Hymn to Kali, by Arthur Avalon (Sir John George Woodroffe), , at sacred-texts.com
I make obeisance to the Lord Guru, the wish-granting Tree of Suras, eternal Consciousness and Bliss Itself, the highest of the highest, Brahman, Śiva Himself. I make obeisance to Her who by Her Śakti of three Guṇas creates, maintains, and at the end of the Kalpa withdraws, the world and then alone is. Devoutly I call to mind Her, the Mother of the whole universe, Śivā Herself.
Obeisance to the Supreme Devatā.
Here follows an Introduction to the Vimalānandadāyini Commentary on that Lord of Hymns called the Karpūrādi-Stotra to Śrimad Dakṣiṇa-Kālikā.
All-good and all-powerful Parameśvara is without beginning or end. Though in Himself Nirguṇa He is the Ādhāra of the three Guṇas. Though Himself formless He creates, preserves and withdraws the world of extended matter (Prapañca) by means of the Āvaraṇa and Vikṣepa-Śaktis of His own Māyā which can make that possible which seems impossible. The Śvetāśvatara-Upaniṣad says that by meditation was seen the Sva-śakti of the Deva, who is the abode of all causes, associated with Kālatattva. In the Niruttara-Tantra Śiva speaks of the three-eyed corpse-like One, Nirguṇa but also seat of Guṇas associated with Śakti. Though
[paragraph continues] Himself without beginning, middle or end, He creates and is the material Cause of the world which has a beginning, middle, and end. For this reason the Tantras and other Śāstras call Him Ādinātha, Mahākāla, Paramaśiva and Paramabrahman. It is this unlimited, undivided, beginning-less, and endless Mahākāla who is imagined to be limited by the Sun, Moon and Planets, and, as such, is called by the names of Kalā, Kāṣṭhā, Muhūrta, Yāma, Day, Night, Pakṣa, Month, Season, Half-year, Year, Yuga, Kalpa and so forth. It is He who divides Time into Kāla, Kāṣṭhā and so forth, and as Vyaṣti is called by the name Kalā, and the rest. He is named Paramaśiva Mahākāla when creating, preserving and withdrawing the millions of worlds.
Apart from individual name and form, He exists as the Samaṣti of them and the Endless Supreme Greatness (Paramomahān). Viṣṇu-Purāṇa says that Bhagavān Kāla is without beginning or end. From him appears the limited in creation. Atharvaveda says that Kāla created beings (Prajā) He is Prajāpati. From Kāla was self-born Kaśyapa and Tapas. Mahākāla is omniscient since He is all pervading, dependent on none, and the Ātmā of ail. Kūrma-Purāṇa also says that he is the Supreme, imperishable, without beginning or end, all-pervading, independent, the Ātmā of all who fascinates (Manohara) all minds by His greatness. Kālamādhava cites Viṣṇu-dharmottara as saying that He is called Kāla because of his dissolving (Kalanāt) all beings, and He is Parameśvara because He is Himself without beginning or end. Mahākala is Himself Nirguṇa and Niṣkriya, but his Śakti makes the Sun and other heavenly lights rise, stay and set.
It is by the Power of the Śakti of Kāla that men and other Jīvas are conceived in the womb, are born, attain childhood, boyhood, middle and old age and leave the world on death. In the Śāntiparva of Mahābhārata, Vedavyāsa
says that it is through Kāla that women bear, that birth and death occur, winter, summer and rains come, and the seed germinates. Even Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra appear, stay and disappear through the Śakti of Kāla. None can escape Its operation. Viṣṇu-Saṁhitā says that even those Devas who create and withdraw the world are themselves withdrawn by Kāla. Kāla or time is certainly then the stronger. Mahākāla is called Mahākālī because He is one and the same and not different from His eternal Śakti. It is She who is Mahāvidyā, Mahādevī, Mahāmāyā, and Parabrahmarūpiṇī. As Ādinātha Mahākāla is the first creator of the world so the Śakti of Mahākāla, the merciful Mahākālī is the Ādiguru of the world. Yoginī Tantra says that Mahākālī is the Mother of the world, and one with Mahākāla, as is shown in the Ardhanāriśvara Mūrti.
It was this Brahmavidyā who (Yoginī-Tantra, 10th Patala) at the beginning of this Kalpa was heard as a bodyless voice from the sky by Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Maheśvara, who were then told to perform Tapasyā for the acquisition of creative and other Śaktis. It was this Aniruddha-saraśvatī who in the Satyayuga appeared in the Heavens before Indra and other proud Devatās in the form of a brilliant Yakṣa, and crushing the pride of the Devas Agni and Vāyu, in the form of all-beautiful Umā, taught Brahmatattva to Indra, the King of the Devas (See Kenopaniṣad 11, 12).
This Kālī again who is Parameṣtiguru and grants Kaivalya, compassionating the sensuous and short-lived Jīvas of the terrible Kaliyuga revealed the Śāṁbhavī-Vidyā. This, which was taught in the form of conversations between Devī and Īśvara, had been during the three preceding ages kept as concealed as a lady of high family from public gaze. It contained three sets of sixty-four Āgamas each, which revealed the path of Liberation for these Jīvas. Though She is Herself eternal and Saccidānandarūpiṇī, She at times out of
compassion for Sādhakas assumes forms fitted for their Sādhanā. Similarly the Veda, Āgama and the rest though everlasting portions of the Śabdabrahmarūpiṇī are only revealed to Sādhakas at different times in the several Yugas.
When the Mahādevī who is Consciousness (Cinmayī) at the beginning of the Kalpa was pleased by the Tapasyā of Deva Rudra, floating on the Causal Waters, She assumed the Virād aspect and became thus visible to Him. At that time by the command of Mahādevī the Deva Rudra saw in the Suṣuṁnā millions of universes (Brahmāṇḍa) and millions of Brahmās, Viṣṇus and Maheśvaras in them. The Deva, greatly wondering in the Heart-Lotus of Mahādevī, there saw the Mūrti of Śabdabrahman consisting of Āgamas, Nigamas, and other Śāstras (See Yoginī-Tantra, 9th Patala). He saw that of that Mūrti, Āgama was the Paramātmā, the four Vedas with their Angas were the Jīvātmā, the six systems of philosophy (Darśana) were the senses, the Mahāpurāṇas and Upapurāṇas were the gross body, the Smṛtis were the hands and other limbs, and all other Śāstras were the hairs of that great Body. He also saw the fifty Mātṛkā (Letters) resplendent with Tejas on the edges and petals of Her Heart-Lotus. Within the pericarp of the Lotus of the Virādrūpiṇī He saw the Āgamas, brilliant as millions of suns and moons, replete with all Dharma and Brahmajñāna, powerful to destroy all Māyā, full of all Siddhis and Brahmanirvāṇa. By the grace of Mahākālī he fully mastered the Veda, Vedānta, Purāṇas, Smṛiti and all other Śāstra. Later, Brahmā and Viṣṇu received this knowledge of Āgama and Nigama from Him.
