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Lalita, aka: Lalitā, Lālita; 9 Definition(s)


Lalita means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article.

In Hinduism

Vāstuśāstra (architecture)

Lalita (ललित):—The Sanskrit name for a group of temples (prāsāda) containing 25 unique varieties. It is described in the 11th-century Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra (chapter 56) by Bhojadeva.

The Lalita group contains the following twenty-five temple classifications:

  1. Rucaka,
  2. Bhadraka,
  3. Haṃsa,
  4. Haṃsodbhava,
  5. Pratihaṃsa,
  6. Nanda,
  7. Nandyāvarta,
  8. Dharādhara,
  9. Vardhamāna,
  10. Adrikūṭa,
  11. Śrīvatsa,
  12. Trikūṭaka,
  13. Muktakoṇa,
  14. Gaja,
  15. Garuḍa,
  16. Siṃha,
  17. Bhava,
  18. Vibhava,
  19. Padma,
  20. Mālādhara,
  21. Vajraka,
  22. Svastika,
  23. Śaṅku,
  24. Malaya,
  25. Makaradhvaja.

These are the names of 25 out of a total of 64 temple types mentioned in same chapter.

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

about this context:

Vāstuśāstra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vastu-shastra) refers to the knowledge of architecture. It is a branch of ancient Indian science dealing with topics such architecture, construction, sculpture and their relation with the cosmic universe.

Śāktism (Śākta philosophy)

Tripura-Sundarī is also known as Lalitā. The wise say: “The word Lalitā has eight meanings, namely brilliance, manifestation, sweetness, depth, fixity, energy, grace and generosity; are the eight human qualities.”

The Kāma-śastra says: — Lalitā means erotic actions and also tenderness; as she has all the above- mentioned qualities she is called Lalitā.

Source: Red Zambala: The 10 Great Wisdom Goddesses

Here we speak of the great Goddess Lalitā , who is also known as Tripurasundarī , Mahārājñī and Rājarājeśvarī amongst other names. She is the presiding deity of the most esoteric yogic practices associated with the Śrī Cakra (also called Śrī Yantra) that are collectively called Śrī Vidyā .

Source: Kashmiri Overseas Association: The Great Goddess Lalitā and the Śrī Cakra

about this context:

Śākta (शाक्त, shakta) or Śāktism (shaktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devī) is revered and worshipped. Śāka literature includes a range of scriptures, including various tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

Nāṭyaśāstra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

1a) Lalita (ललित, “sportiveness”).—One of the 108 karaṇas (minor dance movement) mentioned in the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 4. The instructions for this lalita-karaṇa is as follows, “the left hand with Karihasta gesture, the right one to be again turned aside (apavartita), two feet to be moved up and down.”. A karaṇa represents a minor dance movements and combines sthāna (standing position), cārī (foot and leg movement) and nṛttahasta (hands in dancing position).

1b) Lalita (ललित) refers to a gesture (āṅgika) made with ‘dance hands’ (nṛttahasta), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. The hands (hasta) form a part of the human body which represents one of the six major limbs (aṅga) used in dramatic performance. With these limbs are made the various gestures (āṅgika), which form a part of the histrionic representation (abhinaya).

1c) Lalita (ललित) also refers to a one of the twenty maṇḍalas, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 12. The Lalita-maṇḍala is classified as a ākāśa, or “aerial”, of which there are ten in total. A maṇḍala is a combination of cārīs (“dance-steps”), which refers refers to the simultaneous movement of the feet (pāda), shanks (jaṅghā) and the hip (ūru). From these cārīs proceed dance as well as movements in general.

1d) Lalita (ललित, “lolling”) refers to one of the ten “natural graces” of women (svābhāvikā), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 24. These natural graces, also known as svabhāvaja or sahaja, represent one of the three aspects of graces (alaṃkāra) which forms which forms the support of sentiments (rasa) in drama.

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra, “graceful movement of hands, feet, brows, eyes, lips etc. made by women is known as Lolling (lalita)”.

Lalita (ललित, “sportiveness ”) also refers to one of the eight aspects of the male’s sattva, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 24.

According to the Nāṭyaśāstra, “erotic movements and changes of features which are not deliberate and which grow out of a tender nature, constitute ‘sportiveness’ (lalita)”.

The natural graces (such as lalita) and sattvas are defined according to the science of sāmānyābhinaya, or “harmonious representation”.

1e) Lalita (ललिता, “amorous”) refers to a specific “glance” (dṛṣṭi), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 8. This is a type of glance that expresses a ‘transitory state’ (saṃcāribhāva). There are a total thirty-six glances defined.

2b) Lalitā (ललिता) refers to a type of syllabic metre (vṛtta), according to the Nāṭyaśāstra chapter 16. In this metre, the first pāda (feet) consist of sa (LLG), ja (LGL), sa (LLG), la (L), the second pāda consist of na (LLL), sa (LLG), ja (LGL), ga (G), the third pāda consists of na (LLL), na (LLL), sa (LLG), sa (LLG) and the fourth pāda consists of sa (LLG), ja (LGL), sa (LLG), ja (LGL), ga (G).


