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

p. 161




I SALUTE Thee, leader of Yogis, 3 one with the Brahman, 4
Dweller in the Mandāra forest.
Virgin, 5 Kālī, 6 Spouse of Kāpāla, 7 of tawny hue. 8
Salutation to Thee, Bhadrakālī. 9
Reverence to Thee, Mahākāli, 10

p. 162

Caṇḍī, 1 Fearless one. 2 Salutation to Thee, Saviour 3 imbued with all good fortune. 4


Of the race of Kata 5 greatly worshipful,
Dreadful one, 6 Giver of victory, 7 Victrix, 8
Who holdeth a peacock's tail for Thy banner,
And art adorned with various jewels,
Bearing formidable spear, sword, and shield (made of skin).
Younger Sister of the chief of cowherds, 9
Eldest one, 10 born in the family of the cowherd Nanda, 11
Delighting in the blood of Mahiṣa, 12

p. 163

Kauśikī, 1 wearing yellow garments.


With auspicious smile,
Whose mouth devoured all demons, 2
Salutation to Thee, delighter in battle.
Umā, 3 giver of shāka4
In the form of Maheśvara, 5 and in that of Vāsudeva, 6
Destructress of Kaitabha, 7
Golden-eyed, with half-opened eyes 8, grey-eyed, 9
Veda and Śruti10 and most sacred.
Propitious to Brāhmanas engaged in the sacrificial rites,
Thou art Jātaveda, 11
And art ever present in the sacred shrines 12 in the chief cities of Jambudvīpa. 13

p. 164


Of Sciences Thou art the knowledge of Brahman,
Thou art the liberation of embodied beings, 1
Mother of Skanda. 2
O Bhagavatī 3 Durgā! 4 Thou liveth in inaccessible regions--
Svāhā5 Svadhā6 Kalā, and Kāṣṭḥā7
Sarasvatī, 8 Savitrī. 9
Mother of Vedas and Vedānta 10 art Thou called.
I praise Thee from the pure depth of my heart.
By Thy favour let us be victorious in battle.
Ever dost Thou abide in inaccessible regions,
In places full of fear and difficulty;
In the houses of Thy devotees, and in Pātāla. 11
In battle Thou conquereth the Dānavas. 12

p. 165

Thou art drowsiness 1 and slumber. 2


Thou hast power to show wonderfully the world, 3
Modesty, 4 and beauty. 5
Cause of creation and destruction, 6
Creatrix, 7 Mother, 8 contentment, nourishment, constancy,
Light, Supportress of the sun and moon,
Power 9 of Him who possesses power, 10
In ecstasy 11 Thou art perceived by Siddhas and Cāranas. 12


161:1 See p. 120, note 9; , note 1: p. 81, note 1.

161:2 Bhīshma Parvan, s. 43 (see Muir, O. S. T. iv, 432).

161:3 Siddhasenānī. The siddhas are here yogis and sages. Nīlakanṭha (cited post as N.), in his Commentary, says the term means: She who, as leader (literally, commander of an army), gives success in yoga and attainment of the supreme abode.

161:4 Āryye. Literally, noble, but here means, as Nīlakantha says, prapya-brahmasvarūpa--the own form of the accessible Brahman, as distinguished from the nirguṇa Brahman beyond thought and speech.

161:5 Kumārī. It also means (N.) that She is very young.

161:6 See p. 152, note 3.

161:7 Kāpālī, one of Her forms. Kāpāla is Rudrā, as leader of Kāpālas (Kāpālikas).

161:8 Kapilākṛṣṇapingalā.

161:9 Auspicious Kālī, who gives prosperity to Her devotees.

161:10 See p. 152, note 3. The great Kālī, Destructress in the form of death.

162:1 Spouse of Caṇḍa, or Kālāntaka, or Yama.

162:2 Candā--bold, daring, brave, courageous.

162:3 Tārinī, for She delivers from calamity.

162:4 Varavarninī (N.), not "beautiful coloured," as it has been translated.

162:5 Kātyāyanī.