In the Satyayuga Brahmā revealed the Smṛtis, Purāṇas and other Śāstra to the Devaṛṣis. In this way Brahmavidyā was promulgated to the world. This therefore is authority to show, that just as Brahman is everlasting, so are the Agamas and Nigamas which tell of Brahman. Just as in the Satya and other Yugas, only the three twice-born castes, wearing the
sacred thread, but not the Śūdra and other low castes were entitled to worship according to the Veda, so in those three Yugas only Devaṛṣis, Brahmaṛṣis and Rājaṛṣis, who had conquered their passions and knew Advaita doctrine and Brahman, were entitled to the Āgama Śāstra which destroys all sense of difference caused by ignorance and grants knowledge of Advaitatattva.
By Śiva's command they kept it as secret in their heart as they would a knowledge of their own mother's illicit love. By Upāsanā they became liberated whilst yet living (Jīvanmukta) and attained to Brahmanirvāṇa. At that time the Upāsanā of the Āgama was unknown to Sādhakas devoted to Karma. For this reason many people nowadays think the Tantra-śāstra to be of recent origin. Probably all know that in the first three Yugas Brāhmaṇa boys, after investiture with the sacred thread, used to learn the Karmakāṇda and Jñānakāṇda of the Veda orally from their preceptors. The Veda was not then classified or reduced to writing. Towards the close of the Dvāparayuga, Śrīkṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Maharṣi Vedavyāsa divided the Veda into four parts and reduced it to writing. This however does not show that the Veda is a recent production. The Supreme Science (Para vidyā) which is contained in the Āgama was also handed down from generation to generation of Gurus in the first three Yugas and is being now similarly transmitted. Towards the end of the Dvāparayuga, and at the beginning of the Kali age, merciful Śiva impelled by compassion for humanity bound in the toils of ignorance, divided the Tantra-śāstra, which is unlimited knowledge, into three sets of sixty-four parts each, according to the necessity of different Adhikārīs, and then told them to Gaṇapati and Kārtikeya the two beloved sons of Pārvatī. They repeated these Tantras to Ṛṣis of Siddhāśramas, and these last, in their turn, told them to their own disciples. Of the Ṛṣis who knew Āgama the chief was Dattātreya, an
incarnation of Viṣṇu. At the beginning of the Kalpa the ancient Brahmavidyā contained in the Āgama appeared from out the Parameṣti-guru who is Mahābrahmavidyā and exists in man's heart unlimited and imperishable. If Sādhanā is done according to the instructions of a Sadguru it becomes visible in the Sādhaka's heart. Upāsanā, in the Vaidik form, predominated in the Satyayuga. In those days Brāhmaṇas, and other twice born castes, impelled by a desire for wealth, progeny and so forth used to worship Indra, Agni, Vāyu, Sūrya, Soma, Varuṇa and other Devas presiding over particular Śaktis of Parameśvara in whom all Śaktis reside. But desire-free Brahmaṛṣis and Mahaṛṣis did Sādhanā of Brahmavidyā the full and perfect Śakti. And so we see in the tenth Maṇdala (१२५) of the Ṛgveda-Saṁhitā that Mahādevī appeared in the heart of the daughter of Mahaṛṣi Āṁbhṛṇī and so told the true nature of Brahmavidyā to Ṛṣis. This is the Devīsūkta full of Advaitatattva, the Hymn telling of the true nature of Brahma-vidyā in the Veda. In the Tretā and other Yugas the Brāhmaṇas and other twice-born devoted to the Karmakāṇda used to perform Yajñas and so forth, according to the Smritiśāstras of Manu and others. But Brahmaṛṣi Vaṣiṣṭha (in Cīnācāra) Rājaṛṣi Viśvāmitra (see Gandharva-Tantra, First Patala), Videharāja Janaka, Bhṛgurāma the son of Jamadagni (see Kālīkulasarvasva), Śrī Rāmacandra and other high-souled men were worshippers of Brahmavidyā the full and perfect Śakti. Again in the Dvāparayuga, despite the existence of Vaidik and Smārta cults, the Agnihotra Yajña and other rites used to be performed according to the Purāṇas. But high-souled Śrīkriṣna the son of Vasudeva (see Rādhā-Tantra, Devī Bhāgavata and Mahābhārata, Anuśāsana Parva, Ch. 14), the five Pāndavas namely Yudhiṣthira and others (Virāta Parva, Ch. 6) the high-souled Rājaṛṣi Bhīshma, the great Muni Vedavyāsa, high souled Śukadeva, Asita, Devala and Brahmaṛṣis such as Durvāsā were worshippers of
[paragraph continues] Mahāvidyā the perfect Śakti. Of this the Mahābhārata and other books provide particular proofs. In the present Kaliyuga also the ten Śaṁskāras such as marriage and so forth of the twice born, and the obsequial ceremonies such as Śrāddha are performed according to Vaidik ritual. Smṛti governs Cāndrāyana and other matters relating to Āśrama and legal affairs such as inheritance. The autummal Durgāpūjā and other Vratas are performed according to the Purāṇas. But initiation, Upāsanā of Brahman with Śakti and various practices of Yoga are done according to the ritual of the Āgama Śāstra.
This latter is of three kinds according to the prevalence of the Guṇas namely Tantra, Yāmala and Dāmara. There are in all 192 Āgamas current, namely 64 each in Aśvakrāntā, Rathakrāntā, and Viṣnukrāntā. Many Tantras were lost in Buddhist and Mahommedan times and the few which still remain with Sādhakas in different parts of the country are not shown by them to any but to their disciples, so that these also are about to be lost. The late Rasika-Mohana-Chattopādhyāya, with great effort and cost, saved some of these and the English Arthur Avalon has done the same and I hope yet others will in future be rescued by him.
In the Yoginī-Tantra Īśvara says to Devī that the difference between Vedas and Agamas is like that between Jīva and Ātmā, that is between Jīva covered with Avidyā and Īśvara who is full of Vidyā. Indra and other Devas who used to be worshipped as Īśvaras in Yajñas held under the Karmakāṇda or Saṁhitā of the Vedas are, in Tantra-śāstra, worshipped as the Presiding Devatās of the Dikpālinī Śakti of Her who is all Śaktis (Sarvaśakti-svarūpiṇī). The three Īśvaras Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra of the Vedas and Purāṇas are in Tantra-śāstra the presiding Devatās of the creative, preservative, and dissolving Śaktis of Mahādevī. As such they are worshipped as the supports of the couch of the
[paragraph continues] Mahādevī. She in the Devīgītā says that 'Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Īśvara, Sadāśiva are five Mahāpreta at my Feet. They are constituted of the five Bhūta and represent the five different elements of matter.' 'I however' She says 'am unmanifested consciousness (Chit) and in every way beyond them.'
