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Hymns to the Goddess, by John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon), [1913], at

p. 81





SAITH Īśvara: 3
I shall tell thee the hundred names of Durgā.
By the grace of this hymn the chaste 4 Durgā is satisfied.
Listen, then, thereto.


    Chaste one. 5

p. 82

Virtuous one. 1
Beloved of Bhava. 2
Spouse of Bhava. 3
The Manifested Brahman. 4
Liberatrix from the world of births and deaths. 5
Destructress of distress. 6
Victorious one. 7
Primordial one. 8
Three-eyed, 9
Holder of the spear. 10

p. 83

Spouse of Him who holds the pināka Bow. 1
Wonderful one. 2
Whose bell sounds fearfully. 3
Of great austerities. 4
In the form of citta8
Funeral pyre. 9
Knowledge. 10
Whose substance is all mantras11
Reality. 12

p. 84

Whose nature is the true bliss. 1
Endless one. 2
In whom are the three dispositions. 3
Accessible by devotion. 4
Auspicious. 5
Pervading all things. 6
Spouse of Śambu. 7
Mother of Devas8
Contemplation. 9
Fond of gems. 10
All knowledge. 11
Daughter of Dakṣa. 12

p. 85

Destroyer of Dakṣa's sacrifice. 1
Who eat not even a leaf during Thy austerities. 2
Of various colour. 3
Red. 4
Having a red colour. 5
Clad in silken garment. 6
Pleased with sweet-sounding anklets. 7
Of unbounded power. 8
Terrifying. 9
Beautiful. 10
House lady. 11
Forest Durgā. 12
Daughter of Matanga. 13

p. 86

Worshipped by the sage Matanga. 1
Spouse of Brahmā. 2
Great Ruler. 3
Aindrī. 4
Kaumārī. 5
Vaiṣṇavī. 6
Cāmundā. 7
Varāhī. 8
Lakṣmī. 9
In the form of the Puruṣa. 10
Pure one. 11

p. 87

Essence of all. 1
Knowledge. 2
Action. 3
The Supreme One. 4
Giver of buddhi5
Who art all. 6
Whose love is unbounded. 7
Mounted on a bull. 8
Destructress of Śumbha and Niśumbha. 9
Slayer of the Asura Mahiṣa. 10
Slayer of Madhu and Kaitaba. 11
Destructress of Caṇḍa and Muṇḍa. 12
And of all Asuras. 13

p. 88

And of all Dānavas. 1
Whose substance is all Śāstra2
Existence. 3
Holder of all weapons. 4
In whose hands are various weapons. 5
Holder of many weapons. 6
Virgin. 7
Maiden. 8
Youthful. 10
Ascetic one. 11

p. 89

Old mother. 2
Giver of strength. 3


For him who daily reads 4 these 108 5 names of Durgā
There is nothing impossible in the three worlds.
He obtains wealth, crops, sons, wife, horses, and elephants;
He accomplishes the caturvarga6
And gains lasting liberation.


Having worshipped the Devī Kumārī, 7
And meditated upon Sureśvarī, 8
The devotee should worship, 9
And then read with devotion the 108 names of Durgā.
O Devī! such an one gains the fruition 10 which Devas have;

p. 90

Kings become his servants,
And he obtains a kingdom and all prosperity.


He who, versed in the śāstric injunctions.
In accordance therewith, writes this mantra
With saffron mixed with cows’ pigment, 1 red lac, 2 camphor, and the three sweets, 3
And then wears it, becomes himself Purāri. 4


Whoever writes and then reads this hymn
On a Tuesday in Amāvāsya5
At night, when the moon is in Śatabhiṣā6
Attains all wealth and prosperity.


81:1 Manifestation of the Śakti of Śiva in warrior form as the Destructress of demonic beings, enemies to Devas and men. According to one account, She is so called as having slain the Asura Durgā, son of Ruru (Skanda Purāṇa). Another account of the origin of Durgā is given in Candī (Mārkandeyapurāṇa), where the combined tejas, like a mountain of all the Devas, manifested as the Devī Durgā for the destruction of the Asura Mahiṣa.

81:2 P. 573, Tantrasāra from the Viśvasāra Tantra.

81:3 The Lord Śiva.

81:4 Satī.

81:5 Satī, or faithful. The name of the daughter of Dakṣa. Brahmā Pr. says: "The faithful Spouse Satī became Umā, who ever dwells with Śiva."

82:1 Sādhvi, or chaste. She is of unequalled virtue as being attached to none but Her Lord (see Lalitā, verse 43, where Bhāskararāya cites the Ācārya (Saundaryalahari), which says: "How many poets share the wife of Brahmā? Cannot everyone by means of wealth become the Lord of Śrī (Viṣṇu)? But, O virtuous one, first among faithful women, your breasts are untouched save by Mahādeva, not even by the paste of Kuravaka." (a kind of paste made of the leaves of the red amaranth used to redden the cheeks, breasts, palms, and soles of Hindu women). Devī Bhāg. Pr. also says: "Thou art praised as Sādhvi on account of Thy unequalled fidelity to Thy Lord."