162:6 Karālī = krure or cruel (to demons and other ill-doers). Karālavadanā (wide-opened mouth) is an epithet of Kālī. "Gaping-mouthed, terrible, four-armed, with dishevelled hair"--Karālavadanām ghorām, chatur-bhujām, as the Kālī dhyāna runs.

162:7 Vijaya--that is, particular (viśisṭ.a) victory (N.).

162:8 Jayā. Jayā and Vijayā are also the names of two female attendants (Sakhī) of Durgā.

162:9 Gopendra or Kṛṣṇa. In the Harivamśa and Caṇḍī it is said that with the view of defeating the designs of Kamsa in regard to the destruction of Devakī's offspring, Devī will be born as the ninth child of Yaśodā in the same night as Kṛṣṇa was born as the eight child of Devakī, when Kṛṣṇa would be carried to Yaśodā and She to Devakī.

162:10 Jyeṣtha--śreṣthā--superior to or best of all.

162:11 In whose house Kṛṣṇa was reared.

162:12 The Asura of that name (see Caṇḍī).

163:1 A name of the Devī, as born in the race of the sage Kuśika.

163:2 Kokamukhe--when in battle with Raktabīja.

163:3 See Hymn to Annapūrṇa, post.

163:4 Shākambarī. Shōka is a vegetable food given by Devī at the time of famine (Caṇḍī).

163:5 Svetā (N.), not white, as it has been translated.

163:6 Kṛṣṇā (N.), not black, as it has been translated.

163:7 A Daitya brother of Madhu (Caṇḍī).

163:8 Virūpākṣī (see p. 155, note 5).

163:9 Dhūmrākṣī (N.) says grey and green, like those of a cat.

163:10 Here Upaniṣads.

163:11 Jātavedasī. Jataveda is a name of Agni (Fire).

163:12 Chaityeshu. Ordinarily this term is applied to the Buddhist shrine, of which it is commonly said: "One should not enter a Jaina's temple or Buddhist chaitya, even if pursued by an elephant" (Hastinā tādyamānopi na gachchet jaina-mandiram also dhaitya mandiram.) Here the term means devatālaya.

163:13 A Purāṇic island by that name, not as it has been translated; "Who dwellest continually near to mountain precipices and sepulchres."

164:1 "The great sleep of embodied beings," according to the last translator: But Mahānidrā (great sleep) is here mukti (liberation), which is the result of the Brahmavidyā, spoken of in the preceding line.

164:2 Kārtikeya. By this it is meant that She is sarvadevatārūpā, in the form of all Devas, of whom Skanda is selected as a type (N.).

164:3 See p. 120, note 5; p. 98, note 5.

164:4 Kāntāravāsinī (N.).

164:5 Mantra used with homa, but here it means that all ritual acts are her embodiment (Sarvakarmarūpā).

164:6 Mantra used in pitṛkriyā (see last note).

164:7 Kalā is a division of time--one minute forty-eight seconds, and kāṣṭḥa is one-thirtieth of that.

164:8 Devī of speech and learning.

164:9 She is sarvavāng-māyā-rūpa (N.).

164:10 End of the Vedas or Upaniṣad.

164:11 The nether world.

164:12 See p. 156, note 14.

165:1 Jambhane = tandrā (N.), not "destroyer" as it has been translated.

165:2 Mohinī = Nidrā (N.).

165:3 Māyā = adbhutapradarśanām (N.).

165:4 Hrī = lajjā representative of, and including all other actions of mind (N.).

165:5 Śrī, or prosperity, and other attributes of Lakṣmī.

165:6 Sandhyā. the intervening period when night is going and morn coming. and vice versa, applied here to similar junction times in the creation and dissolution of the world (N.).

165:7 Sāvitri. She who, by the lustre of Sūrya, reveals (N.).

165:8 Because, as a mother, She supports the world and all beings therein.

165:9 Aiśvarya. The supreme faculties of omnipresence, omnipotence, etc.

165:10 Maheśvara. She is the greatest wealth of Brahman.

165:11 Sankya or Samādhi, where light appears and the ātman is known (N).

165:12 Siddhas here mean those who are liberated whilst yet living (jīvanmukta), and Cāranas those who are siddhas from their birth.

Next: Hymns to the Devī from Śankarācārya