Again the Veda says 'All this is verily Brahman.' Despite this Mahāvākya, various distinctions are made, such as those of caste, Adhikāra of men and women and so forth. So a male Brāhmaṇa may say Vaidik Mantras but not Brāhmaṇa women. Distinction was again made between objects as between the water of the Ganges and a well. All such distinctions are wholly opposed to the Spirit of the Great Word (Mahāvākya). The Tantra-śāstra says that the supreme Brahman is both subtle and gross. In dependence on the truth of this Mahāvākya Tāntrik Sādhakas purify wine which is 'not to be taken and drunk' according to Veda. Considering it to be as holy as nectar, they offer it into the mouth of Kulakuṇdalinī who is Consciousness itself (Citsvarūpinī). Again, in accordance with Veda, the Tantra holds food to be sacred and knowing that food is Brahman ordains the offering of it to Mahādevī. This offered food is Mahāprasāda and very holy and rare even for Devas, and whether it be brought by a Caṇdāla, or even fallen from the mouth of a dog. The Vedas and Smṛti say that the Caṇdāla and other low castes are untouchable. On touching them one must bathe, do Aghamarshana and so forth. But the Tantra-Śāstra says that even a Caṇdālā, who has a knowledge of Kula doctrine and Brahman, is superior to a Brāhmaṇa who does not know Brahman. The Tantra-Śāstra again says that during the Cakra all castes are equal. Since all are children of the one Mother of the World, no distinctions should be made at the time of worshipping Her. It is on this Tāntrik authority that no caste distinctions are observed in the matter of eating and so forth in the Virajākṣetra of Śrī Śrī Vimalā Devī. The
[paragraph continues] Veda again prohibits the performance of Yajña or worship after the taking of food. Tantra-Śāstra however says that one should not worship Kālika whilst suffering from hunger or thirst otherwise She becomes angry. That is since Śiva and Jīva are really one it is futile to worship the Paramātmā saying 'I offer Naivedya' when the Jīva, who is one with It, is in want of food and drink. Smṛti again, which explains Veda ordains that the Shālagrama stone which represents Nārāyaṇa should not be touched or worshipped by any but Brāhmaṇas. On the other hand, the Tantra-Śāstra ordains that the Bānaliṅga representation of the Brahman may be touched and worshipped not only by Brāhmaṇas but by Śūdras, Caṇdālas and women. In fact the Karmakāṇda of Veda contains many such ordinances opposed to Brahman-knowledge. For this reason Bhagavān Śrīkṛṣṇa has said in the Gītā that the Vedas are concerned with objects constituted of the three Guṇas (Triguṇaviṣaya) and bids Arjuna to free himself of the Guṇas. He says the Veda contains the Karmakāṇda but that he who seeks the Brahman-state above the Guṇas should abandon the Karmakāṇda and perform Sādhanā according to Śāstra by which Liberation is gained. In spite however of differences in worship and practice both Veda and Tantra Śāstras are one in holding that there can be no Liberation without Tattvajñāna. In the Nirvāṇa-Tantra Śiva says 'Oh Devī, there is no Liberation without Tattvajñāna.' According to Veda, a Sādhaka, in order to become fit for Nirvāṇa, must have first accomplished the fourfold Sādhanā. He must have acquired the faith that Brahman is alone everlasting, and have no desire for happiness either on earth or in heaven. He must possess the six virtues, Śama, Dama and so forth, and must long for Liberation. He then discusses (Vicāra) and ponders on the Mahāvākya 'That thou art' (Tat tvam asi), and thus realizing the unity of Paramātmā and Jīvātmā, attains the knowledge 'He I am' (Soham).
In Tāntrik Upāsanā the Jñānakāṇda is mingled with the Karmakāṇda. The Agama teaches the ignorant Paśu, steeped in dualism, Vīrabhāva Sādhanā in which dualism and non-dualism are mingled. It thus endeavours to raise them to the divine state of Jivanmuktas, the state of pure Monism. Manu says 'Know dualists to be Paśus. Non-dualists are Brāhmaṇas.' Rudrayāmala says that Vīrabhāva is revealed for the development of Jñāna. After perfecting Jñāna and attainment of Brahmasiddhi, the Sādhaka becomes Devatā in a pure state of Sattva. The Vedanta and philosophic Śāstras are replete with instructions and arguments touching non-dualism. But they do not indicate the path by which one can be in actual practice non-dualistic. For this reason we see Vedāntic Pandits deeming it unclean to touch a low caste man such as a Śūdra. They also observe endless distinctions as to what should or should not be eaten, and what should and should not be offered to Devatā. Tantra-Śāstra however says that non-dualistic Bhāva (Bhāvādvaita) should be accompanied by non-dualistic action (Kriyādvaita). The Yoga-vāṣiṣtha (Rāmāyaṇa) says that to the Muni who realizes non-dualism (Advaita) in Bhāva, in Kriyā, and in objects (Dravya) in all these three matters the world, seems but a dream.
