Mother Goddess. Pleased with Indras Yagna, Goddess Shakti appeared as Sri Lalitha Devi sitting on Sri Chakra.
Sri Lalitha Devi demolished the demon Bhandasura and his original form of Manmadha or Kama was restored. The whole episode of Lalita and Bhandasura is explained as ‘Bhandasura Vadha in Puranas.
Importance of Lalita Tripura Sundari:
Goddess Lalita represents the Panchabhuta (five basic elements) of the Universe. Panchabhutas are – air, water, fire, earth and space (Vayu, Jala, Agni, Bhumi and Akasha). Lalitha Devi is also associated with Sri Chakra, the ultimate Chakra representing the origin and existence of the universe.
Goddess Lalita Tripurasundari is worshipped during Durga Navratri on the fifth day which is called as Lalita Panchami. Lalita Panchami 2018 date is October 14.