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

p. 154



THOU art liberation, 2 prosperity, life, 3
Fame, modesty, and learning, reverence and intelligence,
Twilight, 4 night, lustrous day,
Sleep and the night of death, 5
Āryā, Kātyāyanī, Kauśikī, 6
Observant of brahmacarya7
Mother of the leader of the celestial hosts, 8
Formidable one, 9
She who undergoes great austerities 10

p. 155

Jaya and Vijayā, 1
Contentment, nourishment, forgiveness, mercy, eldest sister of Yama, 2 clad in blue silken raiment,
Of various form, 3 without form, having many forms. 4 With red, half-opened eyes. 5
Large-eyed protectress of Thy votaries.
O Goddess! Thou resideth on the peaks of fearful mountains, by rivers, and in caves, forests, and groves.
Greatly worshipped by the Śavara, Varvara, and Pulinda tribesmen, 6
Thou traverseth in all directions of the world
With peacock-feathered flags.
Thou livest on the Vindhya mountain,
Surrounded by fowls, goats, sheep, lions, and tigers,
Amidst the constant ringing of bells. 7
Thou holdest the trident and spear. 8

p. 156

Sun and moon are Thy banners.
Thou art the ninth day of the dark half of the month,
And the eleventh day of the light half thereof. 1
Baladeva's 2 sister art Thou, glorious one, 3
Fond of warring 4 (with demons),
Abode of all creatures.
Thou art death, 5 and the supreme end 6 of men,
Daughter of the cowherd Nanda, 7
Wearing bark and good cloth;
Raudrī, 8 twilight, 9
With dishevelled hair, 10
And who art death,
Fond art Thou of offerings of wine and flesh. 11
Thou art Lakṣmī, 12
And assumest the form of Alakṣmī 13 for the destruction of Dānavas, 14

p. 157

Thou art Sāvitri 1 of the Vedas,
Mother of Mantras. 2
Thou art the Dakṣinā 3 of the ṛtvik4 and art in the altars of sacrificial rites,
And the religious sense 5 of Ṛṣis.
Thou art Aditi of Devas. 6
Plough of cultivators, earth of all creatures,
The success of merchants who fare in big ships, 7
The coast of ocean,
And foremost Yakṣi of the Yakṣas, 8
Surasā of Nāgās, 9
Virginity 10 of maidens and good fortune of women,
Knower of the knowledge of Brahman, 11
Initiation and supreme beauty,
Lustre of light, Rohinī 12 of planets.
Lakshmī, most successful art Thou in courts and fortresses,
In the confluence of rivers and in the full moon.
Thou art called Krittivāsa. 13

p. 158

Thou art Sarasvatī in the works of Vālmīki, 1
Memory in those of Dvaipāyana, 2
Religious sense of Ṛṣis 3 and (perfect) mind of Devas4
Thou art the Goddess of wine, 5
Adored art Thou by Thy creatures for Thy deeds.
Thou art the charming look of Indra,
And art the thousand-eyed 6,
Devī of ascetics,
Āranī 7 of Agnihotra Brāhmaṇas, 8
Hunger of all creatures,
Who satisfieth those in heaven.
Thou art Svāhā, 9
Contentment, patience,
Receptacle of the Vasus, 10 hope of men,
Contentment which comes of work fully done;

p. 159

All the quarters and their opposites, 1
Flame of fire, lustrous Sakunī, 2
Pūtanā, 3 the terrible Revatī, 4
Overpowering sleep of all beings,
Warrior. 5
Of learning Thou art, Brahmavidyā, 6
Om and Vaṣat7
The Ṛṣis know Thee as Pārvati amongst women.
As Prajāpati 8 has said, Thou art Arundhatī 9 amongst women, with but one husband. 10
The difference of disputants. 11
Famous also art Thou as Indrāṇī 12
This universe, mobile and immobile, is permeated by Thee.
Without a doubt Thou art saviour in all battles.
Amidst fires and on the banks of rivers,
Amidst robbers, in forests and caverns,
When in prison or when assailed by enemies,
And in all times and places where life is in peril.

p. 160

My heart, my reason, and mind are devoted to Thee.
Deliver me from all sins. Be gracious to me.
Whoever rising at dawn reads 1 for the space of three months
This sacred hymn to Devī compiled by Vyāsa,
Being himself pure and of controlled mind.
Obtains the desired fruit.
Whoever reads it for six months, to him also
The desired fruit is given. Such as read it for nine months obtain celestial vision, and he who reads it for one year gains all such success 2 as man may desire.
O Devī! as was said by Dvaipāyana, Thou art the supreme divine Brahman.
Thou destroyest the bonds and the fearful destruction of men,
The loss of children and wealth, fear of death and disease.
Thou art in the form of desire, and dost grant the objects thereof.
Having deluded Kamsa, Thou enjoyest the whole world,
And I also shall live as a cowherd among kine;
To accomplish my work I shall become a cowherd of Kamsa. 3


154:1 The sacred hymn as sung in ancient times by Ṛṣis, related in chap. lviii of the Harivamśa, a sequel of the Mahābhārata.

154:2 Siddhi (success,) which here means the supreme siddhi or mukti (liberation).

154:3 That is according to the commentator jīvanam.

154:4 Sandhyā or junction-time, morning and evening.