According to the instruction of Tantra-Śāstra the Sādhaka rises in the early hours of the morning, and sitting on his bed, meditates as follows: 'I am the Devī and none other. I am that Brahman who knows not grief. I am a form of Being-Consciousness-Bliss, Whose true nature is eternal Liberation.' Again at noon sitting at worship he does Bhutaśuddhi, and therein merging the 24 Tattvas beginning with earth in Paramātmā and thinking of the Paramātmā and Jīvātmā as one he meditates: 'He I am.' Gandharva-Tantra says that, after due obeisance to the Guru, the wise Sādhaka should think 'He I am ' and thus unite Jīvātmā and Paramātmā. In all Sthūla-Dhyāna of Mahāvidyās, forming
part of daily worship, Tantra-Śāstra everywhere enjoins meditation on the Mahādevī as not different from, but one with, the Sādhaka's Ātmā. The Kālī-Tantra says that, after meditating as enjoined, the Sādhaka should worship the Devī as Ātmā. 'He I am' (Soham). Kubjikā-Tantra says that the Sādhaka should think of his Ātmā as one with Her. Nīla-Tantra in the Dhyāna of Tārā says that meditation should be done on one's own Ātmā as one with the Saviour-goddess (Tārinī). In Gandharva-Tantra Mahādevī says, as regards the Dhyāna of Tripurasundarī, that the Man who meditates on the unattached, attributeless, and pure Ātmā which is Tripurā as one with, and not different from, his own Ātmā becomes himself Her (Tanmaya). One should become Her by ever thinking 'She I am' (Sāham). Again in the Kālī-kula-sarvasva Śiva says that whoever meditates on the Guru and recites the Hymn of the spouse of Śiva and thinks of Kālikā's Ātmā as one with his own Ātmā is Śrī Sadāsiva. Similarly Kulārṇava Tantra says 'The body is the temple of Devatā and the Jima is Deva Sadāsiva.' Let the Sādhaka give up his ignorance as the offering (Nirmālya, which is thrown away) and worship with the thought and feeling 'He I am.' It is not only at times of worship and so forth that the Sādhaka is enjoined to meditate on Her who is Paramātmā as one with his own Ātmā. Śiva teaches that our thought and feeling should be non-dualistic in all that we do, in eating, in walking and so forth. Hence in the Gandharva-Tantra Śiva says 'I am both the Deva and the food offered to Him, the flower and perfume and all else. I am the Deva. There is none other than Me. It is I who worship the Deva and I am also Deva of Devas.' Again it is ordained that at the time of taking Kāraṇa (wine) and the rest they should be offered to the Fire of Consciousness in one's own heart, uttering the Mantra, and thinking that Kula-Kuṇdalinī extends to the tip of his tongue, let the Sādhaka say: 'The
liquid shines. I am the Light. I am Brahman. She I am. I offer Āhuti to my own Self Svāhā.' He who does Sādhanā of the Mahāvidyā in Vīrāchāra with such Advaitabhāva attains by Her Grace to Divyabhāva, and with the thought 'I am Brahman' becomes liberated whilst living, and on death is one with Mahādevī. In the Devigitā Śrī Śrī Devī says 'He becomes Myself because both are one.' Again the Mahānirvāṇa-Tantra enjoins a similar non-dualistic feeling in the Mantra to be said when taking the Dravya (wine). 'The ladle is Brahman, the offering is Brahman, the fire is Brahman, the offering is made by Brahman and to Brahman he goes who places all his actions in Brahman.'
Saccidānanda Mahāvidyā, in undistinguishable union of Śiva and Śakti, can alone be worshipped with such non-dualism of feeling. Although Tāntrik worshippers are divided into five communities namely Śākta, Śaiva, Vaiṣṇava, Gāṇapatya, Saura the first alone are all Dvijas since all worshippers of Sāvitrī (Gāyatrī) the Mother of the Veda belong to the Śākta community. The Mātṛkābheda-Tantra says 'Sāvitrī the Mother of the Veda was born of the sweat of Kālī's body. That Devī grants the threefold fruit and is Śakti of Brahman.' Sādhakas belonging to the other four communities worship their respective male Devatās associating with them their Śaktis. Thus the Śaivas worship Śiva under the names Umā-Maheśvara, Śiva-Durgā, Kālī Śaṁkara, Arddhanārīśvara and so forth. The Vaiṣṇavas worship Viṣṇu under the names, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa, Sītā-Rāma, Śrī-Hari and so forth. In the Nirvāna-Tantra Śri Kṛṣṇa says 'To those who do Japa of Rādhā first and then Kṛṣṇa to such I, of a surety, grant a happy lot even now and here.' By uttering the name Sītā-Rama (Sītā coming first) one utters the Tāra of Mahādevī, and for this reason it is also called Tāraka-Brahma. The Sauras perform their worship. with the Mantra 'Obeisance to Śrī Sūrya accompanied by the
[paragraph continues] Śakti who reveals.' Moreover the Māyā Bīja (Hrīm), which is the Praṇava of Devī, is added to the Mūlamantra by every sect. This clearly shows that all these five sects are directly or indirectly worshippers of the Brahman who is Śiva-Śakti (Śivaśaktyātmaka) both in his Nirguṇa and Saguṇa aspects. Kaivalyopaniṣad says 'By meditation on the three-eyed, blue-throated serene Lord (Prabhu) Parameśvara, who is without beginning, middle and end, who is one and pervades all things, who is wonderful, Cidānanda Itself, accompanied by Umā, the Muni goes to the Source of all being (Bhūtayoni) to the Witness of all, who is beyond all darkness.' Hence in the Tantra-Śāstra, Śiva has said that the Śiva-śakti-Tattva is the cause of Tattvajñāna and therefore Japa should be done by a Mantra in which they are united. That is one attains Tattvajñāna, which is liberation, by worshipping Brahman as Mother and Father. All Mantras being composed of Śiva and Śakti one should meditate on Śiva-Śakti as being one. In the Tantra Śāstra also Śiva has said that there is no difference between them who are inseparably connected (Avinābhāvasaṁbandha). He who is Śiva is also Śakti and She who is Śakti is also Śiva. Fatherhood and Motherhood are merely distinctions of name. In reality they stand for one and the same thing. The Tantra Śāstra again says that Śakti, Maheśvara, Brahman all denote the same Being. Male, female, neuter are verbal and not real distinctions. Śakti, Maheśvara, Brahman; all three denote the one eternal Mahāvidyā who is Saccidānanda. Although the Mahāvidyā is in truth Nirguṇa and eternal, She assumes various Māyik forms, varying according to the Guṇas, for the fruition of the desires of Sādhakas. It is said in Candi that She ever appears to fulfil the purposes of Devas, and at such time She, who is Truth eternal, is commonly said to he generated. In the Devyāgama it is said: 'Mahāmāyā who is Citrūpā and Parabrahmasvarūpinī assumes by Her grace
towards Sādhakas various forms.' We may meditate on Mahādevī as either female or male, for these terms may be attributed to any gross body. They cannot however be attributed to Her in so far as She is Saccidānanda. Sādhakas of Śakti worship Brahman as Mother, for in the world the mother-aspect alone of Her who is Brahman is fully manifested. In the Yāmala, Śiva says:'Devī may, My Beloved, be thought of as female or male, or the Saccidānandarūpiṇī may be thought of as Niṣkala-Brahman. But in truth She is neither a female, male, neuter being, nor an inanimate thing. But like the term Kalpavallī (a word in feminine gender denoting tree) feminine terms are attributed to Her.'
In fact the main cause of the birth and nourishment of men and animals is their respective mothers. Their fathers are merely helpers (Sahakārī). Every Jīva on issuing from his mother's womb, lives on her milk, and receives his first initiation with the Mantra 'Mā' (Mother). The first preceptor (Adiguru) of every man is his mother. She is his visible Devatā. His first lessons are learnt of her. It is the mark also of the Earth to generate and nourish all Jivas, like a mother, by producing for them all kinds of fruits and grains and holding them in her bosom. Hence we are not wrong in saying that the world is full of the Mother.
