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

p. 106




DEVĪ, Thou who removeth the pain of Thy suppliants, 3
Be gracious, Be gracious, O Mother of the world!
Be gracious, O Queen of the universe!
Protect the universe.
Thou art, O Devī! the Iśvarī of all moving and unmoving things. 4


Thou art the only support of the world,
Because Thou wert in the form of earth.
By Thee who existed in the form of water
Is the whole universe pervaded.
Thou art She whose powers are unsurpassed.


Thou art the Vaiṣṇavī Śakti 5 of eternal power;

p. 107

Thou art the seed of the universe,
And the supreme Māyā.
All this universe has been bewitched by Thee.
Thou, when pleased, art the cause of salvation to men.


All sciences are parts of Thee,
As also all women without exception 1 throughout the world. 2
By Thee alone, O Mother! is the universe filled.
How can we praise Thee?
Art thou not beyond all Praise of highest speech?


When, 3 O Devī! 4 being in the form of the universe,
And bestowing heaven 5 and liberation, 6
Thou art worshipped,
What words, howsoever sublime, suffice for Thy praise?

p. 108


O Thou who existeth in the form of buddhi 1
In the heart of all beings,
Who art Giver of heaven and liberation
O Devī Nārāyaṇi! 2 salutation to Thee.


In the form of moments, minutes, and other fractions of time,
Thou art the cause of (worldly) change.
At the time of the dissolution of the universe
Thou art all-powerful. 3
Nārāyaṇī all reverence to Thee.


O Auspicious One! auspicious with all auspiciousness,
Accomplisher of all successful things,
Giver of refuge, Three-eyed one; 4
O Gaurī! 5 O Nārāyaṇi! all reverence to Thee.


O Eternal One! who art the energy 6
Of creation, maintenance, and destruction;

p. 109

Who art the abode of the qualities, 1
And are yet beyond them-- 2
O Nārāyaṇi! all reverence to Thee.


O Thou who ever savest those in poverty and pain,
Who take shelter with Thee!
O Remover of the pains of all!
Nārāyaṇi, all reverence to Thee.


Rider in an aerial car yoked with swans, 3
Who assumed the form of Brāhmanī, 4
Who sprinklest water in which kuśa grass 5 is steeped 6--
Nārāyaṇī, all reverence to Thee.


Who holdeth trident, moon, and serpent, 7
Riding on a great bull 8
In the form of Maheśvarī 9--
Nārāyaṇi, all reverence to Thee.

p. 110


Who art attended by fowl and peacock. 1
O faultless One!
Who holdeth a great śakti-weapon, 2
And existeth in the form of Kaumārī, 3--
Nārāyaṇi, all reverence to Thee.


Who holdeth Thy great implements,
Which are the conch, discus, mace, and bow;
Who art in the form of Vaiṣṇavī, 4
Be gracious,
Nārāyaṇi, all reverence to Thee.


Who holdeth the formidable discus,
And hast uplifted the earth with Thy tusks 5--
O auspicious One! in the form of a boar 6--
Nārāyaṇi, all reverence to Thee.


O Thou who in the fierce man-lion form 7
Didst put forth effort to slay the Daityas,

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And who hast delivered the three worlds--
Nārāyaṇī, all reverence to Thee.


Who weareth a diadem and beareth a great thunder-bolt,
Who dazzles with Thy thousand eyes, 1
Destructress of the life of Vritra, 2
Who art Aindrī, 3
Nārāyaṇi, all reverence to Thee.


Who art in the form of Śivadūtī, 4
Destructress of the great host of the Daityas,
Of terrible form and loud and terrible voice--
Nārāyaṇi, all reverence to Thee.


Whose visage is formidable with its teeth,
Adorned with a garland of severed heads--
O Cāmuṇḍā! 5 is destructress of Muṇḍa 6--
Nārāyaṇī, all reverence to Thee.

p. 112


Lakṣmī, modesty, great knowledge, 1
Faith (in śāstras), nourishment, svadhā2
Truth, permanent and unchangeable;
Great night of dissolution, great nescience 3--
Nārāyaṇī, all reverence to Thee.


Understanding, 4 Sarasvatī, the Best of all.
All Powers, 5 Spouse of Babhru, 6 Dark One, 7
Primeval Śakti. 8 Be gracious, O Lady!
Nārāyāṇī, all reverence to Thee.


Who art in the form of all things,

p. 113

Controller of all; who hast all power;
From the cause of all fear protect us, O Devī!
O Devī Durgā! reverence to Thee.


