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

p. 47


O MAHEŚI, 1 even should one of poor mind 2 at any time recite but once another doubled Bīja of Thine, composed of Īśāna3 and Vāmaśravaṇa4 and Bindu; 5 then, O Thou who hast great and formidable ear-rings of arrow form, 6 who bearest on Thy head the crescent moon, such an one becomes all powerful, 7 having conquered even the Lord of Speech 8 and the Wealth-Giver, 9 and charmed countless youthful women with lotus-like eyes. 10



Possessor of the great Power of creating, preserving and withdrawing.

'At any time' (Kadācit)

Durgārāma-Siddhāntavāgīśa is of opinion that by the use of Kadāchit it is meant that unlike other religious Karma which can be done only in a state of purity (Śuci), Japa of the Mantra of Kālī can be done at any time whether one is in a state of purity or not (Śaucāśauca-kāla). Here he says one should not give up the worship if there be a birth or death in the house. The Tantra-Śāstra says that one should do Japa of the Mantra, whether one is in the state of purity or not, and whether walking, standing or sleeping.

'Recite' (Japati)

Meditate upon.

'Of dual aspect' (Dvandvam)

Having the dual aspect of Śiva-Śakti. The Tantra-Śāstra speaks of the King of Mantras being generated by the union of Śiva and Śakti

p. 48

'Another Bīja' (Bījamanyat)

Thy causal (Kāraṇa) aspect which is the Bīja Hūṁ. In the Yāmala it is said, 'It is with the double Śabdabīja (which is Hūṁ) that She awakens the mass of Śabda.'


Is Īśvara. Kathopaniṣad says, 'Puruṣa is the size of only a thumb. He is like smokeless fire, the Ishāna of what has been and will be. He is to-day and He is to-morrow. This is That.' Indu is immortality. Vāmaśravaṇa is the power of granting speech and of attracting forms (Rūpa). The Tantrābhidāna says, 'Ū is Bhairava, subtle, Sarasvatī . . . attractor of forms.'

Who dost grant Nirvāṇa liberation. The Mahānirvāṇa-Tantra says, 'The forehead of Her who is Nityā, Kālarūpā, Arūpā, and Śiva Himself is marked with the moon on account of immortality.'

'Dost bear the half-moon' (Chandrārddhacūde) 'Earrings'

Whose earrings (things very dear) are formed of two Sādhakas who are like Maheśvara and simple as boys; that is child-like simple Sādhakas who have true knowledge are dear to Her. In the Vivekacūdāmaṇi it is said, 'Just as a boy plays with toys heedless of hunger and other pain so the wise man plays happy, unattached and selfless.' Such a Sādhaka attains all forms of knowledge and riches and can charm the whole world.


There is however another reading given by Durgārāma-Siddhāntavāgīśa namely Mahāghorābalāvataṁse, that is whose earrings are formed of frightful arrows (Bāna).

p. 49


47:1 p. 48 Śakti or Maheśa the Lord of even Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra (V). The Devī as Īśvarī, (Ruler), of the Universe and Spouse of Nirguṇa Maheśvara. Īśvara, according to the Liṅga-Purāṇa, when associated with Tamas, is Rudra the Destroyer; with Rajas, the One born from the golden egg, Brahmā; and with Sattva, Viṣṇu.

47:2 p. 49 Mandacetāh who is not capable of devotion to thy lotus feet according to Commentator K.B.; for, as the Brahmāṇda-Purāṇa says, all sin is expiated by remembrance of the feet of the Supreme Śakti.

47:3 That is, Ha.

47:4 The 'left ear,' or long vowel ū.

47:5 Nāda-bindu—that is, H + ū + ṁ = Hūṁ Hūṁ. He who makes Japa of Hūṁ is more praiseworthy than Deva or Asura (Viśvasāra-Tantra) (K.B.)

47:6 Worn by Kālī: reading Bāna instead of Bāla as to which see post.

47:7 Viśvasāra (K.B.).

47:8 Bṛhaspati, Guru of the Devas.

47:9 Dhanada, i.e. Kubera, Lord of Wealth, King of the Yakṣas; according to one account the son, and, according to another, the grandson of Pulastya (see Muir, OṢ., T. iv, 481, 488; v, 483; i, 492).

47:10 That is, to them are given eloquence and learning, riches and beauty.

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