Hymn to Kali, by Arthur Avalon (Sir John George Woodroffe), , at sacred-texts.com
WHAT, indeed, O Mother, 1 can we of so dull a mind say of Thee whose True Being 2 not even Dhātā, 3 Īśa, 4 or Hari 5 know? Yet, despite our dullness and ignorance, our devotion towards Thee makes us talk of Thee. 6 Therefore, O Dark Devī, 7 forgive this our folly. Anger towards ignorant creatures such as we, is not befitting Thee 8.
Of us all including Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Rudra. In the Devi-Sūkta, Viṣṇu says, 'One, subtle, and unchanged, and yet many, Thou dost give birth to millions of worlds. Who am I Viṣṇu, and who is the other Śiva and who are the Devas that we and they should be able to (fully) sing Thy praises? ' In the Mārkaṇdeya-Purāṇa, Brahmā says, 'When Viṣṇu, Īśvara and myself owe our appearance to Thee who has the power to (fitly) praise Thee?' In Viṣṇuyāmala, Viṣṇu says to Devī 'Oh Mother, none know Thy supreme aspect. The heavenly ones therefore worship that gross (Sthūla) aspect of Thine in the form of Kālī and the rest.' The Mahākāla-saṁhitā says, 'When Dhātā was not, nor Viṣṇu, nor Kāla, when the five Bhūtas were not, then Thou the Cause wert alone as the Supreme Brahman, the Being of all that is.'
She is not limited by the Guṇas and is Nirguṇā.
66:1 Jānāmi; origin of the three worlds.
66:2 Paramaṁ, or 'reality' (Commentator K. B).
66:3 p. 67 Dhātā is Brahmā who dispenses the fruits of Karma. (V)
66:4 Śiva. Īśa: Rudra who wields the power of Īśvara-hood. (V)
66:5 Hari: Viṣnu who dispels the threefold sorrows of Jīvas. (V)
66:6 Tathāpi tvadbhaktir mukharayati. Tathāpi: still, despite our dullness and ignorance (V) Tvadbhaktih: inclination to sing Thy praises (V). Mukharayati: impels to utter words in praise of Thee (V)
66:7 This is literal but According to V Asite = unlimited one. Mahākala-saṁhitā says, 'Unthinkable, unlimited, Śakti Itself, which is That on which all that is manifested rests, beyond the Guṇas, free of the opposites (Dvandva) to be apprehended only through Buddhi: Thyself alone art Supreme Brahman.' (V)
66:8 As one does not become angry with animals (Paśu or animal and ignorant men also called Paśu) because they do wrong, so do not be angry with us. It is moreover, the part of the great to overlook the faults of their inferiors (Commentator. K. B.)