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Hymn to Kali, by Arthur Avalon (Sir John George Woodroffe), [1922], at


HE, O Mahākālī, 1 who in the cremation-ground, naked, and with disheveled hair, intently 2 meditates upon Thee 3 and recites Thy mantra, and with each recitation makes offering to Thee of a thousand Ākaṇda flowers 4 with seed, 5 becomes without any effort a Lord of the earth. 6


'And' (Tu)

For Divya Sādhakas.


Or Parabrahmarūpiṇī.

Cremation-ground' (Śmaśānasthah)

The cremation-ground is Parabrahman into which in the great Dissolution (Mahāpralaya) all beings go as though corpses. 'In the cremation ground' therefore, means devoted to Parabrahman.

'Naked' (Dikpatadharah)

That is, free from the covering of Māyā; whose Consciousness is untainted.

'Meditates on Thee' (Dhyānaniratah)

That is, upon Thy Saccidānanda aspect. The Rudrayāmala says, 'He who follows the Kula path should do Japa of Mantra seeking protection from Devī who is Consciousness, Bliss and Source of knowledge, who is all Tattvas whose refulgence is that of millions of flashes of lightning.'

'Sunflowers' (Arkānāṃ)

Flowers of feeling such as compassion, forgiveness and so forth which are functions of the Mind called the Sun in the Brahmarandhra. The Jñānasaṁkalinī-Tantra says, 'Oh Beloved, the mind is seated on the surface of the sun and life on that of the moon.' The

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[paragraph continues] Yājñavalkya-Saṁhitā says, 'The Moon is known to be in the Idā and the sun in the Piṅgalā (Nādī).

'Self-produced Bīja' (Nijagalitavīryena)

This Bīja is here the nectar which naturally flows from the thousand-petalled Lotus. The Mahānirvāṇa-Tantra says, 'The Heart-Lotus should be offered for seat, the nectar (Amṛta) shed from the Sahasrāra for water to wash the feet, the mind as the offering (Arghya), Memory (Citta) is offered by way of flowers, and the vital airs (Praṇa) as and by way of incense.' Jñānasaṁkalinī-Tantra says, 'Libation (Tarpana) to the Supreme Liberatrix should be made from out the vessel of the Moon and Arghya should be given from out the vessel of the Sun. Compassion, wisdom, and forgiveness are flowers as is also control of the senses. So too are charity (Dayā) and religious merit. Non-injury (Ahiṁsā) to any being is an excellent flower. Bliss is a flower and so too is the worship of the Sādhaka. Whoever offers these ten flowers attains to the feet of the Liberatrix.' In this verse Savikalpasamādhiyoga is indicated.


78:1 p. 79 Mahākālī, Śakti of Mahākāla.

78:2 Susthah: with undistracted mind. (V)

78:3 Tava dhyāna-niratah, that is, Upon Thy form. (V)

78:4 Arka = Sun flowers known as Ākaṇda (V) not the flower so called in English.

78:5 Nija-galita-vīryeṇa kusumaṁ. Thus the offering is not only of the flowers of the Ākaṇda plant, yatah sādhakah devyai sva-vīrya-miśri-tārkapuṣpāni samarpayati. Durgārāma-Siddhāntavāgīśa cites the Mahākālasaṁhitā as saying that the sūryapuṣpa should be offered in the same way with japa of the mūlamantra (svavīryamiśrita-sūryapuṣpāni). The vīrya does not, refer to the sap of the plant. Nija refers to the sādhaka. 'Along with, that is dipped in or that is spread over with.' Mahākāla-samhitā says, A Kaula-Sādhaka in the cremation-ground, naked, dishevelled and with tranquil mind, should offer a thousand sunflowers with seed reciting the while his Mantra. After meditating and worshipping with great devotion he should recite the Hymn' (V).

78:6 That is, a king or rājā. So the Phetkāriṇī-Tantra says that wealth, strength, eloquence, intelligence, and the love of women (Sarvayoṣitpriyah) is gained.

Next: Verse 16