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Chapter 7 - Hymn of Praise (Stotra), Amulet (Kavacha), and the description of the Kula-tattva

PARVATI was pleased at hearing the revelation of the auspicious Mantra of the Adya Kalika, which yields abundant blessings, is the only means of attaining to a knowledge of the Divine essence, and leads to liberation; as also at hearing of the morning rites, the rules relating to bathing, Sandhya, the purification of Bhang, the methods of external and internal Nyasa and worship, the sacrifice of animals, Homa, the formation of the circle of worship, and the partaking of the holy food. Bowing low with modesty, the Devi questioned Shankara (1-3).

Shri Devi said:

O Sadashiva! Lord, and Benefactor of the Universe, Thou hast in Thy mercy spoken of the mode of worship of the supreme Prakriti (4), which benefits all being, is the sole path both for enjoyment and final liberation, and which gives, in this Age, in particular, immediate success (5). My mind, immersed in the ocean of the nectar of Thy word, has no desire to rise therefrom, but craves for more and more (6). O Deva, in the directions Thou hast given relating to the worship of the great Devi, Thou hast but given a glimpse of the hymn of praise, and of the protective Mantra. Do Thou reveal them now (7).

Shri Sadashiva said:

Listen, then, O Devi, Who art the adored of the worlds,to this unsurpassed hymn, by the reciting of or listening to which one becomes the Lord of all the Siddhis (8), (a hymn) which allays evil fortune, increases happiness and prosperity, destroys untimely death, and removes all calamities (9), and is the cause of the happy approach to the gracious Adya Kalika. It is by the grace of this hymn,O Happy One, that I am Tripurari (10).

O Devi! the Rishi of this hymn is Sadashiva, its metre is Anushtup, its Devata is the Adya Kalika, and the object of its use is the attainment of Dharmma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha (11).

Hymn Entitled Adya-Kali-Svarupa.

Hring, O Destroyer of Time,
Shring, O Terrific One,
Kring, Thou Who art beneficent,
Possessor of all the Arts,
Thou art Kamala,
Destroyer of the pride of the Kali Age,
Who art kind to Him of the matted hair, (12)
Devourer of Him Who devours,
Mother of Time,
Thou Who art brilliant as the Fires of the final Dissolution,
Wife of Him of the matted hair,
O Thou of formidable countenance,
Ocean of the nectar of compassion, (13)
Vessel of Mercy,
Whose Mercy is without limit,
Who art attainable alone by Thy mercy,
Who art Fire,
Black of hue,
Thou Who increasest the joy of the Lord of Creation, (14)
Night of Darkness,
Image of Desire,
Yet Liberator from the bonds of desire,
Thou Who art (dark) as a bank of Clouds,
And bearest the crescent-moon,
Destructress of sin in the Kali Age, (15)
Thou Who art pleased by the worship of virgins,
Thou Who art the Refuge of the worshippers of virgins,
Who art pleased by the feasting of the virgins,
Who art the Image of the virgin, (16)
Thou Who wanderest in the kadamba forest,
Who art pleased with the flowers of the kadamba forest,
Who hast Thy abode in the kadamba forest,
Who wearest a garland of kadamba flowers, (17)
Thou Who art youthful,
Who hast a soft low voice,
Whose voice is sweet as the cry of a Chakravaka bird,
Who drinkest and art pleased with the kadambari wine, (18)
And Whose cup is a skull,
Who wearest a garland of bones,
Who art pleased with,
And Who art seated on the Lotus, (19)
Who abidest in the centre of the Lotus,
Whom the fragrance of the Lotus pleases,
Who movest with the swaying gait of a Hangsa,
Destroyer of fear,
Who assumest all forms at will,
Whose abode is at Kama-rupa, (20)
Who ever plays at the Kama-pitha,
O beautiful One,
O Creeper Which givest every desire,
Who art the Possessor of beautiful ornaments, (21)
Adorable as the Image of all tenderness,
Thou with a tender body,
And Who art slender of waist,
Who art pleased with the nectar of purified wine,
Giver of success to them whom purified wine rejoices, (22)
The own Deity of those who worship Thee when joyed with wine,
Who art gladdened by the worship of Thyself with purified wine,
Who art immersed in the ocean of purified wine,
Who art the Protectress of those who accomplish vrata with wine, (23)
Whom the fragrance of musk gladdens,
And Who art luminous with a tilaka-mark of musk,
Who art attached to those who worship Thee with musk,
Who lovest those who worship Thee with musk, (24)
Who art a Mother to those who burn musk as incense,
Who art fond of the musk-deer and art pleased to eat its musk,
Whom the scent of camphor gladdens,
Who art adorned with garlands of camphor,
And Whose body is smeared with camphor and sandal paste, (25)
Who art pleased with purified wine flavoured with Camphor,
Who drinkest purified wine flavoured with camphor,
Who art bathed in the ocean of camphor,
Whose abode is in the ocean of camphor, (26)
Who art pleased when worshipped with the Vija Hung,
Thou Who threatenest with the Vija Hung,
Embodiment of Kulachara,
Adored by Kaulikas,
Benefactress of the Kaulikas, (27)
Observant of Kulachara,
Joyous One, Revealer of the path of the Kaulikas,
Queen of Kashi,
Allayer of sufferings,
Giver of blessings to the Lord of Kashi,(28)
Giver of pleasure to the Lord of Kashi,
Beloved of the Lord of Kashi, (29)
Thou Whose toe-ring bells make sweet melody as Thou movest,
Whose girdle bells sweetly tinkle,
Who abidest in the mountain of gold,
Who art like a Moon-beam on the mountain of gold, (30)
Who art gladdened by the recitation of the Mantra Kling,
Who art the Kama Vija,
Destructress of all evil inclinations,
And of the afflictions of the Kaulikas,
Lady of the Kaulas, (31)
O Thou Who by the three Vijas, Kring, Hring, Shring, art the Destructress of the fear of Death.
(To Thee I make obeisance.)

