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

p. 168 p. 169




I SEEK refuge with Tripurasundarī, 1
Who wanders in the Kadamba forest; 2
The spouse of the Three-eyed One, 3
Bank of cloud (in the sky of the heart) of numbers of sages, 4

p. 170

Whose hips defeat the mountain by their greatness. 1
Who is served by celestial women,
Whose eyes are like the newly blown lotus,
And who is dark as the colour of a freshly formed rain-cloud. 2


I seek refuge with Tripurasundarī,
The Spouse of the Three-eyed One,
Who dwells in the Kadamba forest,
And who is ever wandering;
The Large-eyed One who holds a golden vīnā3
Wearing a necklace of priceless gems,
Whose face is glowing with wine, 4
And who of Her mercy grants prosperity to Her devotees.


Ever are we protected by Her whose abode is the Kadamba forest,
The weight of whose breasts are garlanded with glittering gems,
Whose breasts are rising, 5

p. 171

And excel the mountain in greatness;
Whose cheeks are flushed with wine, 1
Ever singing sweet songs; the playful one, 2 dark as a cloud,
Ever compassionate to all.


I seek refuge with Tripurasundarī,
The Spouse of the Three-eyed One,
Who stays in the Kadamba forest,
Who is seated in the golden circle and dwells in the six lotuses, 3
Ever revealing like lightning the great power (of devotees), 4
Whose beauty is like that of the Jaba flower, 5
And whose brow is adorned with the full moon.


I take refuge with Her, the sweet speaker,
Daughter of the sage Matanga, 6

p. 172

Whose breast is adorned with the vinā1
And whose head is beauteous with locks of curling hair;
Who dwells in the lotus; 2
The destroyer of the wicked,
Whose eyes are reddened with wine; 3
The charmer of the enemy of the God of Love. 4


I take refuge with Tripurasundarī,
The Spouse of the Three-eyed One,
Who should be meditated upon as in the first flush of Her nubile youth, 5
Her blue garment stained with drops of blood. 6
Holding the wine-cup, 7
Her eyes rolling with wine; 8

p. 173

With heavy, high, and close-set breasts, 1
Dark of colour, and with dishevelled hair. 2


At time of recitation I remember the Mother,
Lustrous as the scarlet hibiscus, 3
Her body pasted with saffron and sandal,
Her hair kissed by musk; 4
The Mother with smiling eyes, 5
With red garland, ornaments, and raiment,
Who holds the arrow, bow, noose, and goad; 6
The charmer 7 of countless men.

p. 174


I worship the World-Mother
Who is served by celestial women,
The Spouse of Indra,
     Skilful in plaiting hair; 1
     The devoted Spouse of Brahmā,
     Anointed with sandal paste;
     The Spouse of Viṣṇu,
     Adorned with pleasing ornaments.


169:1 The Devī is so called as the Spouse of Śiva, destroyer of the tripura, or cities of the three Asuras--Kamalākṣa, Tarakākṣa, and Vidyun-māli. According to the Kālikā Purāṇa, Paraśiva is Tripurā, because he has three pura in Him, His body becoming triple upon the manifestation therein of Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva. The Devī is then the Śakti of Paramaśiva.

169:2 The Kadamba (Nauclea cadamba) is a tree with orange fragrant blossom whereunder Kṛṣṇa played (see Ādyākālisvarūpaśtotra in Mahānirvāṇa Tantra). Kadamba also denotes number (multitude), and in this sense the Kadamba forest is the universe which the Devī permeates.

169:3 Śiva with the central eye of wisdom. Śiva is also Tryambaka, because He is the father of the three Devas, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Rudra (Tarkālangkāra Commentary, Mahānirvāṇa Tantra). The Ṛgvidhāna uses it as equivalent of Mahādeva.

169:4 Muni. As the bank of cloud gives water, so She quenches the spiritual thirst of munis.

170:1 Nitambajitabhudaram. Nitamba literally means buttocks, which, however, here reads rather absurdly in English, the side or hips being pārśa, kakṣa, or shroni (cf. tenth śloka of the Karpurākhyastava "Samantādāpinastana-jaghanadhrikyauvanavatī")

170:2 That is, of the dark blue colour seen when the blue of the sky appears through a freshly-formed black rain-cloud.