82:2 Bhavaprīta. Bhava is Śiva.

82:3 Bhavāni.

82:4 Aryā, which literally means noble, but which here means, as the commentator Nīlakantha says in reference to the hymn to Durgā in the Mahābhārata (see post) prāpyabrahmasvarūpa, the own form of the accessible Brahman as distinguished from the Nirguṇa Brahman beyond thought and speech. The very nature of the Devī is manifestation, and She is near to us in the world.

82:5 Bhavamochinī--that is, from the samsāra or phenomenal world.

82:6 Durgā--that is, Sa ya durgatim harati.

82:7 Jayā.

82:8 Ādyā.

82:9 Trinetrā.

82:10 Śūladhārinī. The śūla is a weapon of the Devī.

83:1 Pinākadhārini--that is, Spouse of Śiva, who wields the Pināka bow broken by Rama; hence he is called Pinākin.

83:2 Citrā.

83:3 Candaghantā, the first of the nine Durgās in the Durgā Kavaca.

83:4 Mahātapāh. For the Devī as Umā Aparṇā did great austerities to gain Śiva as Her husband.

83:5 See p. 87, note 5 post.

83:6 Ibid.

83:7 Ibid.

83:8 Cittarupā. Citta is mental substance.

83:9 Citā, which in Tantra has a twofold meaning (sma`sānam dvividham Devī citā yonīmāheśvari) for, whereas on the first the body is burnt, so in the second is the fire which consumes passion (Niruttara Tantra, chap. i.).

83:10 Citih = jnānā.

83:11 Sarvamantramayī.

83:12 Satyā, that which persists through the threefold time--past, present, and future--of which the opposite is asatyā. That which is real and not fictitious (yathārthasvarūpa). The epithet Satyā, which occurs thrice in this stotra, has also, besides "real," three other meanings: (1) Eternal, (2) the best (uttamā), and (3) sthitiśīla, whose nature it is to exist.

84:1 Satyānandasvarūpinī.

84:2 Anantā.

84:3 Bhāvini. In the ordinary sense bhāvini, as sentimental, emotional, is a term which, according to the Amarakośa, is commonly applied to women, as are the terms pramadā (pleasing), kāntā and lalanā (beautiful), and nitambinī (possessing beautiful nitamba or buttocks). But here the word refers to the bhāvas, paśu, vīra, and divya, which are each manifestations of Her.

84:4 Bhāvagamyā.

84:5 Bhāvyā.

84:6 Sadāgatih.

84:7 Śāmbhavī, Spouse of Śiva (Śambhu).

84:8 Devamātā.

84:9 Cintā.

84:10 Ratnapriyā.

84:11 Sarvavidyā; and so also the Lalitā, verse 137, speaks of Her as being all the Śāstras (śāstramayī). The Brahmā Pr. says that from Her breath came the Vedas; from the tip of Her throat the sixty-four sciences; from the rest of Her limbs all other Tantras; and from Her shoulders the science of love.

84:12 Dakṣakanyā. Dakṣa was one of the Prajāpatis and father-in-law of Śiva, who was married to his daughter Satī, a manifestation of the Devī.

85:1 Dakṣayajnavināśinī. Because on Her account Śiva, Her husband, destroyed the dakṣayajna.

85:2 Aparṇā (see Hymn entitled "May the Devī Grant Me Pardon", post).

85:3 Anekavarṇā.

85:4 Pātalā: a reddish-pink, the colour of the Bhairavīmurti.

85:5 Pātalāvati.

85:6 Pattāmbara parīdhānā.

85:7 Kalamanjīraranjinī.

85:8 Amiyavikramā.

85:9 Krūrā. Literally, "cruel"--that is, to the demonic beings which She destroyed, though even not truly so, for as Candī says, She destroyed them not only for the happiness of the world, but for their own happiness, so that being slain by Her hand they might go to heaven.

85:10 Sundarī.

85:11 Purasundarī.

85:12 Vanadurgā: the Devī of the forests. The foresters, before entering the forests, offer pūjā to Vanadurgā as protectress against their dangers and terrors.

85:13 Mātangi; that is, of the Ṛṣi Matanga.

86:1 Matangamunipūjitā.

86:2 Brāhmī.

86:3 Maheśvarī (feminine of Maheśvara), an appellation of Śiva.

86:4 Spouse of Indra, one of the eight Mātṛkās.