In mathematics zero has no value and is merely an empty formless (Nirākāra) thing, indicative of infinity until it is joined to an integer. But when joined to the figure 1 it converts it into 10. Similarly when She who is formless Brahman is joined to Her own Prakṛti, consisting of the three Guṇas, spoken of in Śruti as 'the unborn one, red, black, and white,' then She assumes for the fruition of the Sādhaka's desires ten different forms (Daśamahāvidyā) whose variety is due to difference in the proportions of the three Gunas. There are the ten Mahāvidyās who are Śiva and Śakti (Śivaśaktimayī). These ten forms are Kālī and Tārā, the Mahāvidyā
[paragraph continues] Ṣodaśī, Bhuvaneśvarī, Bhairavī, Chinnamastā, Dhūmāvatī, the Vidyā Bagalā, the Siddhavidyā Mātaṅgī, and Kamalā. Some Tantras mention eighteen Mahāvidyā, but these are forms of the ten with slight variations. Of the ten Mahāvidyās, Kālī is Śuddha-sattva-guṇa-pradhānā, Nirvikārā, Nirguṇa-brahma-svarūpa-prakāśikā. It is this primordial form which alone directly gives Kaivalya. In Yoginī-Tantra Devī says 'Now see my form (Rūpa) which is Brahmānanda and supreme. Listen, this form is the supreme state (Paramadhāma) in the form of Kālī. There is no Brahman-form higher than this.' In Kamadhenu-Tantra Śiva says 'In the void is Kālī who grants Kaivalya'. Tara is Sattva-guṇātmikā and Tattvavidyādāyini; Ṣodaśi (Mahātripura-sundarī), Bhuvaneśvarī and Chinnamastā are Rajah-pradhānā and Sattva-guṇātmikā and hence they grant Gauṇamukti in the form of Heaven (Svarga) Aiśvarya and so forth. The forms of Dhūmāvatī, Bagalā, Mātaṅgī and Kamalā are Tamah-pradhāna and hence their Sādhanā is done in Ṣatkarma, such as causing death to others and so forth. In short all the ten forms of Mahādevī give Enjoyment and Liberation directly or indirectly.
The forms of the Mahāvidyā are divided into two groups namely the Kālīkula and Śrikula. So Niruttara-Tantra says that 'Kālī, Tara, Raktakālī, Bhuvanā, Mardinī, Triputā, Tvaritā, Durgā and Vidyā Pratyaṅgīrā belong to the Kālīkula. And to the Śrīkula belong Sundarī, Bhairavī, Bālā, Bagalā, Kamalā, Dhūmāvatī, Mātaṅgī, Vidyā, Svapnāvatī and Mahāvidyā Madhumatī. Of all the Siddhavidyās Dakṣinā is, O my beloved, the Cause (Prakṛti)'.
Kālī-kula is for the worship of Jñānīs in Divya and Vīrabhāva, and Śrī-kula is for the worship of Karmins in Divya, Vīra and Paśu-Bhāvas. The Tantra-Śāstra gives an account of the Mantras, Yantras, mode of worship and so forth for all the ten or eighteen Mahāvidyās. But almost all Tāntrik writings hymn the greatness of, and give
the highest place to, Kālikā the first Mahāvidyā for the others are but different forms of Brahmarūpiṇī Kālikā. The Nigama-Kalpataru says 'Of all castes the Brāhmaṇa is the highest. Amongst all Sādhakas the Śākta is the highest. Of Śāktas he is the chief who does Japa of the Kālīmantra.' Picchilā-Tantra also says 'of all the Mantras of the Devas that of Kālikā is the best. Even the vilest can become Jīvanmukta simply through this Mantra.' In Yoginī-Tantra, Śiva says 'This Vidyā Kālikā is Mahā-Mahā-Brahma Vidyā, through whom even the worst may attain Nirvāṇa. Even Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Maheśvara are her worshippers. She who is Kālī the supreme Vidyā, is Tārā also. The notion of a difference between them has given rise to various Mantras.' Again the Kāmākhyā-Tantra says 'Oh Parameśvari, seven lakhs of Mahāvidyās remain hidden. Of them all Ṣodaśi is said to be the most sublime. But Oh Devī, the Mother of the world, Kālikā is the mother even of Her.' Niruttara-Tantra says 'Without knowledge of Śakti, Oh Devī, there is no nirvāṇa. That Śakti is Dakṣiṇa Kālī who is the own form of all Vidyās (Sarvavidyārūpiṇī).' The Yāmala again says 'As is Kālī so is Tārā and so are Chinnā and Kullukā. Oh Devī, thou, who art the supreme Kālikā, art also the Marti which is composed of these four. In the Vaidik system Sagnika (fire-maintaining) Brāhmaṇas achieved their ends by the offering of oblations to the seven lolling tongues of fire named Kālī, Karālī, Manojavā, Sulohitā, Sudhūmravarṇā, Sphuliṅginī and Devī Viśvaruci' (1st Saptaka, 2nd Khaṇda, 4th Sūtra). 1
Another important characteristic, of the Tantra-Śāstra remains to be mentioned. Although this Scripture is very liberal in matters of practice and worship and does not recognize distinctions of caste and so forth, it has yet repeatedly, enjoined Sādhakas to keep this Ācāra hidden from
ignorant Paśus. Of Kaulas it says that 'they are at heart Śāktas, outwardly Śaivas, and in gatherings Vaiṣṇavas'. It also contains injunctions such as that the teaching should be kept as secret as one would the knowledge of one's mother's illicit love, and that if it is given out the Sādhaka's purpose is frustrated and so forth. In the Gandharva-Tantra, Śiva says that only such men as are without dualism, have controlled their passions and are devoted to Brahman are entitled to this Śāstra. 'He alone is entitled, who is a believer, pure, self-controlled, without dualism who lives in Brahman, speaks of Brahman, is devoted to Brahman, takes refuge in Brahman, who is free from all feeling of enmity against others, and who is ever engaged in doing good to all beings. Others are not true Sādhakas (Brahmasādhaka). It should not be told to Paśus, to those who are insincere, or to men of shallow knowledge.' For this reason Śiva has used symbols in the teaching of all Dhyānas, Mantras, Yantras, and modes of Sādhanā of Devas and Devīs. The meaning of these symbols is not known to any but the Sadguru. Hence the secret mysteries are unintelligible even to the learned without the grace of the Guru. In the Kulārṇava-Tantra, Śiva says 'There are many Gurus who know the Veda, the Śāstras and so forth. But, Oh Devī, rare is the Guru who knows the meaning of the supreme Tattva'. Hence in order to know the true meaning of the Dhyānas and so forth, there is no other means than to seek refuge with the Guru who knows the meaning of all Agamas.
It is owing to ignorance of the true nature of Devatā that even Brahmavidyā, who is subtler than the most subtle and Consciousness Itself, seems to be a gross thing. Even learned men do not shrink from saying that this Brahmamayī, whose desires are fully realized (Pūrṇakāmā) is fond of offerings of blood, flesh and so forth. In the Jñānasaṁkalinī-Tantra, Śiva says, 'Agni is the Deva of the twice born. The Devatā of Munis is in their hearts. Men of small intelligence worship images.