170:3 A stringed musical instrument of that name.

170:4 Mukhasamullasattvārunim. Vāruni is wine made from rice. Here and in following verses the divine ambrosia (amṛta) is referred to.

170:5 "Rising" (cf. Durgādhyāna in "Devī Purāṇa") pīnonnata payodharām. As to weight and greatness, see Annapūrṇādhyāna, Bhuvaneśvaristotra, "āpīvarastanatating tanuvrittamadhyām," and Introduction.

171:1 Madārunakapolaya (see n. 4, p. 170).

171:2 Lilayā. Play (līlā) is the mark of a Deva, and the Devī's substance is play (lilāmayī). The Devī is Lalitā ("She who plays"): Padma Purāṇa says: "Having passed beyond the world She plays, hence She is called Lalitā." But the Creation is also Her play.

171:3 Ṣaḍāmbhu--that is, the six cakra or centres in the human body: the mulādhāra, svādihṣṭhāna, manipūra, anāhata, viśuddha, and ājnāpadmas (see the translation of the Satcakra Nirūpaṇa from the Sanskrit, The Serpent Power). The Devī exists as Kuṇḍalinī in these cakra.

171:4 Satatasiddhisaudaminim. Siddhi (power so called), which lies latent, is instantly brought to light by Her.

171:5 Scarlet hibiscus, the Tāntrik flower sacred to the Devī.

171:6 Ṛṣi.

172:1 The musical instrument which She holds and which rests on Her breast.

172:2 For she is also Kamalā or Lakṣmī.

172:3 Madārunāvilochanam (see p. 170. note 4).

172:4 That is, charmer of Śiva who destroyed Kāmadeva with the fire from His eyes when the latter sought to distract him by thought of passion from the yoga in which he was engaged.

172:5 Smaretprathama puṣpinīm, literally "as having the first 'flower'" which is used in the same symbolical sense as in English. The puṣpotsava is the religious festival held on its first appearance at puberty.

172:6 Rudhiravīndunīlambaram--that is, stained with the puṣpa ("flower"). As this first shows itself when woman is ready to bear, so in the blue sky, which is the Devī's garment, signs are seen which herald Her creation.

172:7 Grihītamadhupānikām.

172:8 Madhuvighurnanetranchalam (see p. 170, n. 4).

173:1 Ghanastana bharonnatām: "heavy" (cf. Annapūrṇadhyāna Annapradāna-niratām stanabhāranamrām"); "high" (cf. Durgādhyana, ante Introduction); "close," so that, as it is said in the Kumarāsambhavam (chap. i.) of Kalidāsa: "Even the filament of a lotus could not be passed between them" ("mrinālasūtrāntaramapyalabhyam").

173:2 Galitachikurām. The Devī in this and other forms, as Kālī, Tārā and Chinnamastā is so represented. The epithet is a common one in Tantra (cf. Karpūrādistotra, verse 3).

173:3 Jaba, v. ante. So also the Lalitā (verse 147), "whose body is like the China rose."

173:4 See the Ādyākālisvarūpa Stotra in the Mahānirvāṇa Tantra.

173:5 The Devī is, according to the Lalitā Sahasranāma (verse 59) chāruhāsa (with beautiful smile), indicating a certain state of consciousness (prabodha) of highest bliss.

173:6 These are Her weapons. The Tantrarāja (Vāsana chap.) says: "Mind is the bow of sugar-cane, desire the noose, anger the goad, and the five subtle sources of the elements (tanmātra) the five arrows of flowers." But the Yoginīhridaya says: "The noose is Iccāśakti, and goad Jnānāśakti, and the bow and arrows Kriyāśakti."

173:7 She deludes men with her māyā; hence the Lalitā (verse 137) calls Her "all-bewildering" (sarvamohinī). The Kurma Purāṇā says: "This māyā is dear to me by which the world is bewildered. I bewilder the whole universe with the Devas, Daityas, and men."

174:1 Cikurabandhasairiṇdhrikām: for Her hair, which is in some of Her aspects dishevelled, is in others beautifully arranged.

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