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

p. 102 p. 103





I call to mind the Mother of the whole universe,
Who has created this world, both real and unreal, 2
And who, by Her own power with its three guṇas, 3
Protects it, and having destroyed it, She then plays, 4

p. 104


Commonly is it said that Brahmā creates the universe,
Yet the learned in Veda and Purāṇā
Speak of His birth from the navel lotus of Murāri, 1
Although it is said He creates, yet He is Himself dependent therein. 2


Even Murāri in the blossom of whose navel lotus, Brahmā was born--
Deeply sleeps upon his serpent bed 3 at the time of dissolution.
Therefore Ananta with his thousand hoods is His support.
How can He who is Himself supported
Be called a leader 4 in the creation of the world?


Even the water of Ocean 5 which is a liquid substance
Cannot exist without a container; therefore 6
I take refuge with Her, the Mother of all beings,

p. 105

Who exists in all things in the form of Power. 1


Brahmā in the lotus,
Seeing that the eyes of Viṣṇu were closed in deep slumber, 2
Prayed to that Devī with whom I take shelter. 3


103:1 First Skandha, (chap. ii.).

103:2 Sadāsatsvarūpam, on which Nīlakantha says: Vyavahāra drishtyā sat, paramārthadarshanena asat; that is the world is real (sat) from the point of view of practical life and reason; to all those, in short, who have not experimentally realized the Advaita Tattva; but to those who have, and from the transcendental standpoint, it is, in fact, unreal (asat).

103:3 Sattva, rajas, and tamas, the substance of Śakti, as Prakṛti (see Introduction).

103:4 Ramate--that is, "in her own self" (svasminnevakrīrate) (N) She shines. Hence She is also called Lalitā. "She who plays;" Padma pr. says, "having passed beyond the worlds, She plays; hence She is called Lalitā." Beyond Śakti and Śiva there exist various manifestations of Parāśakti and Sadāśiva, each in its own sphere. But Mahāsakti, who is Paramaśiva, crossing all worlds in the supreme sphere of Mahākailāsa. She it is who is known as Lalitā and Kāmeśvarī.

104:1 Viṣṇu as Enemy of the Daitya Mura.

104:2 Because He is born, He creates dependent on Bhagavatī. In the next verse the argument is: "Let Brahmā be not the creator; why not, then, Viṣṇu?" To which the answer is given of His dependence on Ananta.

104:3 Viṣṇu reposes on the 1,000-headed Serpent Ananta.

104:4 Netra.

104:5 Which is again the support of Ananta.

104:6 And that container requires a support. Therefore the ādhāraśakti is the Mother of all. For this reason, in commencing any pūja, the Ādhāraśakti is worshipped on account of Her being the supporter of all, and that Śakti is none but the Mother of all.

105:1 Śaktirūpā.

105:2 Yoganidra, the sleep of pralaya.

105:3 That He might be roused from his sleep and take part in the cosmic process. Sūta continues; "Having meditated upon Her who is Māyā and Saguṇā, and giver of liberation and Nirguṇā, I will tell you, O munis, the whole Purāṇa, which is the best and the most sacred Śrīmadbhāgavata of 18,000 Sanskrit Ślokas."

Next: Ambikā (Eleventh Māhātmya of Caṇḍī)