Lalitha Thripurasundari is the most widely worshipped aspect of Devi in South India. Her emblem is Srichakra. Worship of the same and chanting the Lalitha Sahasranama are very popular. The Panchadasakshari is Her very powerful mantra and many desire to get initiated into the same. The Sri Vidya is a branch of Saktha Tantrism which considers Lalitha as the supreme form of the Mahadevi. It is prominent in South India in many variants, but none claim to be different than the others. Just like Durga and Kali represent the power of Devi, Lalitha represents the aspect of beauty. So she is depicted very beautiful and her worship is also very refined. Lalithopakhyana is a part of Brahmanda Purana. It is said there that Lalitha Devi manifested herself in the midst of a disc of extreme brilliance, that arose from the “havan” when Indra was performing a sacrifice in honour of her. The architect of the gods, Viswakarma, built a grand city called Sripuram on the Meru mountain, specially for her sake. She resides there with her spouse Siva Kameswara. Lalitha is usually depicted slightly red in colour (like dawn) and extraordinarily beautiful. In her four hands, she holds a bow of sugarcane, arrows, the ankusa and the pasa (noose). One of her feet, usually the left, is shown resting on a pedestal, made of diamond. The sugarcane bow represents the mind. This shows we experience all joy through our mind. The bow is an instrument which discharges the arrows. The same way, the mind is the instrument which shoots the sense organs towards the sense-objects. The arrows are the pancha tanmatras, the five subtle elements of akasa(ether), vayu (air), agni (fire), apas (water) and prithvi (earth). She is the power that enegises and controls our mind and sense organs. This is the idea. The pasa (noose) is the binding attachment (raga). The ankusa is the anger (krodha) or aversion which hurts. It is her power which animates our attachments and aversions. If we forget her, she can bind us with (raga)pasa and pierce us with (krodha) ankusa. If we take refuge in her, she can withdraw them into her hands and free us from their torment. The form and pattern of the deity Lalita is called Srichakra – this is a yantra, a two-dimensional pattern which can be drawn. This is a complicated geometrical figure of fortythree triangles. They are formed by the intersection of nine triangles,five with apexes downward and four with apexes upward. This is surrounded by concentric circles with eight and sixteen lotus petals. The entire figure is skirted by a square of three lines with openings in the middle of ech side. There is a dot, called Bindu, in the center of the diagram. The bindu represents the combination of Shiva and Shati, as also the first throb, which gradually gathers momentum and gets concentrated into a polarization of Shiva and Shakti, but continuing to keep the original Shiva-Shakti combination also. The process repeats continuously resulting in various levels of creation, which are depicted by the different triangles and the lotus petals. The three dimensional form of Srichakra is called Meru. Regular worship of srichakra is considered very auspicious and is said to yield any result the devotee (rightfully) desires. For the picture of Lalitha Thripurasundari, please go to http://www.indusladies.com/forums/153727-post126.html Love, Chithra.