Beautiful is Thy face adorned with three eyes.
Guard us from all (formidable) beings.
O Kātyāyani! 1
Reverence to Thee.


May Thy trident most formidable with flame,
Slayer of countless Asuras,
Protect us from fear,
O Bhadrakāli! 2
Reverence to Thee.


May Thy bell which destroys the power of Daityas,
Filling the world with its sound,
Guard us from sin,
As a mother 3 protects her children!


May Thy sword glittering in Thy hands,
Besmeared with the blood and fat of Asuras as with mire,
Be for our welfare!
O Caṇḍikā; to Thee we bow.

p. 114


Thou, when gratified, dost destroy all forms of disease;
But if displeased, Thou dost destroy all longed-for desires.
Such as take shelter with Thee need fear no danger,
Since they become verily a refuge to themselves. 1


O Mother, who hast shown Thyself in many forms,
Who else than Thee is able to achieve
That destruction of the great Asuras,
Enemies of righteousness, 2
Which Thou hast wrought to-day.


In the sciences, 3 in all scriptures, 4 and in the great sayings 5
Which are the lamp of knowledge, 6
Who else is there but Thee
Who makes this universe again and again 7 revolve

p. 115

In the pit 1 of delusion 2 steeped in darkness.


Where there are Rākṣasas 3 and greatly poisonous serpents;
Where there are (armed) enemies;
Where there are highway robbers;
Where there is the forest and ocean 4 fire,
There abiding, 5 Thou dost guard the universe.


Queen of the universe art Thou and its guardian;
In the form of the universe Thou art its maintainer.
By the Lords 6 of the universe art Thou worshipped.
They, its supporters, have great devotion to Thee. 7


O Devī! be gracious;
Ever protect us from the fear of enemies
As Thou hast just now saved us by the slaughter of the Asuras.

p. 116

Make cease at once the sins of the whole world
And the great dangers which come of all portents. 1


O Devī! who takest away the afflictions of the universe.
Be gracious to us who make obeisance to Thee.
O Thou who art worthy of all praise,
Grant boons to the dwellers in the three 2 worlds. 3


106:1 Mother.

106:2 When the great Lord of the Asuras was slain by the Devī, Indra and other Devas (Agni at their head), with shining faces, offered praise to Kātyāyanī, because of the fulfilment of their desire.

106:3 Literally, "Those who come to take shelter with Her."

106:4 That is, the organic and inorganic world.

106:5 The energy of Viṣṇu, the sustaining power of the Universe.

107:1 Sakalā. Nagoji Bhatta is not happy in his Commentary when he says that sakalā here means "endowed with the sixty-four arts" (kalā), such as dancing, music, painting, literature, acting, etc., and who are devoted to their husbands, modest, etc. The Devī is not, according to this noble line, in these only but in all women, however ignorant of the "arts" or low born they may be.


Vidyāh samastāstavadevi bhedāh.
Striyah samastāh sakalā jagatsu

The Devibhāṣyam of Panchānana Tarkaratna translates the verse as, "All sciences, all things (bhedāh), and all women are of Thee."

107:3 The verse here changes from upendra vajrā to anustup metre.

107:4 That is, She who is, as Nagoji says, of a shining nature (dyotana`sīlā).

107:5 Svarga.

107:6 Mukti.

108:1 That is, nischayātmakam jnānam.

108:2 For she is the support of all beings; fem. of Nārāyana, a name of Viṣṇu.

108:3 For She is in the form of time.

108:4 As is Her Spouse Śiva with his third eye of wisdom.

108:5 Either as Nagoji says "white Devī," or the Devī of that name, who issued from the body of Mahādevī.

108:6 The commentator says "that She is the possessor of it" (śakti); but there is in reality no difference between śakti and the possessor of śakti, though human understanding and speech may make such difference.

109:1 The guṇas--the three sattva, rajas, and tamas, and their derivatives, the Tattwas.

109:2 Nagoji says that gunāśraye gunamaye = gunāśraye agunamaye. Though the gunas inhere in Her, She is not as is the jīva, affected by them.

109:3 See next note.

109:4 Śakti, or energy of Brahmā whose vehicle (vāhana) is a swan (hamsa), or flamingo, as it is variously rendered.

109:5 Grass used in pitṛ kṛyā and agni kṛyā.

109:6 As Brahmā does with the holy water (śāntijalam) from his pot called kamaṇḍalu.

109:7 Associated with Śiva.

109:8 The vāhana of Śiva.

109:9 Śakti, or energy of Maheśvara or Śiva.

110:1 Both the cock and peacock are said in the Mahābhārata to be the vāhana of Kārtikeya. Gopal Chakravarti renders it, however, as "the best of peacocks."