In the above description, G stands for guru (‘heavy syllable’) while L stands for laghu (‘light syllable’).

Source: Wisdom Library: Nāṭya-śāstra

1) Lalitā (ललिता, “amorous”).—A type of glance (dṛṣṭi) expressing a transitory state (saṃcāribhāva);—The Glance which is sweet, and contracted at the end of the eye and which is smiling and has movement of the eyebrows, and shows signs of love is called Lalitā (amorous). (Uses): in contentment and joy.

Lalitā is one of the signs of love (kāma) arising in a women (strī);—The glance in which eyes are expanded up to the corner and have sportful and smiling expressions, is called lalitā. It is used in women’s partial looks

2) Lalita (ललित).—A type of gesture (āṅgika) made with dance-hands (nṛttahasta);—(Instructions): Two [Ala]-pallava (Alapadmaka) hands to be moved above the head. The Dance-hands are to be used in forming Karaṇas.

3) Lalita (ललित).—A type of maṇḍala (series of cārīs) classified as aerial (ākāśa);—Instructions:

1) The right foot to be moved in the sūcī-cārī and the left foot in the apakrāntā-cārī,
2) The right foot in the pārśvakrāntā and the bhujaṅgatrasitā-cārīs,
3a) The left foot in the atikrāntā-cārī and the ūrūdvṛttā-cārīs,
3b) the left foot and the alātā-cārī, and the right foot in the pārśvakrāntā-cārī,
4) The left foot in the atikrāntā-cārī with graceful steps.

Source: archive.org: Natya Shastra

1) A type of glance (or facial expression): Lalita (graceful): the comers of the eyes closed by the movement of the brows, smiling because of the working of Love, direct; it is used in graceful posing (lalita), etc.

2) One of the saṃyutta-hastāni (Twenty-six combined Hands).—Lālita the same hands crossed near the head. Patron deity Vaiṣṇavī. Usage: sāl-tree, mountain.

Source: archive.org: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)

about this context:

Nāṭyaśāstra (नाट्यशास्त्र, natya-shastra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition of performing arts, (e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nāṭya) and poetic works (kāvya).


1a) Lalitā (ललिता).—Upākhyāna of; narrated to Agastya by Hayagrīva-Viṣṇu; different names like Śakti, Parāśakti, Bhagavatī are given.1 Originally mind-born daughter of Brahmā, named Prakṛti. then as Mohini in the churning of the milk ocean; originator of all gods and creatures. The third was the form of Lalitā when she killed Bhaṇḍa, in consequence of the penance done in her honour by Indra, and out of his offerings. All gods call on Her and praise Her. Finding her reigning alone, Brahmā remembered a form of Śankara, as Kāmeśvara, who was married to the Devī, the sister of Hari; rejoicing and presents on the occasion. Lalitā came to be known as Kāmeśvarī. War with Bhaṇḍa assuming the office of Śrīdaṇḍanāthā; sovereignty of;2 description of the nine parvas of Cakrarājaratha and seven parvas of Geyacakraratha sacred to Lalitā. She rode on the Cakraratha with the sāmrājya umbrella amidst war-music. Bhaṇḍa treated it as a woman's march and with contempt. Night attacks and deceitful attacks by Bhaṇḍa's soldiers; assisted by Mantriṇī and Daṇḍanāthā, Lalitā's march. Gaṇanātha's aid in encouraging the fallen Śaktis and vanquishing the asuras. For this the honour of first worship was awarded. Burning of the city Śūnyakam along with non-combatants. Bhaṇḍa's death and Lalitā's victory; created Kāma and consoled Rati. Glad at the birth of Kumāra and his marriage with Devasenā. Went back to her city, Śrīpuram.3 Pañcadaśākṣarī and other mantras sacred to Lalitā; meditation of.4

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 5. (whole) ; Chh. 17-18.
  • 2) Ib. IV. Chh. 6, 8, 10, 12-16.
  • 3) Ib. IV. Chh. 19, 20, and 21; 26, 27, 29, 30; 37. 84.
  • 4) Ib. IV. 38. 8-31.

1b) The Goddess at Prayāgā.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 13. 26.

1c) A Goddess enshrined at Santāna.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 13. 34.

1d) A name of Satī, wife of Śiva.*

  • * Matsya-purāṇa 60. 11.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

about this context:

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Lalitā (ललिता).—The Divine Playfulness is personified either as Krishna or as a manifestation of Pārvatī known as Lalitā. She holds the Pāśa, Ankuśa and a sugar-cane bow with which she shoots the five arrows of the sense-objects.

Source: Red Zambala: Hindu Icons and Symbols | Devi

In Buddhism


lalita : (nt.) grace; charm. || lālita (pp. of lāleti), lulled; quelled; soothed.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

about this context:

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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