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Hymn to Kali, by Arthur Avalon (Sir John George Woodroffe), [1922], at

p. 68


IF by night, 1 Thy devotee 2 unclothed, with dishevelled hair, recites whilst meditating on Thee, 3 Thy mantra4 when with his Śakti 5 youthful, full-breasted, and heavy-hipped, such an one makes all powers subject to him, and dwells on the earth ever 6 a seer. 7


'Laya Yoga'

Is here described in this and following verses. Gheraṇda-Saṁhitā says, 'One should become Śaktimaya by doing Yoni Mudra. One should be in Paramātmā with sweet Śṛngārarasa (love sentiment) and being Blissful (Ānandamaya) should unite with Brahman.' The Gorakṣa-Saṁhitā says, 'Raising the Śakti with the Jīva to the Lotus in the head one should become Śaktimaya and uniting with Śiva should think of all forms of happiness and enjoyment.' The Tantra-Kalpadruma says, 'One should meditate on Devī Kuṇdalinī as Iṣtadevatā, ever youthful, of the age of sixteen, full-breasted, dark, subtle, appearing as creation and in the form of creation, maintenance and dissolution (Ṣṛṣti-sthiti-layātmikā).'

'Thy devotee' (Bkaktah)

Here the Divya Sādhaka who is a Yogin.

'By night (Naktam)'

That is, awaking in Brahmavidyā which (though Light) is darkness for all ordinary creatures. The Bhagavadgītā says, 'The self-controlled man awakes in what is night to all creatures.'

'Naked' (Vivāsāh)

That is, stripped of the covering of Māyā: that is awakened.

p. 69

'Dishevelled hair' (Galitacikurah)

That is, with mind free from all restlessness. The word Cikura means both hair and restless.

'Meditating' (Dhyāyan)

On Thee as in enjoyment of Sāmarasya bliss with Paramaśiva.

'Enjoying' (Ratāsaktām)

By doing Laya of (merging) the Jīvātmā in Kuṇdaliṇī-Śakti, the ever-youthful, all-pervading Genetrix and Preserver of all Jīvas. The creative and nourishing function of Kuṇdaliṇī is indicated by the epithets 'heavy-hipped' and 'full-breasted.'


68:1 p. 69 Naktaṁ. At dead of night. The Phetkāriṇī-Tantra says, 'By night, naked with dishevelled hair in union with Śakti, by him is all Siddhi gained'. The Kālikrama says, 'The Paśu devoted to his own Ācāra should recite his Mantra a lakh of times by day. The Vira or Divya should recite it a lakh of times by night.' Kubjikā-Tantra says 'Such as are in Paśubhāva are but Paśus. They should not touch a rosary nor recite Mantra by night.' (V)

68:2 Bhaktah. Here a Vira-Sādhaka. Niruttara-Tantra says, 'The Mantrin who has received Ābhiṣeka should do Kulapūjā. Oh Devī the Mantra of Kāli does not become Siddha without Kulācāra.' (V)

68:3 Tvāṁ dhyāyan. Mentally seeing Thee in his heart as ever in the Enjoyment of union with Mahākāla. (V)

68:4 Thy Mantra is the aforesaid great Mantra. (V)

68:5 He is Ratāsakta, the meaning of which is as follows: Sa mantraṁ japati yadā sa śobhanāṅgapratyaṅgaśālinyā manohāriṇyāyuvatyā śaktyā saha maithunāsakto bhavati. Whilst in union (Maithuna) the mind must be concentrated on Devī Kāli and japā must be done of Her Mahāmantra. The devotee should not think of aught else.

68:6 So also Phetkāriṇī-Tantra (ch. x) says:

'Rātrau nagnah śyānas ca maithune ca vyavasthitah.
Athavā muktakeśash ca tena syuh sarvvasiddhayah.
Staṁbhanaṁ mohana-caiva vaśīkaraṇaṁ eva ca

Here Athavā means if the Sādhaka is without a Śakti; then recitation of mantra with dishevelled hair gives the same siddhi.

68:7 Kavi which has not here the limited sense of 'Poet.'

Next: Verse 11