Lalita Sakhi is one of the eight Varistha (chief) Gopis, Ashtasakhis in Krishna’s Vraja Lila. Sakhis are the friends of Srimati Radharani. She is also considered to be the leader and controller of all sakhis. Lalita Devi was born in the village of Karhala, and later on, her father brought her to Unchagaon, which is known as the place of her pastimes.
Lalita’s age is 14 years, 8 months and 27 days. Her mother is Saradi and her father is Vishoka. Her husband Bhairava is a friend of Govardhana Malla, the husband of Chandravali.
Lalitadevi instructs and directs all the sakhis and is an expert in the tactics of union and separation in the matter of prema.
Rupa manjari (Rupa Goswami) is the assistant and follower of Lalita-sakhi; thus all who consider themselves as Rupanuga bhaktas (followers of Rupa Goswami) are ultimately the servants of Lalita Devi.
Along with Mohan (Krishna) Lalitadevi had 68 tirthas (holy places) to visit her kunda and free everyone from the reactions to six types of hatya (murder): bhrna-hatya (abortion), krimi-hatya (killing of worms and insects), go-hatya (cow slaughter), brahma-hatya (killing of brahmans), svana-hatya, atma-hatya (suicide).
Lalita Pranama Mantra
The Mantra for praising Lalita Sakhi is,
namo pataka-vighna-aghnau lalita-mohanau
subhau snapaye-ham vimoksaya kundau nira-manoharau
I offer my obeisances to Sri Lalita Kunda which is most beautiful with sparkling water, which grants liberation to the bather, which is most auspicious manifestation of Lalita Devi’s love for Sri Krishna and which destroys all the obstacles on the path of pure devotional service.
Lalita’s kunda is her liquid form. Lalita-kunda is all merciful and by coming in contact with her water, bowing down to offer prayers and remembering her, the supplicant can attain the mercy of Radha-kunda and find an eternal residence close to her.
At Unchagaon, on the hill, there is a slippery rock showing where a specific pastime was enacted in a marriage arena. There, the gopis arranged a play marriage between Lalita and Krsna.
In that pastime, Krsna was sitting beside Lalita, and the sakhis began to play mischievously. Visakha and some of the other sakhis tied Sri Lalita’s veil to Krsna’s pitambara (yellow shawl). Then suddenly, on the indication of Srimati Radhika, Rangadevi and other sakhis started to sing wedding songs, while Tungavidya and others uttered wedding mantras. The remaining sakhis showered flowers on Sri Krsna and Lalita. When Lalita noticed that something tricky was being done to her, she tried to run away; but because she was tied to Krsna’s pitambara she could not do so. All the sakhis then surrounded the couple and married them.
Even today, one can see the signs of the slide on the hill, as well as the markings of ‘alta’ (red lac) from the gopi’s feet. Although this pastime took place 5000 years ago, you can still see the signs of the pastime.
She is so beautiful that her beauty surpasses the autumnal full moon. Her specific quality is that she is very expert in applying make-up, and especially in arranging the hair decoration of Srimati Radhika. Although all the eight principal sakhis are very famous for adorning and applying the make-up of Srimati Radharani, Lalita and Visakha are the most expert. And of these two, Lalita is considered the most proficient.
Lalita is the siksa-guru of all the gopis in Radhika’s group, including Radha Herself.
Excerpts from Chaitanya Charitamrta
Text 152 of the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika describes Sri Dhruvananda Brahmacari as an incarnation of Lalita.
– Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi 12.80(Purport)
Gadadhara Pandita is simultaneously an incarnation of Srimati Radharani and Lalita-sakhi.
–Chaitanya Charitamrita Adi 10.15(Purport)