86:5 Spouse of Kārtikeya or Skanda, the leader of the celestial hosts. The Devī is also Mother both of Kumāra and Gananātha (Gaṇeśa), and is so called in the Lalitā, verse 94 (Kumāragananāthāmbā), where it is said that the Devatā of egoism (ahamkāra) is Kumāra. The Varāha Pr. says: "Viṣṇu is the Puruṣa, or Śiva is so called, Avyaktā is Umā or Lakṣmī, the lotus-eyed. From the interaction of these two arises ahamkāra. This ahamkāra is the guha (skanda), the leader of the army."

86:6 The vaiṣṇavī śakti.

86:7 See Hymn entitled "May the Devī Grant Me Pardon", post.

86:8 Śakti of Varāha, the boar incarnation, one of the eight Mātrkas.

86:9 Devī of wealth, prosperity, and beauty.

86:10 Puruṣākritih. Puruṣa is man, male, or person; the primeval man; the spirit of the universe, manifesting as Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Śiva, etc.; the passive spectator of the acts of Prakṛti. But in their ground both are one. Therefore Devī is in such sense Puruṣa also. So Kṛṣṇa, to screen his action from Rādhikā, manifested as Kālī.

86:11 Vimalā.

87:1 Utkārṣinī.

87:2 Jnānā, for the Devī is jnānā, kriyā, and ichchhā śaktī.

87:3 Kriyā.

87:4 Satyā (see ante, p. 83, note 12).

87:5 Buddhidā. Buddhi (intellect), the function of which is determination (niścayakāsinī), is part of the fourfold antahkaraṇa: constituted by Buddhi and Manas (aspects of mind), Ahamkāra (egoity) and cintā (contemplation).

87:6 Bahula-bhumā.

87:7 Bahulapremā.

87:8 Sarvavāhanavāhanā. Literally whose vehicle (vāhana) is the vāhana of Sarva (Śiva), or a bull.

87:9 Niśumbhaśumbhahananī. These were two Daityas, or enemies of the Devas, slain by the Devī (see Candī). The Daityas were sons of Diti and the Devas children of Aditi, hence they are called Āditeya.

87:10 Mahiṣāsuramardinī (vide ibid.).

87:11 Madhukaitabahantri. Two Daityas (ibid).

87:12 Caṇḍamuṇḍavināśini: two generals of Śumbha and Niśumbha (ibid.)

87:13 Sarvāsuravinarśa.

88:1 Sarvadānavaghātinī. The Dānavas were enemies of the Devas, children of Danu, a daughter of Dakṣa and Kāśyapa.

88:2 Sarvaśāstramayī.

88:3 Satyā.

88:4 Sarvāstradhārinī. Astra is a weapon which is thrown--a projectile; and śastra, in the next verse, is a weapon which is held.

88:5 Anekaśastrahastā (see last note).

88:6 Anekāstrasyadhārinī.

88:7 Kumārī.

88:8 Kanyā.

88:9 A girl up to fifteen years of age is so called (Kaiṣoram āpancadaśāt). It is said that up to sixteen years one is known as bālā. At thirty one is Taruṇī, at fifty-five praudhā, and above that vriddhā. As the verse runs:

Aṣōdaśād bhaved bālā,
Trinśatā tarunī matā,
Panca pancāśatā praudhā,
Bhaved vriddhā tatah param

88:10 Yuvatī.

88:11 Yati: one who controls the passions is an ascetic. The Devī practised great austerities to gain Śiva as Her husband.

88:12 That is, below fifty-five years old, an adult woman who is no longer bashful or timid in the presence of her lord.

89:1 Over fifty-five years old.

89:2 Vriddhamātā.

89:3 Balapradā. The litany in the Tantrasāra here ends at the 87th name, short of the prescribed number of names.

89:4 Here commences the phala portion.

89:5 Sic; vide ante. Wherever 100 or 1,000 is mentioned (the former in the title of the present hymn) 108 or 1,008 is to be understood, for zero is an inauspicious number.

89:6 Dharma, artha, kāma, and mokṣa--piety, wealth, desire, and liberation--(see Introduction to Tantra Śāstra).

89:7 See "Hymn to Annapurṇā" post.

89:8 Mistress of Suras (Devas).

89:9 i.e., make pūja.

89:10 Siddhi (see Introduction to Tantra Śāstra).

90:1 Gorocanā.

90:2 Alakta.

90:3 Madhutraya--that is, ghee, honey, and sugar.

90:4 Śiva.

90:5 The fifteenth day of the dark half of the lunar month; a very dark day on which Śavāsana and similar rites are also accomplished.

90:6 There are twenty-seven lunar mansions, of which Śatabhiṣā is the twenty-fourth, containing a hundred stars.

Next: Tripuṭā (Tripuṭāstotram) from the Tantrasāra