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

p. 89


O DARK One, 1 wondrous and excelling in every way, 2 becomes the accomplishment, 3 of those worshippers 4 who living in this world 5 freely make offering to Thee in worship 6 of the greatly 7 satisfying flesh, together with hair and bone, 8 of cats, camels, sheep, 9 buffaloes, goats, and men. 10


'Oh Black one' (Asītā)

Asitā means free from bondage. Sitā means bound. Asitā is therefore 'not bound' or eternally liberated. The root So, means 'to bind.' Amarakośa gives the meaning of Sita as 'bound.'

'Wondrous' (Apūrvā)


'At every step' (Pratipadam)

In succession, step by step.

'All Powers' (Sarvasiddhi)

The five Siddhis which are the five forms of Liberation. The Śivagītā says, 'Sālokya, Sārūpya, Sārṣti, Sāyujya and Kaivalya. Know these to be the five forms of liberation.'

'The flesh of' (Palalaṁ)

These animals represent the Six Enemies (Ripu) or Vices which are specially characteristic of the following animals: The goat stands for Lust (Kāma) 'as lustful as a goat (Chhāga),' the buffalo, Anger (Krodha) 'as angry as a buffalo (Mahiṣa),' the cat, Greed (Lobha) 'as greedy as a cat' (Mārjāra), the sheep, Delusion (Moha), 'as stupid as a sheep' (Meṣa) the camel, Envy (Mātsarya) 'as envious as a camel' (Uṣtra), Man, Pride (Mada) 'the Pride and arrogance of man' (Nara).

p. 90

The Ānandākalpa says, 'Worship should be done by making offering of lust as goat, buffalo, and so forth '. Offering is made to Thee who art Cidrūpā of lust and other vices as articles of offering (Upacāra) in worship with the object of ridding oneself of them. Bṛhannīla-Tantra says, 'In the fire of Ātmā which flames with the ghee (Havih) of Dharma and Adharma, I ever offer in Homa by the Suṣuṁnā path, with the mind as ladle, all the functions of the senses—Svāhā.'

'In worship' (Pūjāyām)

In mental worship according to the manner prescribed.

'With hair and bone' (Loma, asthi)

That is the whole without omitting any part. Such Sādhakas attain the Sālokya and other forms of liberation.


89:1 Asitā: That is Kālikā v. post.

89:2 Pratipadam. The Śyāmarahasya-sārasaṁgraha reads pratidinam (every day) (K.B.), which seems preferable, for, as K.B. says, the worship (pūjā) is the general daily pūjā, upon which daily advancement in siddhi would follow.

89:3 Siddhi: success in work; accomplishment of all which is desired (V).

89:4 Sat, that is, sādhu (wise, good, pious). Satāṁ = Sādhakānām (V).

89:5 That is, among men.

89:6 Pūjāyāṁ api (see note 2), ante.

Pūjāyāṁ: Naimittika or occasional worship (V). The force of the particle api is that the offering is not confined to special Sādhanā but is made in ordinary worship also. (K.B.)

89:7 Param (K.B.).

89:8 That is flesh and all.

89:9 Maiṣaṁ. The Śyāmarahasya-sārasaṁgraha gives also mauṣam, of rat's flesh. The Fetkāriṇī-Tantra has both sheep and rat's flesh (K.B.).

Śyāmārahasya says, To him who makes offering of the flesh of cats, sheep, camels, and buffaloes together with bone, hair and skin Dākṣiṇā is ever beneficial like a Mother.'

89:10 As to this human sacrifice, K. B. says that Kings alone, and not any other, are entitled to make human sacrifice, citing the Yāmala quoted in the Kālīkalpalatā (Rājā naravaliṁ dadyān nānyopi parameśvari). For inner sense see Svarūpa-vyākhyā post.

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