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Hymns to the Goddess, by John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon), [1913], at

p. 14 p. 15




I WORSHIP Kālabhairava, 1 Lord of the city of Kāśī, 2
Whose sacred lotus feet are worshipped by the King of Devas, 3
The compassionate One,
Whose sacrificial thread is made of serpents,
On whose forehead shines the moon. 4
The naked one, 5
Whom Nārada 6 and multitudes of other Yogis adore.
Kāśikāpurādhinātha kālabhairavam bhaje7


I worship Kālabhairava, Lord of the city of Kāśī,
Blazing like a million suns,

p. 16

Our great Saviour in our voyage across the ocean of the world. 1
The blue-throated, 2 three-eyed 3 grantor of all desires,
The lotus-eyed, who is the death of death, 4
The imperishable One,
Holding the rosary of human bone 5 and the trident. 6
Kāśikāpurādhinātha Kālabhairavam bhaje.


I worship Kālabhairava, Lord of the city of Kāśī,
The primeval cause, 7
Holding in His hands trident, axe, noose, and staff 8
--Him of the black body, 9
The first of all Deva 10, imperishable, incorruptible,
Lord formidable and powerful,

p. 17

Who loves to dance wonderfully. 1
Kāśikāpurādhinātha kālabhairavam bhaje.


I worship Kālabhairava, Lord of the city of Kāśī,
Of great and beautiful body,
The giver of both enjoyment and liberation, 2
Who loves and smiles upon all His devotees,
Whose body is the whole world,
Whose waist is adorned with little tinkling bells; 3
Beautiful are they, and made of gold.
Kāśikāpurādhinātha kālabhairavam bhaje.


I worship Kālabhairava, Lord of the city of Kāśī,
The protector of the bridge of dharma4
Destroyer of the path of adharma5
Liberator form the bonds of karma, 6
The all-pervading giver of welfare to all,

p. 18

Whose golden body is adorned with serpent coils.
Kāśikāpurādhinātha kālabhairavam bhaje.


I worship Kālabhairava, Lord of the city of Kāśī
Whose feet are beautiful with the lustre of the gems thereon--
The stainless, eternal Iṣṭadevatā, 1
One without a second, 2
Destroyer of the pride, and liberator from the gaping jaw of the God of Death. 3
Kāśikāpurādhinātha kālabhairavam bhaje.


I worship Kālabhairava, Lord of the city of Kāśī, 4
Whose loud laughter broke the shell of many an egg of the lotus-born; 5
Strong ruler, at whose glance the net of sin is broken; Giver of the eight powers, 6
Whose shoulders serpents garland.
Kāśikāpurādhinātha kālabhairavam bhaje.

p. 19


I worship Kālabhairava, Lord of the city of Kāśī,
The Saviour of all, giver of great fame,
The all-pervading One,
Who purifies of both sin and virtue the people of Kāśī; 1
The ancient Lord of the world,
Wise in the wisdom of all moralities. 2
Kāśikāpurādhinātha kālabhairavam bhaje.


15:1 Śiva as such.

15:2 Benares. The Kāśipanchakastotra of Śankara says that the pure Ganges is the flow of knowledge and Kāśī is Śiva's mind (Jnānapravāhāvimalādigangā sakāśikāham nijabodharūpah).

15:3 Devarāja or Indra.

15:4 Hence Śiva is called Candraśekhara.

15:5 Digambaram, as are the Yogis of whom He is Master. For He is clothed with space itself.

15:6 The Ṛṣi of that name.

15:7 The refrain is: "I worship Kālabhairava, Lord of the city of Kāśī."

16:1 A constant simile. The world is a storm-tossed ocean not free of danger, even in moments of calm, for therein many dangers, perils, and terrors lie.

16:2 For Śiva swallowed the poison which issued at the churning of the ocean to save the earth from its dangerous presence.

16:3 For with the ordinary eyes He bears in the forehead the eye of wisdom.

16:4 Śiva is the conqueror of death ("mrityunjaya"), for he gives that knowledge which frees man of its terrors.

16:5 Even often of the low-caste Candālas and others, for Śiva is the adored and protector of all.

16:6 His peculiar weapon.

16:7 For all causes potentially lie in His destructive energies, the manifestation of which is the prelude of re-creation.

16:8 Śūla, tangka, pāśa, daṇḍa, His implements.

16:9 As Kālabhairava. Usually he is white and smeared with ashes "shining like a mountain of silver."

16:10 Hence He is called Mahādeva.

17:1 Vichitratāṇḍavapriyam. Śiva is often pictured dancing as Natarāja. The place of the dance is the body of the individual and the world spoken of as vanam (the forest), on account of the multitude of its components. He as the inner ātman causes all things to dance into and out of life, and again into it. All life and activity comes through Him, "the unseen Lord of the stage."

17:2 Bhuktimuktidāyakam--that is, He gives both worldly and heavenly enjoyment, and that release from both which is the unending bliss of liberation.

17:3 Hung on a girdle.

17:4 Righteousness. For dharma, religion, law, and duty, are the bridge whereby the dangerous waters of the world are passed.

17:5 Unrighteousness.

17:6 The cause and fruit of action whereby man is bound to the phenomenal world until by knowledge, karma is exhausted and destroyed, and liberation (through Śiva, with whose essential being His worshipper becomes one) is attained.

18:1 The desired (or patron) Deity of the devotee.

18:2 For He is the Supreme Unity.

18:3 See ante, p. 16, note 4.

18:4 Each world (for there are many) is called an egg of Brahmā the creator (brahmāṇḍa). Śiva the great Destroyer by His loud laughter shatters them.

18:5 Brahmā.

18:6 Siddhi--namely, aṇimā, mahimā, garīmā, laghimā, prāpti, prākāmya, iṣitva, and vaṣitva. The power to become very small, vast, light, heavy, power of vision and movement, the powers of creation and control over the worlds and their Lords. These siddhi are powers of the all-pervading ātmā, and to greater or less degree may be acquired by Śivayogins according as they realize their unity therewith.

19:1 Kāśivāsiloka punyapāpaśodhakām: for to the liberated there is neither sin nor virtue which are qualities of the phenomenal jivātma only. The liberated are above both.

19:2 Nītimargakovidam.

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