154:5 Kālarātri which is pralayarātri, or the night of the dissolution of all things.

154:6 Born in the race of the sage Kuśika.

154:7 The virgin state, or the first of the āśramas.

154:8 Skanda, or Kārtikeya, son of Śiva and the Devī.

154:9 Ugrachārī, which should be ugrachārinī, but this is Arsha (composed by Ṛṣis), to whom the rules of grammar do not apply.

154:10 The Devī practised great austerities to gain Śiva as Her husband.

155:1 Companion Devatās of Durgā.

155:2 Mrityu, the God of Death.

155:3 Bahurūpā (see the Lalitā, verse 155). The Devī Bhāg. Pr. says, "She is formless because She is supreme, She has many forms because of Her activity" (see also Devī and Vāmana Purāṇas): "She is also the Śakti of the countless Rudras." The term is much commented upon in the Purāṇas, Upapurāṇas, and Tantras.

155:4 Anekavidharūpinī.

155:5 Virūpākṣī. Śiva is also called Virūpākṣa. His eyes are, either owing to his state of samādhi, or consumption of bhang, pictured as in a vague, dreamy, half-open state.

155:6 Śavarair varvaraischaiva pulindaischa supūjitā--a line worthy of remark, for these were savage and non-aryan tribes.

155:7 During worship of the image the worshipper rings a bell. There was a constant ringing of bells.

155:8 Pattisha, a kind of spear with a sharp edge.

156:1 Auspicious days. On the ninth (Navamī) there is Caṇḍīpātha (reading of Caṇḍī), and on the eleventh (Ekādaśī) fasting.

156:2 Kṛṣṇa's eldest brother.

156:3 Rajanīya in text is said to be a wrong reading for mahanīya.

156:4 Kalahapriyā. Literally, quarrelsome.

156:5 Niṣṭha, which according to the commentator, here means maraṇam.

156:6 That is, mukti (Liberation).

156:7 Foster-father of Kṛṣṇa.

156:8 The dark (tāmasika) energy, called Raudrī, is said to be Cāmuṇḍā. There are said to be nine crores of different Cāmuṇḍās. (see Bhāskararāya Comm., Lalitā, verse 155).

156:9 Sandhyā.

156:10 Kālī and Tārā are always so represented (see Karpūrādistotra).

156:11 Surāmāmsabalipriyā.

156:12 Devī of wealth and prosperity.

156:13 Devī of misfortune and poverty.

156:14 Sons of Danu, enemies of the Devas.

157:1 The Gāyatrī mantra.

157:2 Mantraganasya, or, according to another reading, bhūtaganasya.

157:3 The present offered to the officiating Brāhmaṇa.

157:4 Priest.

157:5 Dharmabuddhi, a term difficult to translate. A man is said to have dharmabuddhi who has great respect for religion and duty.

157:6 The Devas were children of Aditi, as the Daityas were of Diti.

157:7 Sāngyātrikānām = potavanijām.

157:8 That is, She is the Mother of Kubera, the King of the Yakṣas, a class of Devayoni.

157:9 Mother of the serpent divinities (Nāgās).

157:10 Brahmacarya.

157:11 Brahmavādinī.

157:12 The name of an asterism.

157:13 The name of Śiva as clad in tiger-skin.

158:1 Author of the Rāmāyana. Tradition says that he obtained a boon from the Goddess of learning and composed that work.

158:2 Kṛṣṇa Dvaipāyana, one of the Vyasas, arranger of the Purāṇas, etc., who is said to have had all such śāstra by heart.

158:3 Vide ante (see p. 157, note 5).

158:4 Mānasī, which the Commentator says = "Satyasangkalpātmikā chetovritti" that is, whose will and thought fully realizes itself.

158:5 Surādevi.

158:6 Indra.

158:7 Ārani are the two sticks of samid wood used to kindle sacrificial fire.

158:8 Brāhmaṇas who cherish fire in the house and perform homa thrice daily.

158:9 Wife of Agni, the mantra used when making homa.

158:10 Of whom there are eight: Apa, Dḥruva, Soma, Dhara, Anila, Anala, Pratyusha, Prabhāsa (see Vishnupurāṇa, Book I., chap. xv.)

159:1 e.g., north and south, east and west, etc.

159:2 A terrible spirit of that name.

159:3 A female demon who attempted to destroy, but who was destroyed by the infant Kṛṣṇa.

159:4 Name of the twenty-seventh constellation, containing thirty-two stars.

159:5 Kṣatriyā.

159:6 The science of Brahman.

159:7 The Mahāmantra "om". Vaṣat is a mantra. As Svāhā is used with homa, so srauṣat, vauṣat, vaṣat, and svadhā are used in pitṛkriyā.

159:8 Brahmā.

159:9 Wife of the sage Vaśiṣṭha, famous for her constancy and devotion.

159:10 Ekabhartrinām.

159:11 Bhedovivādashīlānām.

159:12 Spouse of Indra.

160:1 Here follows the phala portion. (see p. 73, note 1).

160:2 Siddhi.

160:3 The tyrant who sought to slay Kṛṣṇa. The Chapter concludes: "Having thus addressed the Devī, the Lord disappeared, and She, too, saluting Him, expressed Her consent by saying, 'So be it'."

Next: Durgā, from the Mahābhārata