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

p. 207




O Devī Sureśvarī! 2 O Bhagavatī Gangā!
Saviour of the three worlds of restless waves,
Clear is Thy water circling upon the head of Śiva 3,
May my mind ever repose at Thy lotus feet.


Mother Bhāgīrathī! 4 giver of happiness,
Renowned in Nigama 5 is the greatness of Thy water;
Thy greatness is more than I can know,
Protect me, O merciful one, ignorant that I am.

p. 208


O Gangā! sprung from the feet of Viṣṇu, 1
Whose waves are white as snow as moon and pearl,
Remove from me my weight of sin;
Help me to cross the ocean of the world.


They say that him, O Gangā! who is devoted to Thee
Yama 2 can never behold.
He who has drunk of Thy clear water
Attains of a surety the supreme Abode.


O Jāhnavī! O Gangā! deliverer of the fallen, 3
Whose waves are beautiful,
Claving the foremost of mountains, 4
Mother of Bhīṣma, 5 daughter of the foremost of munis6
Protectress of the fallen; praised in the three worlds. 7


O Gangā! who goeth to the ocean,
Ever free of sadness is he who salutes Thee.

p. 209

Giver of fruit like unto the kalpa tree, 1
By thy favour the woman who looked coldly
Now casts her loving glances. 2


He who bathes in Thy current, O Mother!
Is never again reborn in woman's womb
O Protectress from hell! O Jāhnavi! O Gangā!
O Destructress of sins! lofty art Thou by Thy greatness.


O Thou who art eternal! O wave of purity!
May Thou, bestower of bliss, refuge of Thy worshippers!
From whose eyes come glances of compassion.
Whose feet the lustre of gems on Indra's crown adorn,
Be ever victorious!


O Bhāgīrathī! 3 dispel my illness, melancholy, and pain,
As also my sins and all my many follies;
Essence of the three regions, necklace (on the breast) of Earth, 4
Of a surety Thou art my refuge in the world.

p. 210


O Alakanandā! 1 O supreme Bliss! 2
O worshipful by those who despair!
Be Thou merciful.
He whose abode is by Thy Banks
Of a verity dwells in Vaikuṇṭha. 3


Better were it to be a fish or tortoise in thy waters,
Or a feeble lizard upon Thy banks, or a poor dog-eater 4
Within two kos 5 of Thy stream,
Than to be a noble king and yet far away from Thee.


O Bhuvaneśvarī! 6 pure one, praised of all,
Devī in liquid form, 7 daughter of the foremost of Munis8
He who daily reads this hymn to Gangā
Is of a surety ever victorious.


They who with devotion in their heart to Gangā (Recite) this hymn
Composed in the sweet, pleasant, charming pajjhatika metre,

p. 211

Which gives the highest happiness,
Gain the eternal bliss of liberation.


A worldly 1 man shall read 2 this hymn to Gangā
Which 3 is the essence of the world, the giver of desired fruit,
The essence of all pure things enjoined. 4
Composed by Śankara, 5 the worshipper of Śankara. 6
This hymn is ended.


207:1 This hymn to the Devī Ganges, which is in the sweet pajjhatika metre, is also rhymed thus:

Devī Sureśvarī Bhagavatī Gange,
Tribhuvanatārinī taralatarange,
Śankaramaulī vihārinī vīmale,
Mamamatirāstām tavapada kamale

207:2 Īśvarī (feminine of Īśvara or Lord) of the Suras or Devas.

207:3 See p. 188, note 7.

207:4 So called because called down from Heaven by Bhagīratha of the solar race.

207:5 Tantra.

208:1 Gangā was born at the feet of Viṣṇu. So it is said in the mantra used when bathing in the Ganges: "Viṣṇupādābja sambhūte Gange bhuvanatārini dharma dravīti" (the Ganges is dharma in liquid form) "vikhyāte pāpam me hara Jāhnavi."

208:2 Deva of Death.

208:3 Into sin.

208:4 The Himālaya.

208:5 Son of Santanu by Gangā.

208:6 See p. 188, note 7.

208:7 See p. 151, note 7.

209:1 The tree in the paradise of Indra which granted all desires.

209:2 Vimukhavanitākritataralāpānge.

209:3 So called after Bhagīratha, who called her down to earth (see p. 188, note 7).

209:4 Vasudhāhārā--that is, as a necklace adorns a woman, so the Devī by the flowing lines of Her stream, adorns the Earth.

210:1 A river flowing from the Himalaya into the Ganges.

210:2 Paramānandā, as is the Supreme, whose manifestation She is.

210:3 The heaven of Viṣṇu

210:4 That is, a caṇḍāla, one of the lowest and most unclean castes.

210:5 A kos is two miles.

210:6 Īśvarī, of the world.

210:7 For the Ganges is the manifestation of the Supreme in the form of the sacred river.

210:8 Jahnu (see p. 188, note 7).

211:1 Viṣaya, which also in a had sense means a sensualist or materialist.

211:2 Paṭhati. Literally, "reads," but used for the vidhiling tense paṭhet. Thus in Caṇḍi it is said: "Paṭhet stotram samāhitah," and in the Vatukastotra, "Paṭhetvāpāṭhayetvāpi" ("should read or have read to him").

211:3 That is, the hymn.

211:4 i.e., forms of worship (pūjā), sacrifice (yajna), etc.

211:5 That is, Śankarācārya.

211:6 Śiva.

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