These are proclaimed as the Hundred Names of Kalika (32), beginning with the letter Ka. They are all identical with the image of Kali (33). He who in worship recites these names with his mind fixed on Kalika, for him Mantra-siddhi is quickly obtained, and with him Kali is pleased (34). By the mere bidding of his Guru he acquires intelligence, knowledge, and becomes wealthy, famous, munificent, and compassionate (35). Such an one enjoys life happily in this world with his children and grandchildren with wealth and dominion (36). He who, on a new moon night, when it falls on Tuesday, worships the great Adya Kali, Mistress of the three worlds, with the five Ma-karas, and repeats Her hundred names, becomes suffused with the presence of the Devi, and for him there remains nothing in the three worlds which is beyond his powers (37-38).

He becomes in learning like Brihaspati himself, in wealth like Kuvera. His profundity is that of the ocean, and his strength that of the wind (39). He shines with the blinding brilliance of the Sun, yet pleases with the soft glamour of the Moon. In beauty he becomes like the God of Love, and reaches the hearts of women (40). He comes forth as conqueror everywhere by the grace of this hymn of praise. Singing this hymn, he attains all his desires (41). All these desires he shall attain by the grace of the gracious Adya, whether in battle, in seeking the favour of Kings, in wagers, or in disputes, and when his life be in danger (42), at the hands of robbers, amidst burning villages, lions, or tigers (43), in forests and lonely deserts, when imprisoned, threatened by Kings or adverse planets, in burning fever, in long sickness, when attacked by fearful disease (44), in the sickness of children caused by the influence of adverse planets, or when tormented by evil dreams, when fallen in boundless waters, and when he be in some storm-tossed ship (45).

O Devi! he who with firm devotion meditates upon the Parama Maya–image of the most excellent Kali–is without a doubt relieved of all dangers. For him there is never any fear, whether arising from sin or disease (46-47). For him there is ever victory, and defeat never. At the mere sight of him all dangers flee (48). He expounds all Scriptures, enjoys all good fortune, and becomes the leader in all matters of caste and duty,and the lord among his kinsmen (49). In his mouth Vani ever abides, and in his home Kamala. Men bow with respect at the mere mention of his name (50). The eight Siddhis, such as Anima and others, he looks upon as but mere bits of grass.

I have now recited the hymn of a hundred names, which is called "The Very Form of the Adya Kali" (51).

Purashcharana of this hymn, which is its repetition one hundred and eight times, yields all desired fruit (52). This hymn of praise of a hundred names, which is the Primeval Kali Herself, if read, or caused to be read, if heard, or caused to be heard, frees from all sins and leads to union with Brahman (53-54).