[paragraph continues] To the wise, Devatā is everywhere.' That is Karmin Brāhmaṇas worship Agni as Īśvara, Yogis see the Devatā in their own hearts, men of small intelligence (that is compared with the others) worship the Devatā in images, and high-souled seers of the Tattva see Brahman everywhere. In fact much as a teacher shows his little students, small globes and maps, in order to make them understand the nature of the great earth, so Gurus counsel Sādhakas of no great intelligence and of inferior Adhikāra to meditate on Sthūla forms in images and pictures so that their wandering minds may be rested, and they may learn the true aspects of Devatā. Unfortunately however, ignorant men consider the Sthūla form to be the true aspect of the Devatā. In the Kulārṇava-Tantra, Śiva says that some meditate on the Sthūla to still the mind, which, when so stilled, can fix itself on the Sūkṣma. The Sādhaka should first learn from the Guru what quality or action each limb of the image represents, and should then practise meditation on the subtle, otherwise the gross form will itself, become for him mere earth or stone. In Kubjikā-Tantra Śiva says 'Oh Lady of Maheśa. One should meditate on the Formless (here used in the sense as opposed to forms of images, etc.) along with the form. It is by constant practice, Oh Devī, that one realizes the formless.'
Hence Sādhakas who desire Liberation should always think of the Svarūpatattva of Brahmavidyā-Kālikā. Of this Svarūpa the Devī says in Mahābhāgavata: 'Those who long for Liberation should, in order to gain freedom from the bonds of the body, meditate on that aspect (Rūpa) of Mine which is the supreme Light (Jyotih), Sūkṣma, and Niṣkala, Nirguṇa, the all-pervading unbeginning, non-dual sole Cause which is Saccidānanda Itself. This is the Svarūpa of the Devī which is beyond all mind and speech.'
The Mārkaṇdeya-Purāṇa says, 'The Mahāmāyā is Niṣkalā, Nirguṇā, endless, undecaying, unthinkable, formless
and both eternal (Nityā) and transient (Anityā)', that is, Mahāmāyā Kālikā is free from Kalā (Māyā) and free from Guṇas, without end, imperishable, eternal, and not transient as is the world (Jagat), formless, and hence, as such, is not the object of meditation. In the Kūrma-Purāṇa, Viṣṇu in the form of a Tortoise says that the Supreme Devī is Nirguṇā, pure, white, stainless, free from all duality and realizable by the Ātmā only. This state of Hers is attainable only by Jñāna. In the Kāmadā-Tantra Śiva says 'That eternal Kālī who is supreme Brahman is one without a second either male or female. She has neither form, Ādhāra, or Upādhi. She is sinless and imperishable Sacchidānanda, the Great Brahman.' She who is eternal Brahman has neither appearance (Āvirbhāva), nor disappearance (Tirobhāva), and being all-pervading, She cannot be said, like other Devas and Devīs, to reside in any particular Loka. Thus Brahmā resides in Brahmaloka, Viṣṇu in Viṣṇuloka, Rudra in Kailāsa and Śrī Kṛṣṇa in Goloka, but Mahādevī is always and everywhere equally present; though for the fulfilment of the desires of Sādhakas, She appears in particular forms in their minds and hearts. It is clear therefore that her Sthūla aspect is Māyā-made (Māyāmaya) and transient (Anitya). For this reason Śiva, in the Gandharva-Tantra, says, 'That aspect (Rūpa) of the Devī which is the Supreme Bliss and the Great Cause of the worlds neither appears nor disappears'. In the Kulārṇava-Tantra, Śiva says, 'It neither rises nor sets, nor grows nor decays; It shines Itself and makes others shine without any help. This aspect is without condition (Anavasthā) and is being only (Sattāmātrā) and unknowable to the senses (Agocara).' That is, the Svarūpa aspect of the Māhādevī who is Supreme Bliss is the root-cause of this world of three Gunas. This aspect has no appearance or disappearance and no growth or decay. 'It is self-manifest and manifests all other objects. It is beyond the states of waking, dreams, and sleep.
[paragraph continues] It is unattainable by speech and mind and is Being itself.'
In fact just as fire which, though pervading all objects, does not show its power of burning and lighting, and cannot be put to use for cooking and so forth, until it has been generated by the friction of two objects, so although the Cinmayī is all-pervading, She does not become visible nor does She grant one's desire without the action of Sādhanā. Again just as the Sun itself, motionless in the distant Heavens, by its rays draws moisture from the earth, so the Mahādevī, who is the abode of all Śaktis, though in Herself changeless (Nirvikārā) creates (and the like) the world by means of the eight Śaktis, Brahmāṇī, Vaiṣṇavi, Māheśvarī and other Devatās, presiding as her creative and other Śaktis. For this reason in the Yantra of Mahādevī Kālikā (see Kālikopaniṣad) the Sādhaka worships the fifteen Śaktis Kālī and others in the fifteen corners, the eight Śaktis Brāhmī and others on the eight petals, the eight Bhairavas and Vatukas Asitānga and the rest at the edges of the eight petals, the four Devatās, Viṣṇu and others, at the four corners of the Yantra, and the ten Dikpālas, Indra and others, in the ten directions as being the rays of Kālikā who is Herself a mass of pure light (Tejoghana). The Mahādevī is worshipped as the Marti consisting of Śiva-Śakti (Śivaśaktimaya) in the Bindu at the centre of the Yantra.
Although the Āgama-Śāstra, which grants Advaitabhāva and educes Tattvajñāna, has been revealed by all-merciful Śrī Śrī Bhairava and Bhairavī, it is still unknown to a mass of people. Many in fact to-day despise the Tantra because it contains Virācāra and Kulācāra, and some even refuse to admit that it is a Dharmaśāstra at all. If they had read the Tantra-Śāstra intelligently and learned its principles from Sādhakas truly versed in it, they would have realized how mistaken were their notions of it and, instead of despising it,
would certainly have admitted that this Śāstra is the only means of Liberation for the undisciplined, weakminded and short-lived. Seeing that wine, flesh, fish are consumed and sexual intercourse takes place in the world at large I am myself unable to understand why many people should shudder at the Sādhanā of Pañca-makāra to be found in the Tantra-Śāstra. Do these acts become blameable only if made a part of worship (Upāsanā)?
