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

p. 64


THOSE who truly 1 meditate on Thee, the Spouse of Hara, 2 who art seated in 3 the cremation-ground strewn with funeral pyres, corpses, skulls, and bones, and haunted by female jackals howling fearfully; who art very youthful, 4 and art in full enjoyment upon 5 Thy Spouse, are revered by all and in all places. 6


'Meditate on' (Dhyāyanti)

That is see with unperturbed mind.

'Spouse of Hara' (Haravadhūṁ)

Hara is He who removes (Harati) the threefold pains (Ādhyātmika, Ādhibhautika, Ādhidaivika) of Jivas. His spouse is Śakti, that is She who grants Liberation to Jīvas and is Saccidānandarūpiṇī.'

'Hast entered' (Praviṣtāṁ)

Art established.

'Flaming' pyre (Prakatitacitāyāṁ)

Cit-śakti On account of Her being self-manifested. Caṇdī speaks of 'Her who pervades the whole universe as consciousness (Cit).'

'Fearful' (Ghorābhih)

That is very powerful.

'Jackals' (Śivābhih)

That is Mahābhūtas which are auspicious (Śiva) before being made fivefold (Pañcīkṛta).

'Skulls and bones' (Muṇdāsthi-nikaraih)

The white colour of the skulls and bones indicates the white Sattva-guṇa. Hence associated with the Sattva and other Guṇas of the Jīvas dissolved in Mahāpralaya.

p. 65

'Ever youthful' (Atiyuvatīṁ)

That is She is always the same, fresh, unchanging, and un-wasting.

'Satisfied with enjoyment ' (Santushtām-uparisuratena)

She, after subduing Parama Śiva to Her will, has willingly enjoyment in the work of creation, preservation and dissolution. Nirvāṇa-Tantra says, 'The Vāmā (She who is on the left) is the Grantrix of Great Liberation after conquering the Dakṣiṇa (Śiva who is on the right).' Gandharva-Tantra says, 'She who is the Sun, Moon, and Fire and half of Ha (Śiva) puts down the Puruṣa and enjoys him from above.' Niruttara-Tantra says, 'When Nirguṇā Kālī becomes Saguṇā She is engaged in Viparītarati.' The Yoga-vāṣiṣtha in the Nirvāṇa-Prakaraṇa says, 'Natural unity is Śiva. Creation is (compared with it) unnatural.' That is the Mahādevī is Nirguṇa-Brahman in Her Svarūpa aspect and the subversion of this Svarūpa is the cause of creation.

'Nowhere' (Kvacidapi na)

In no birth.

'Humiliated' (Paribhavah)

That is they are not subjected to birth, death, and rebirth and attain Nirvāṇa.


64:1 p. 65 Commentator K. B.: where param is said to mean 'rightly,' or meditation alone without japa.

64:2 Śiva.

64:3 Praviṣtām, 'literally Entered '.

64:4 Atiyuvatim. She is without childhood or old age. The Sāradātilaka says, 'Although Thou art primordial, Thy youth is ever fresh'. (V)

64:5 Santuṣtāṁ uparisuratena, that is viparītarati, or viparītavihāra as to which see note 5 of last śloka.

64:6 Commentator K. B.: literally 'They nowhere suffer (Kvacidapi na), that is, neither in this nor the next world defeat or humiliation.'

Next: Verse 9