Shri Sadashiva said.

I have spoken of the great hymn of the Prakriti of the Supreme Brahman, hear now the protective Mantra of the sacred Adya Kalika (55). The name of the Mantra is "Conqueror of the three Worlds," its Rishi is Shiva, the verse is Anushtup, and its Devata the Adya Kali (56).

Its Vija is the Maya Vija, its Shakti is Kama Vija, and its Kilaka is Kring. It should be used for the attainment of all desired objects (57).

The Protective Mantra

(Known As Trailokya-Vijaya)

Hring, may the Adya protect my head;
Shring, may Kali protect my face;
Kring, may the Supreme Shakti protect my heart;
May She Who is the Supreme of the Supreme protect my throat (58);
May Jagaddhatri protect my two eyes;
May Shankari protect my two ears;
May Mahamaya protect my power of smell;
May Sarvva-mangala protect my taste (58);
May Kaumari protect my teeth;
May Kamalalaya protect my cheeks;
May Kshama protect my upper and lower lips;
May Charu-hasini protect my chin (60);
May Kuleshani protect my neck;
May Kripa-mayi protect the nape of my neck;
May Bahu-da protect my two arms;
May Kaivalya-dayini protect my two hands; (61)
May Kapardini protect my shoulders;
May Trailokya-tarini protect my back;
May Aparna protect my two sides;
May Kamathasana protect my hips (62);
May Vishalakshi protect my navel;
May Prabha-vati protect my organ of generation;
May Kalyani protect my thighs;
May Parvati protect my feet;
May Jaya-durga protect my vital breaths,
And Sarvva-siddhi-da protect all parts of my body (63).

As to those parts as have not been mentioned in the Kavacha, and are unprotected, may the Eternal Primeval Kali protect all such (64).

I have now spoken to Thee of the wonderful heavenly Protective Mantra of the Adya Devi Kalika, which is known as the "Conqueror of the three Worlds" (65).

He who repeats it at his devotions with his mind fixed upon the Adya obtains all his desires, and She becomes propitious unto him (66). He quickly attains Mantra-siddhi. The lesser siddhis become, as it were, his slaves (67). He who is childless gets a son, he who desires wealth gains riches. The seeker of learning attains it, and whatsoever a man desires he attains the same (68).

The Purashcharana of this Protective Mantra is its repetition a thousand times, and this gives the desired fruit (69). If it be written on birch-bark, with the paste of sandal, fragrant aloe, musk, saffron, or red sandal, and encased in a golden ball, worn either on the right arm, round the neck, in the crown lock, or round the waist, then the Adya Kali becomes devoted to its wearer, and grants him whatsoever he may desire (70-71). Nowhere has he fear. In all places he is a conqueror. He becomes ready of speech, free from ailments, long-lived and strong, endowed with all power of endurance (72), and an adept in all learning. He knows the meaning of all Scriptures, has Kings under his control, and holds both pleasure and emancipation in the hollow of his hand (73).

For men affected with the taint of the Kali Age it is a most excellent Mantra for the attainment of final liberation (74).

Shri Devi said:

Thou hast, O Lord! in Thy kindness told me of the Hymn and Protective Mantra; I now desire to hear of the rules relating to Purashcharana (75).

Shri Sadashiva said:

The rules relating to Purashcharana in the worship of the Adya Kalika are the same as those relating to the Purashcharana in the worship with the Brahma-Mantra (76). For Sadhakas who are unable to do them completely, both Japa, Puja and Homa, and Purashcharana may be curtailed (77), since it is better to observe these rites on a small scale than not to observe them at all. Now listen, O Gentle One! the while I describe to Thee the shortened form of worship (78). Let the wise one rinse his mouth with the Mula-Mantra, and then perform Rishi-nyasa. Let him purify the palms of the hands, and proceed to Kara-nyasa and Anga-nyasa (79). Passing the hands all over the body, let him practise Pranayama, and then meditate, worship, and inwardly recite. This is the ceremonial for the shortened form of worship (80).