All know that Ghee which nourishes and promotes longevity causes serious stomach-disease and even death if taken in too large quantities, whilst snake-poison, which kills, will yet cure and lengthen the life of a dying delirious man, if it be purified and given under suitable conditions with a cold bath, a diet of whey, and so forth. Similarly the Great Physician (Vaidyanātha) Himself has prescribed the Mantra of Ādyāśakti possessed of all Śaktis, and the invigorating Pañca-makāra as Sādhanā suitable for the cure of the malady of Existence (Bhavaroga) of the sinful Jivas of this dark Kali age, and as a means whereby they may attain the supreme state full of eternal bliss, imperishable and immortal. All classes of physicians prescribe the use of wine, fish and flesh in measured quantities for the acquisition of strength by patients who are weak and have a low vitality. On that account the medical science does not deserve to be hated. Similarly the Tantra-Śāstra does not deserve to be blamed for prescribing the Pañca-makāra for the Liberation of Jivas suffering from the disease of worldly existence. Śiva has nowhere said that Sādhakas of Śakti should always drink wine, always slaughter animals and eat their flesh and always enjoy women, and that thus they will attain Liberation. On the contrary, He has counselled various means for checking excesses in these matters, and He has in particular controlled licence by making these acts part of the worship of Īśvara. It is the degraded conduct of a number of great Paśus who
pretend to be Sādhakas which is the cause of the public dislike for, and hatred of, the Tantra-Śāstra. In the Mahānirvāṇa-Tantra Śrī Sadāśiva says 'Wine is Tara the Saviour in liquid form (Dravamayī). It saves Jivas destroying dangers and disease, and grants both Enjoyment and Liberation. But wine if drunk in contravention of rule (Vidhi), destroys the intelligence, reputation, wealth and life of men. Even a Kaula who has received Abhiṣeka an hundred times is to be deemed a Paśu and without the pale of Kuladharma if he is addicted to excessive drinking.' In the Kulārṇava, Śiva says 'Oh My Beloved, he who kills animals for self-satisfaction in contravention of gastric ordinance (Avidhānena) will dwell in a terrible Hell for as many days as there are hairs on the body of the animal.' These utterances of Śiva clearly show that He has nowhere ordained the free use of Pañca-makāra by people in general. He has ordained Virācāra or Kulācāra only for Sādhakas of the Nivṛtti path who long for Liberation. Such Sādhakas, free from duality (Nirvikalpa) as they are, wish to see the Saccidānanda aspect of the Mahādevī, and Śiva has prescribed the Pañca-makāra to enable them to realize the Ānanda aspect. Just as a man who knows not sweetness is given sugar or honey to eat, so the Sādhaka is made to taste the fleeting objective (Vīṣaya) bliss (Ānanda) of Pañca-makāra so that, thus controlling his six enemies for the time being, he may have a notion of the Eternal Brahman-bliss (Brahmānanda): This momentary taste of eternal Brahman-bliss makes the Liberation-desiring Sādhaka eager for and industrious to gain it. But after the attainment of this natural (Sahaja) Brahman-bliss he no more longs for the five Makāras and becomes gradually devoted to Divyācāra. If a Sādhaka takes wine in a limited way, after purification, the outgoing of his senses is weakened, and the mind or inner sense is stilled so that he is thus fitted for Sūkṣma-Dhyāna. For this reason wine is called cause
[paragraph continues] (Kāraṇa). In the Kulārṇava-Tantra, Shiva says, 'Ānanda is the Self (Rūpa) of Brahman and that exists in the body. Wine is its revealer and is hence drunk by Yogis. Wine and flesh are taken with Brahmajñāna for the satisfaction of all Devas, and whoever partakes of them for self-gratification is a sinner.' That is Sādhakas do Sādhanā with Pañca-makāra for the satisfaction of the Devatās whom they worship and the development of Brahmajñāna in their hearts; but whoever takes them for his own enjoyment is doomed to a terrible hell as a great sinner. Śiva has also said in the Kulārṇava, 'One reaches heaven by the very things which may lead to Hell.' The fifth Makāra, that is, sexual intercourse, is the root-cause of the creation of the world of Jivas. All Jivas, be they Devatās, men, beasts, birds, fish, insects or flies, are produced by the sexual union of their respective parents. In this world every male is an individualised (Vyaṣtībhūta) aspect of Shiva, the Ādipuruṣa, and Caṇdī says, 'all females in all the worlds' are part of the Mahāśakti. The Kūrma-Purāṇa says, 'The Mahādevī is Herself One, present in many parts or divisions (Anekavibhāgasthā), beyond Māyā, absolutely pure, Mahāmāyā, Iśvarī, eternal, stainless (Nirañjana), ancient, consciousness (Cinmayī), the First Puruṣa (Ādipuruṣa) of all Puruṣas.' The Gandharva-Tantra says, 'The male form (Puṁso rūpam) the female form, and any other good formall this is undoubtedly Her supreme form (Paramam rūpam).' One Brahman, becoming dual, appears as Śiva and Śakti, and that aspect in which there is union of Śiva and Śakti is the true aspect of Saccidānanda Brahman. It is from this aspect of Blissful (Ānandamaya) union that the world is created, and for that reason men and all other creatures ever seek happiness. The Bliss of the reproductive power of males and females manifests in their bodies only at the time of sexual union. At this time ignorant men remain intent only on gratifying their passion, but
[paragraph continues] Sādhakas, possessed of the knowledge of Kula, then meditate on the Yoga-blissful (Yogānanda) form (Mūrti) of Śiva and Śakti present in the hearts of males and females and, calling to mind the meaning (Artha) of the Mantra of their Iṣtadevatā, do Japa of it. In the Kālīkulasarvasva, Śrī Sadāśiva says, 'By doing Japa of Mantra and by adoration of Bhagavatī, the consort of Śiva, at times of sexual union, a man becomes, like Śuka, free from all sins.' In another place He says, 'The consort of Śiva should be worshipped by becoming Śiva.' True Śakti-sādhanā consists in considering all girls and women, old and young, and of all castes, as the visible forms of one's own Iṣtadevatā and (according to one's means) worshipping them with clothes, ornaments and so forth; or bowing to them as mothers with the Iṣtamantra in mind and not treating them with neglect or contempt under any circumstance. In the Kaulāvalī-Tantra, Śiva says, 'One should make obeisance on seeing a young woman of a Kaula family. One should bow to any female, be she a young girl, or flushed with youth, or be she old, be she beautiful or ugly, good, or wicked. One should never deceive, speak ill of, or do ill to, a woman and one should never strike her. All such acts prevent the attainment of Siddhi.'
At the present time a measured use of wine, flesh and so forth and a thorough respect for woman as for the Devatā are particularly seen in the civilized society of the West. Satisfied at this, the Mahādevī, who is the Queen of Queens, has granted to the people of the West the light of science and sovereignty over the whole world. Śrīmat Ādinātha Mahākāla has, in the 'Karpūrādi Stotra' called the Svarūpa-Stotra, briefly described the Mantra, Yantra, Dhyāna and Sādhanā of Śrīmatī Dakṣiṇa-Kālikā who is Parabrahman (Parabrahmarūpiṇī). This Supreme Tattva is hard to attain even by such Īśvaras as Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra. Mahākāla Himself says, 'Neither Dhātā nor Īśa nor Hari knows Thy Supreme Tattva.'
