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

p. 150



SALUTATION to Thee, O giver of blessings,
Dark 2 Virgin, 3 observant of the vow of chastity, 4
Whose form is beauteous as that of the rising sun,
And Thy face as that of the full moon;
Four-armed and faced art Thou.
Wide-hipped, full-breasted, 5
Wearing emerald sapphire bangles and armlets;
Thou art resplendent as Padmā, 6 Spouse of Nārāyaṇa, 7
And rangest the ethereal regions.
Thy form and chastity 8 are of the purest.
Dark art Thou like the blue-black cloud,
Whose face is beauteous as that of Saṁkarṣaṇa. 9
Long are Thy two arms, as it were bannered poles in honour of Indra. 10

p. 151

Thou bearest in Thy six other arms
A vessel, lotus, bell, noose, bow, a great discus, 1 and other weapons.
Purest woman art Thou on earth. 2
Thy well-formed ears are decked with beautiful earrings.
Thy face challenges the moon in beauty.
Wonderful is Thy crown, and beautiful is the braid (of Thy hair).
Thy body is like that of a serpent 3
Thou glitterest with brilliant girdle round Thy hips,
And shinest like Mount Mandara encircled by the snake. 4
With standing peacock feathers on Thy head, Thou art resplendent.
By Thy vow of virginity Thou hast maintained heaven. 5
It is for this, O slayer of the Asura Mahiṣa, 6
That Thou art praised and worshipped by the Devas for the protection of the three worlds. 7
Foremost of Devas, be gracious to me;

p. 152

Show me Thy mercy, and be auspicious. 1
Both Jaya and Vijayā 2 art Thou.
Thou givest victory in battle;
Give me, too, victory, O Devī!
Give me now a boon.
Thy constant abode is on the Vindhya, the fore-most of mountains.
O Kālī! O Kālī! O Mahākālī! 3
Thou delightest in wine, meat, and animal sacrifice, 4
Bestowing boons, going whithersoever Thou wilt.
Thou art ever followed by Brahmā 5 and other Devas,
By those who call upon Thee to lighten their burdens.
As by those who salute Thee at dawn of day.
Nothing is unattainable either by way of wealth or children
Thou art called Durgā by all because Thou savest men from difficulty. 6
Whether in dangerous lands or sinking in the great ocean,
Thou art the sole refuge of men.
When assailed by robbers, when crossing streams and seas,
As also in wildernesses and great forests,

p. 153

Those who remember Thee, O Mahādevī! are never lost.
Thou art fame, prosperity, constancy, success, and modesty,
Intelligence, knowledge, and man's offspring.
Thou art the two twilights, 1
Night, the light of sun and moon,
Sleep, beauty, forgiveness, and mercy.
Thou, when worshipped by Thy devotees, destroyest
Ignorance, man's fetters, loss of children and wealth, disease and fear of death.
I who have lost my kingdom seek Thy protection.
I bow to Thee, Sureśvarī, with bended head:
Grant me protection,
Thou whose eyes are like the leaf of the lotus.
O Thou who art truth itself, be true to us.
O Durgā! give me shelter,

Who art merciful to Thy devotees, protect me. 2


150:1 Chap, VI., sung by Yudhiṣthira, when on the way to the City of Virāṭa.

150:2 Kṛṣṇā.

150:3 Kumāri (see p. 46, note 3.)

150:4 For She observed brahmacarya.

150:5 Pīnashronipayodhare.

150:6 Lakṣmī.

150:7 Viṣṇu.

150:8 Brahmacarya.

150:9 Śiva.

150:10 In ancient times a long bamboo surmounted with a flag was set up on the 1st of Assar, in honour of Indra to secure rain.

151:1 Cakra.

151:2 Striviśuddhāchayābhuvī.

151:3 Bhujangā bhogavasena, which Nīlakantha says is Sarpaśarirākārena.

151:4 Thus used for the churning of the ocean.

151:5 Tridivam or svarga; for there "the Three" shine.

151:6 The son of Jambāsura, whom the Devī fought for many years before he was slain by Her (see Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa). During the great Durgā festival in autumn, the Devī is represented as slaying this formidable Asura, so called as having assumed the form of a buffalo.

151:7 Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svah, the earthly, atmospheric, and celestial spheres.

152:1 Śivābhava. Śiva is so called because he is auspicious.

152:2 Two Companion Devatās of Durgā.

152:3 Spouse of Mahākāla, an aspect of Śiva.

152:4 Siddhumāmsapa`upriye. Siddhu is a spirit distilled from molasses.

152:5 Bhutaih, which Nīlakantha says here denotes the oldest beings, Brahmā and other Devas.

152:6 Literally, one who rescues from difficulty.

153:1 Sandhya, early dawn when the stars are vanishing, and evening as they are about to appear.

153:2 Thus praised by the son of Pāndu, the Goddess showed Herself to him.

Next: Āryā, from the Harivamśā