In this form of worship, in lieu of Homa and other rites, the Mantras may be recited four times the number prescribed in the case of each of them respectively (81). There is also another mode of performance. A person who, when the fourteenth day of the dark half of the month falls on a Tuesday or Saturday, worships Jaganmayi with the five elements of worship, and recites with fully attentive mind the Mantra ten thousand times at midnight and feasts believers in the Brahman has performed Purashcharana (82-83). From one Tuesday to another Tuesday the Mantra should every day be inwardly recited a thousand times. The Mantra thus recited eight thousand times is equal to the performance of Purashcharana (84-85).

In all Ages, O Devi! but particularly in the Kali Age, the Mantras of the Sacred Primeval Kalika are of great efficacy, and yield complete success (85-86). O Parvati! In the Kali Age, Kali in her various forms is ever watchful, but when the Kali Age is in full sway, then the form of Kali Herself is for the benefit of the world (87). In initiation into this Kalika Mantra there is no necessity to determine whether it be siddha or su-siddha, or the like, or favourable or inimical. If japa is made of it, which is both niyama and a-niyama, the Adya Devi is pleased (88). The mortal, by the grace of the glorious Adya, attains a knowledge of the divine essence, and, possessed of such knowledge, is, without a doubt, liberated even while living (89). Beloved, there is no need here for over-exertion or endurance or penances. The religious exercises of the worshippers of the Adya Kali are pleasant to accomplish (90). By the mere purification of the heart the worshipper attains all that he desires (91). So long, however, as the heart is not purified, so long must the worshipper practise the rites with devotion to Kula. (92)

The carrying out of the practices ordained produces purification of the heart. The Mantra should, however, first be received from the mouth of the Guru in the case of the Brahma-Mantra (93). O Great Queen! Purashkriya should be done after the performance of the necessary worship and of other prescribed rites. In the purified heart knowledge of Brahman grows. And when knowledge of Brahman is attained, there is neither that which should, nor that which should not, be done (94).

Shri Parvati said:

O Great Deva! what is Kula, and what is Kulachara? O Great Lord! what is the sign of each of the five elements of worship? I desire to hear the truth relating to these (95).

Shri Sadashiva said:

Thou hast asked well, O Lady of the Kulas. Thou art indeed the Benefactress of the worshippers. Listen! For Thy pleasure I shall accurately describe to Thee these things (96). The Kula are Jiva, Prakriti, space, time, ether, earth, water, fire, and air (97). O Primeval One! the realization that all this is one with Brahman is Kulachara, and produces Dharmma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha (98). Those whose sins are washed away by merits acquired in various previous births by penances, alms, and faithful observance of worship, it is they whose minds are inclined in Kaulika worship (99). When the intelligence realizes the essence of Kaulika worship, it becomes at once purified, and the mind inclines to the lotus-feet of the Primeval Kali (100). The excellent worshipper versed in Kaula doctrine who has received this most excellent Vidya by the service of a good spiritual teacher, if he remains firmly attached to Kaulika worship and to the worship with the five elements of the Primeval Kalika, the Patron Devi of Kula, will enjoy a multitude of blessings in this life, and attain final liberation at its close. (102)

The characteristic of the first element is that it is the great medicine for humanity, helping it to forget deep sorrows, and is the cause of joy (103). But, O Dearest One! the element which is not purified stupefies and bewilders, breeds disputes and diseases, and should be rejected by the Kaulas (104). Beasts bred in villages, in the air, or forest, which are nourishing, and increase intelligence, energy, and strength, are the second element (105). O Beautiful One! of the animals bred in water, that which is pleasing and of good taste, and increases the generative power of man, is the third element (106). The characteristics of the fourth element are that it is easily obtainable, grown in the earth, and is the root of the life of the three worlds (107). And, O Devi, the signs of the fifth element are that it is the cause of intense pleasure to all living things, is the origin of all creatures, and the root of the world which is without either beginning or end (108). Know, Dearest One! that the first element is fire, the second is air, the third is water, the fourth is the earth (109), and, O Beauteous Face! as to the fifth element, know it to be ether, the support of the Universe (110). O Sovereign Mistress of Kula, he who knows Kula, the five Kula-tattvas, and Kula worship, is liberated whilst yet living (111).

End of the Seventh Joyful Message, entitled "Hymn of Praise (Stotra), Amulet (Kavacha), and the description of the Kula-tattva."

Next: Chapter 8 - The Dharmma and Customs of the Castes and Ashramas