However, in accordance with the teachings of my Paramaguru, Mahāmahopādhyāya and most worshipful Rāmānanda Svāmī Siddhāntapañcānana, the crest-gem of Tāntrikas, now gathered to the feet of Śiva, I write this Svarūpa commentary under the name of 'Vimalānandadāyinī,' of this Karpūrādi Stotra, in consonance with the views of Tantra and other Śāstras.
AT THE FEET OF ŚRĪ ŚRĪ KĀLIKĀ
May the Mahā-Devī who is called Kālikā,
Because She is without beginning or end,
Whose Body is imagined to be blue of colour,
Because like the blue sky She pervades the World,
And because She is Cidghanā 1 Sattvaguṇamayī
Who is imagined to be black
Because She is colourless and above the coloured Guṇas,
Whose hair is dishevelled (Muktakeśī)
Because though Herself changeless She binds infinite numbers of Jivas by bonds of Māyā, symbolized by Her dishevelled hair and because She makes liberated (Mukta) Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara who are Keśa, 2
Who is imagined as having the Sun, Moon and Fire as Her three eyes,
Because as the Virad, the Witness of the world past, present and future She sees everything,
Who is pictured as wearing the dead bodies of two boys as Her ear-ornaments,
Because as said in Āgama and Nigama the childlike and unperturbed (Nirvikāra) Sādhaka is very dear to Her, who being the sole Creatrix, Preserver and Destructress of infinite millions of Worlds, has on Her Body the mark of the Yoni signifying creation, full and high breasts denoting preservation, and a terrible visage signifying the withdrawal of all things,
Who is said to have large teeth, and a lolling tongue and to hold in Her hand a cup made of human skull,
Because the Cinmayī Mahādevī drinks the wine of delusion arising from the Tamas Guṇa of Her Sādhaka by means of Sattva-pradhāna rajoguṇa, 1
Who is pictured as wearing a garland of severed heads,
Because She is Śabdabrahman (Śabdabrahmarūpiṇī) and the heads are the fifty letters,
Whose upper and lower right hands are seen to be making the Abhaya and Vara Mudrās,
Because She both destroys the dangers, and grants the desires of Sakāma-Sādhakās,
Whose upper left hand is depicted as wielding a sword,
Because She severs the bonds of illusion for the Niṣkāma-Sādhaka,
Whose lower left hand is seen to hold a human head,
Because She grants him Tattvajñāna,
Who is called Digambarī (space-clad)
Because being Brahman (Brahmarūpiṇī) She is free from the covering of Māyā 1 and unconcerned (Nirvikāra), 2
Who is pictured as having a waist-chain of human hands,
Because hands are the principal instrument of work (Karma) and at the close of a Kalpa all Jīvas with their Karmas are merged in the Avidyā Śakti of Mahāmāyā,
Who is seen standing on the breast of corpse-like Śiva,
Because the Supreme State (Paramapada) and Svarūpāvasthā or Mahādevī (one with Śiva) is Nirguṇa and changeless (Nirvikāra),
Who is seen in Viparīta-maithuna 3 with Mahākāla,
Because at the beginning of a Kalpa She who is ever blissful (Nityānandamayī), and being united with Śiva, feels pleasure in the work of creation which She effects by bringing the changeless Paraśiva under Her dominion (Vaśībhūta),
Who is again said to live in the cremation ground,
Because when at the end of a Kalpa all things in the universe from Brahmā to a blade of grass are dissolved in Mahākāla, She is in and one with that Mahākāla, who may be thus compared to a cremation ground, and because at
the death of Jīvas She exists as the individual (Vyaṣti) Jīvātmā in the burning ground,
Whose Yantra for worship is composed of a circle symbolizing Māyā, an eight-petalled lotus denoting the eightfold Prakṛti, three Pentagons representing the fifteen Avayavas and a Bindu denoting Śiva-Śakti,
Because She is, as Paramātmā, in the gross and subtle bodies consisting of the three Guṇas and twenty-four Tattvas,
Whose Bīja 'Krīm', 1 the Queen of Mantras is pure Sattva Guṇa, and consciousness (Caitanyamayī) and grants both Enjoyment and Liberation,
Who is worshipped as Dakṣiṇā because She alone grants the full fruits of all forms of Upāsanā and Yajña.
May She, this Mahādevī, who is Saccidānandarūpiṇī and forgiveness itself, pardon all offences committed by me in the explanation of this Her Hymn.
Śaṁbhu with His five mouths is unable to relate Thy qualities.
Pardon all my childishness. Be propitious.
Guard my life, guard my repute and guard my wife, sons and wealth.
And at death grant me Liberation.
O Mother of the World, obeisance.
30:1 See Mūṇḍakopaniṣad, 1-2-4.
39:1 This is a play on the word Ghana which means mass and black or dark blue cloud. Cidghana is massive, compact, unmixed, pure Consciousness (Cit). Again She is Nirguṇa and stainless but is also Meghāṅgī (cloud-bodied) because through Adhyāsa of the three Guṇas She appears varicoloured just as a cloud in itself colourless appears white, blue, and so forth by contact with the sun's rays. So Devī-Purāṇa says, 'Just as the uniform cloud appears as of many colours, so does She too through the instrumentality of the Guṇas.'
39:2 Keśa = K + A + Īśa. And K = Brahmā, A = Viṣṇu, and Īśa = Rudra. The Niruttara-Tantra says, 'Kālī who is Aniruddha-saraśvatī, is the great desire-granting tree, the sole Cause of Enjoyment and Liberation for Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśa.'
40:1 White Teeth stand for the white Sattva Guṇa, the red Tongue stands for the red Rajo-Guṇa and Delusion is the Tamo-Guṇa. The meaning is, the Mahāvidyā is represented with a lolling tongue because She first destroys the Sādhaka's Tamo-Guṇa by increasing his Rajo-Guṇa, and large teeth because by increasing his Sattva Guṇa and suppressing his Rajo-Guṇa She grants him the state of Nirguṇa-Brahman. In the Dhyāna of Tārā it is said, 'Ugratārā Herself destroys the Jādya (unconscious nature) of the three worlds by putting it in her skull-cup.'
41:1 In the eighteenth century work of Kamalākānta called Sādhakaranjana it is said: 'Of the Nirākāra-Brahman, understand, Māyā to be the Ākāra' (Nirākāra-brahmer ākāra dekha Māyā). The Śūnya has no form until encircled by Māyā.
41:2 Vikāra is also 'change'. She is then in Her changeless aspect.
41:3 Coition in which the woman assumes the dominant role. Śakti is active and Śiva is the passive principle.
42:1 The Śvāmi also points out that the 'Kr' sound in this Mantra is also to be found in the word Christ and in the Mussulman's Karīm. See Māya Tantra Ch. vii for the Yavana-Bīja.