110:2 A kind of missile, dart spear, lance, or pike.

110:3 The Śakti of Kumāra, or Kārtikeya, son of Śiva and Pārvatī and Commander of the celestial hosts.

110:4 The Śakti of Viṣṇu, who holds the conch, discus (cakra), etc.

110:5 See next note.

110:6 Viṣṇu, in His boar-incarnation, uplifted on His tusks the world which had been submerged in the waters.

110:7 As Śakti of Viṣṇu in the narasimha incarnation, in which He slew the Daitya Hiranyakaśipu.

111:1 The Devī is here invoked as Aindri, the śakti of Indra, who is crowned, and whose weapon, like that of Jupiter, is the thunderbolt and who has a thousand eyes.

111:2 An Asura slain by Indra.

111:3 See note 1, ante.

111:4 The Devī is known as Śivadūtī, because Śiva was engaged by Her as messenger to Śumbha and Niśumbha.

yatoniyukto dautyena tayā devyā śivah svayam
śivadūtīti lokesmingstatah sā khyutim āgatā

Caṇḍī, eighth Māhātmya.

111:5 Devī is so called because She slew the Asuras Canda and Muṇḍa (see verse 25, chap. vii. Candī).

111:6 Muṇḍamathane; not as one translation of the Caṇḍī has it, "who grindest shaven heads."

112:1 That is, as Nagoji says, the knowledge pertaining to the Ātman (adhyātmavidyā) contained in the Upaniṣads; not "wide knowledge," as last mentioned translator renders it.

112:2 Mantra of Pitṛs.

112:3 For Devī is both vidyā (knowledge) and avidyā (nescience), or Prakṛti.

112:4 Medhā, which Nagoji says = dhāranāvati buddhi, or firm, steady, concentrated buddhi.

112:5 Bhūti, which ordinarily means wealth = here, according to Gopal Chakravarti aiśvaryarūpinī--that is, the eighth siddhi; or, according to Nagoji, it is sattvapradhāna ("greatly excelling in sattva guṇa").

112:6 A name of Śiva, Viṣṇu, or Fire. According to Nagoji the rajoguṇa śakti is here indicated.

112:7 Tāmasī--that is, tamogunayuktā.

112:8 Niyate, which ordinarily means fate (adrisṭa); but here denotes, according to Nagoji, the Mūlaśakti, the root or primeval Śakti. It does not mean, an stated in the last-mentioned translation, "O self-controlled Queen!". In the case of the Devī there is no self to be controlled. She controls others, not Herself.

113:1 According to Gopal, the Devī is so called because She was born in the hermitage of the Muni Kātyāyana, but the Vedantists say that Kātya is he who is devoted to the Brahman (brahmaniṣṭa), and She who is attained by them is Kātyāyanī.

113:2 Auspicious Kālī.

113:3 Anah.

114:1 As Gopal says, even Rajahs, not to mention others, become the slaves of such an one.

114:2 Dharma.

114:3 There are fourteen kinds of vidyā--viz., four Veda, six Anga, Mimāmsa, Nyāya, Dharmaśāstra, Purāṇā. Gopal says vidyā and upavidyā, such as Indrajāla, Gārudakadyāh, Dhanurvidyā, etc.

114:4 Śāstra--that is, tarka (logic), nīti. etc.

114:5 Literally; the "first sayings"--that is Veda or the Karmakāṇḍa.

114:6 Viveka = jnāna (Gopal).

114:7 Atīva.

115:1 The reference is to the samsāra. It is a "pit," for men fall into it; and it is "dark," for it obstructs knowledge.

115:2 Mamatvam, which Gopal defines as asvakīye svakiyatvābhimūnah--the sense of ownness in respect of a thing not one's own--e.g., to take the body to be the self; to think I am white, I am tall, etc

115:3 Demonic beings.

115:4 That is, the submarine fire.

115:5 Because She pervades all things.

115:6 Indra, Brahmā, etc.

115:7 Gopāla Chakravarti renders it: "Those who are devoted to Thee are themselves worshipped--even by Indra, Brahmā, etc., the Lords of the Universe--therefore Thou art the supporter of the universe."

116:1 Unusual phenomena, such as earthquakes, comets, hurricanes, etc.

116:2 Bhuh, bhuvah, svah (see Introduction to Tantra Śāstra).

116:3 Then Devī said: "Now I bestow a boon, O Devas" (Caṇḍī).

Next: Caṇḍikā, from the Fourth or Shakrādi Mahātmya of Caṇḍī