Hymn to Kali, by Arthur Avalon (Sir John George Woodroffe), , at sacred-texts.com
O DESTRUCTRESS of the sins of the three worlds, auspicious 1 Kālikā, who in Thy upper lotus-like left hand holdest a sword. 2 and in the lower left hand a severed head; 3 who with Thy upper right hand maketh the gesture which dispels fear, 4 and with Thy lower right hand that which grants boons; they, O Mother with gaping mouth, 5 who reciting Thy name, meditate in this way 6 upon the greatness of Thy mantra, possess the eight great powers 7 of the Three-Eyed One 8 in the palm of their hands. 9
The sword is knowledge (Jñāna) by which the bonds of ignorance of the desire-free Sādhaka are severed. See Śivadharmottara.
'Severed head' (Chinna-muṇdaṁ)
The human head is the seat of Tattvajñāṇa free of attachment.
'Terrible countenance' (Prakatita-radane)
Her white teeth indicative of the white self-manifesting Sattva-Guṇa bite the red lolling tongue indicative of Rajas Guṇa and suppress both Rajas and Tamas by Sattva.
'Precious Mantrās' (Manu-vi-bhavaṁ)
The three 'Krīṁ' Bījas represent the Cidghana aspect of Devī, the two Hūm Bījas the Sattva-Guṇa aspect and the two 'Hrīm' Bījas the Rajah-pradhāna-sattva-Guṇa aspect.
[Durgārāma-Siddhāntavāgīśa explains this in the following different ways: (a) Manuvibhava = the Vibhava or Saṁpatti (precious possession) of Manus or Mantras. This precious possession is the
name in the vocative case 'Dakshiṇe Kālike.' The meaning of the passage then is that those who recite Thy name Dakshiṇe Kālike, which is the precious possession of Mantras, and meditate on this Thine appearance possess the Powers and so forth. (b) Manuvibhava is the Vibhava of the Manu that is the twenty-two syllabled Mantra of Kālī. This possession is the name Dakshiṇā Kālikā. (c) Manuvibhava = Manu (Mantra) vibhava (Ghataka) of which (the Devī's body) is the body of which Mantra is the generator. The bodies of the Devatās are produced by their Mantras. The passage thus means that, they who recite Thy name Dakshiṇā Kālikā and meditate on this Thine appearance generated by Mantra possess the virtues mentioned above.]
See last Verse.
'Three eyed one (Tryaṁbaka)'
[The same commentator (Durgārāma) offers three explanations of the term Tryaṁbaka used for Śiva (a) He who has three Aṁbakas or eyes is Tryaṁbaka, (b) He who has three Mothers or Aṁbās is Tryaṁbaka. The Kālikāpurāṇa says, 'As Hara is born of three Mothers He is known, even amongst Devas, by the title Tryaṁbaka.' (c) Todala-Tantra says 'the Vidyā Bhuvaneśvarī is in Heaven, Earth, and the Nether world (Pātāla). He who delights in the Devī as threefold in three places is called Tryaṁbaka. He is with Śakti and is worshipped in all Tantras.']
53:1 p. 54 Dakshiṇā, the beneficent grantor of Nirvāṇa. (V)
53:2 Khadga, the peculiar heavy sword with the blade curved at the tip so named, used to behead the sacrificial animals.
53:3 The Devī is the destroyer of the wicked.
53:4 The Devī is the dispeller of all fear, and makes with Her hand the mudrā. The right upper hand makes the gesture of dispelling fear, or the gesture of assurance of safety (Abhayamudrā) and the right lower hand makes the gesture of granting boons (Varamudrā). (V) The Sādhaka seeks fearlessness, which is the great gift of the Goddess, who is Bhayāpahā, 'remover of fear.' 'If thou art remembered in times of p. 55 difficulty, Thou takest away all fear' (Mārkaṇdeya-Purāṇa). At the same time it is she who fills the ignorant with terror (Paśuloka-bhayaṁkarī) that is, those devoid of the knowledge of non-duality, for 'fear comes when there is duality' (Br. Up. 1-4-2, Lalitā, v. 99).
53:5 Prakatita-vadane (see 'Daśa-Mahāvidyā Upāsanārahasya,' by Prasanna-Kumāra-Śāstrī). Vimalānanda reads Prakatitaradane, that is, with big protruding teeth. The Yoginī-Tantra says, 'Supreme eternal, large-toothed, smeared with blood.' The Tārākalpa speaks of 'Syāmā of the colour of a new (freshly formed) cloud, with large breasts, terrible with protruding teeth.' (V)
53:6 As statedthat is, Krīṁ Krīṁ Krīṁ Hūṁ Hūṁ Hrīṁ Hrīṁ which with Dakṣiṇe makes ten syllables.
53:7 Siddhithat is, Aṇimā, Laghimā, Garimā, Prāpti, Prākāṁya, Iśitva, Vaśitva, Kāmāvasāyitā the power of becoming small, great, heavy, light, etc., which are inherent in Īśvara, and are attainable by Yogis who become Īśvara and gain Āiśvarya. By realization of the self, that Divine state which is the universal Self is manifested, as also the eightfold manifestation of the Divine power.
53:8 Tryaṁbaka or Śiva. According to Tarkālaṁkāra's Commentary on Mahānirvāṇa-Tantra, Tryaṁbaka means the father of the three Devas, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Rudra. The Ṛgvidhāna uses it as an equivalent of Mahādeva. The Mahānirvāṇa-Tantra says: 'As She surveys the entire universe, which is the product of time, with Her three eyesthe Moon, Sun, and Firetherefore She is endowed with three eyes' (Ullāsa xiii, verse 8) The Moon, Sun, and Fire are the Icchā, Kriyā, Jñāna and other Śaktis (see the Ṣatcakranirūpaṅa of Pūrnānaṇda-Śvāmī) and Serpent Power by A. Avalon.
53:9 'By him who carries a flower its odour is enjoyed without seeking. By him who looks upon himself as the universal Self the powers (of Brahmā, etc.) are enjoyed' (Commentary of Sureśvarācārya on tenth Sloka of Dakṣināmūrti Stotra).