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

p. 80


O KĀLĪ, 1 whoever 2 on Tuesday at midnight, 3 having uttered Thy mantra, makes offering even but once with devotion to Thee of a hair of his Śakti 4 in the cremation-ground, 5 becomes a great poet, a Lord of the earth, and ever goes mounted upon an elephant. 6



Dispeller of the fear of Kāla or Death.


Here a Divya Sādhaka.

'Midday' (Madhyāhne)

At noon.

'Devotion' (Premnā)

That is Parabhakti.

'Offers' (Vitarati)

Merges in Thee, that is, attains Nirvikalpa-Samādhi. Pātanjala-Sūtra says that Nirvikalpa-Samādhi is attained by suppression of the Vṛtti of mind.

'In the cremation-ground' (Citāyām)

In thee as Consciousness (Cit).


That is here nectar which issues on the enjoyment of the union of Kula-kundalinī and Paramaśiva. The Gandharvamālikā-Tantra says, 'Oh beloved One, the Queen of Devas unites with Paraśiva and

p. 81

in a moment, Oh Devī Parameśvari, nectar is forthwith produced. That nectar, Oh Devī, is like the juice of lac. With it, Oh, Mistress of the Devas, libation (Tarpaṇa) should be offered to the supreme Devatā.'

'At home' (Gṛhe)

In the thousand petalled Lotus (Sahasrāra).

'Hair with its root' (Cikuraṁ samūlaṁ)

The mind with its functions. It is such Sādhaka who gains both enjoyment and Liberation.

p. 82


80:1 p. 81 Kālī is destroyer of Kāla (V).

80:2 'Whoever' is here a Vīra Sādhaka.

80:3 Madhyāhne. Noon or (here) midnight, Kakārakūtarahasya says, 'Whoever naked and with dishevelled hair, on a Tuesday, at midnight, does Homa in the cremation-ground with hair, nails, seed and whatever adheres to the Sammārjañī and offers them after having uttered the Mūlamantra and recited Thy name a thousand times attracts to him the Lord of the Earth' (V).

80:4 The offering is stated in the words grihe sammārjanyā parigalitabījam hi chikurang samūlang madhyānhe vitarati chitayāng kujadine. These words have received various interpretations, of which the two chief alternatives are given. Gṛhe is by some translated as 'at home,' in distinction from the cremation-ground to which, according to this rendering, the sādhaka subsequently goes to make his offering. This, however, is said to be erroneous, as the sādhanā takes place not in the house but in the cremation-ground. Others (see Calcutta edition) translate it as the equivalent of grihinī, or wife. Sammārjanī is by them read to mean 'comb.' Parigalita is translated 'removed,' in the sense that the curling of the hair of the wife is 'removed' or straightened with the comb. Bijam given either its primary meaning, or as the equivalent of vīrya is said to mean kautilyam, or curl of the hair. Cikuram is hair,' and samūlam qualifies it, meaning pulled out, taken off at the root. The meaning is, then, an offering is made of the wife's hair, the curls (kautilyam) of which have been straightened out with the comb (sammārjanyā), and some of which has come off at the root (samūlam). The correct rendering, however, is according to K. B. Śaktisādhakayoh gṛhe maithunasamaye p. 82 yoniliṁgasaṁgharṣavaśāt śaktiyonipatitaṁ vīryaliptaṁ loma devyai samarpitaṁ bhavati. Gṛhe thus does not mean 'at home,' but manmathagrihe. The hair is from the same. Saṁmārjanī = Śiśna. Samūlaṁ qualifies cikuram in the sense of 'come off at the root' under the circumstances stated. Parigalita is 'dropped'—referring to the vīrya.

According to Vimalānanda, Gṛhe parigalita-vīryaṁ, is that produced by union with the Sādhaka's svaśakti or wife (V).

Of the words Gṛhe saṁmārjanyā parigalita-viryaṁ cikuram samūlaṁ the Commentator Durgārāma Siddāntavāgiśa gives the two following alternative expressions: (a) Sammārjanyā means with a comb with which the hair is put in order. Parigalitavīryam chikuram means hair of which the Vīrya or crookedness has been removed. Gṛhe means in the wife: for it is said the wife is the home. The whole phrase then means Wife's hair, root and all, combed out straight with a comb or (b) Sammārjanyā Parigalita-viryaṁ means Śukra produced by Sammārjanī here meaning Liṅga of the Sādhaka; gṛhe means in the abode of Kāma that is Yoni of Śakti together with hair, root and all.

The English translation is somewhat abbreviated with the object of giving only so much as all renderings are agreed upon. But in practice Vīrya is used by most in its literal sense, this is the gross meaning. The inner sense is given in the Svarūpa-vyākhyā which follows.

80:5 According to some, the offering is made on the built-up pyre, and, according to others, on the fire after the body has been consumed. Citā, however, is really used as a synonym for the burning ground (Smaśāna). The Niruttara-Tantra (Ch. I) speaks of two Kinds of Smaśāna:

Śmaśānaṁ dvividhaṁ deva citā yonih prakīṛtitaṁ.

80:6 That is, he becomes a Rājā, and has no longer to go on foot like common folk.

Next: Verse 17