THIS celebrated Kaula Stotra is attributed to Mahākāla Himself. The Text used is that of the edition published at Calcutta in 1899 by the Sanskrit Press Depository, with a commentary in Sanskrit by the late Mahāmahopādhyāya Kṛṣhṇanātha Nyāya-pañcānana, who was both very learned in Tantra-Śāstra and faithful to his Dharma. He thus refused the offer of a good Government Post made to him personally by a former LieutenantGovernor on the ground that he would not accept money for imparting knowledge. Some variants in reading are supplied by this commentator. I am indebted to him for the Notes, or substance of the notes, marked K. B. To these I have added others, both in English and Sanskrit explaining matters and allusions familiar doubtless to those for whom the original was designed, but not so to the English or even ordinary Indian reader. I have also referred to the edition of the Stotra published by GaṇeśaCandra-Ghoṣa at Calcutta in 1891, with a translation in Bengali by Gurunātha Vidyānidhi, and commentary by Durgārāma-Siddhāntavāgīśa Bhattācārya.


May the Mahā-Devī who is called Kālikā,
Because She is without beginning or end,
Whose Body is imagined to be blue of colour,
Because like the blue sky She pervades the World,
And because She is Cidghanā Sattvaguṇamayī
Who is imagined to be black
Because She is colourless and above the coloured Guṇas,
Whose hair is dishevelled (Muktakeśī)
Because though Herself changeless She binds infinite numbers of Jivas by bonds of Māyā, symbolized by Her dishevelled hair and because She makes liberated (Mukta) Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Maheśvara who are Keśa,

Who is imagined as having the Sun, Moon and Fire as Her three eyes,
Because as the Virad, the Witness of the world past, present and future She sees everything,
Who is pictured as wearing the dead bodies of two boys as Her ear-ornaments,
Because as said in Āgama and Nigama the childlike and unperturbed (Nirvikāra) Sādhaka is very dear to Her, who being the sole Creatrix, Preserver and Destructress of infinite millions of Worlds, has on Her Body the mark of the Yoni signifying creation, full and high breasts denoting preservation, and a terrible visage signifying the withdrawal of all things,
Who is said to have large teeth, and a lolling tongue and to hold in Her hand a cup made of human skull,
Because the Cinmayī Mahādevī drinks the wine of delusion arising from the Tamas Guṇa of Her Sādhaka by means of Sattva-pradhāna rajoguṇa,
Who is pictured as wearing a garland of severed heads,
Because She is Śabdabrahman (Śabdabrahmarūpiṇī) and the heads are the fifty letters,
Whose upper and lower right hands are seen to be making the Abhaya and Vara Mudrās,
Because She both destroys the dangers, and grants the desires of Sakāma-Sādhakās,
Whose upper left hand is depicted as wielding a sword,

Because She severs the bonds of illusion for the Niṣkāma-Sādhaka,
Whose lower left hand is seen to hold a human head,
Because She grants him Tattvajñāna,
Who is called Digambarī (space-clad)
Because being Brahman (Brahmarūpiṇī) She is free from the covering of Māyā and unconcerned (Nirvikāra),
Who is pictured as having a waist-chain of human hands,
Because hands are the principal instrument of work (Karma) and at the close of a Kalpa all Jīvas with their Karmas are merged in the Avidyā Śakti of Mahāmāyā,
Who is seen standing on the breast of corpse-like Śiva,
Because the Supreme State (Paramapada) and Svarūpāvasthā or Mahādevī (one with Śiva) is Nirguṇa and changeless (Nirvikāra),
Who is seen in Viparīta-maithuna with Mahākāla,
Because at the beginning of a Kalpa She who is ever blissful (Nityānandamayī), and being united with Śiva, feels pleasure in the work of creation which She effects by bringing the changeless Paraśiva under Her dominion (Vaśībhūta),
Who is again said to live in the cremation ground,
Because when at the end of a Kalpa all things in the universe from Brahmā to a blade of grass are dissolved in Mahākāla, She is in and one with that Mahākāla, who may be thus compared to a cremation ground, and because at the death of Jīvas She exists as the individual (Vyaṣti) Jīvātmā in the burning ground,

Whose Yantra for worship is composed of a circle symbolizing Māyā, an eight-petalled lotus denoting the eightfold Prakṛti, three Pentagons representing the fifteen Avayavas and a Bindu denoting Śiva-Śakti,
Because She is, as Paramātmā, in the gross and subtle bodies consisting of the three Guṇas and twenty-four Tattvas,
Whose Bīja ‘Krīm’, the Queen of Mantras is pure Sattva Guṇa, and consciousness (Caitanyamayī) and grants both Enjoyment and Liberation,
Who is worshipped as Dakṣiṇā because She alone grants the full fruits of all forms of Upāsanā and Yajña.
May She, this Mahādevī, who is Saccidānandarūpiṇī and forgiveness itself, pardon all offences committed by me in the explanation of this Her Hymn.
Śaṁbhu with His five mouths is unable to relate Thy qualities.
Pardon all my childishness. Be propitious.
Guard my life, guard my repute and guard my wife, sons and wealth.

And at death grant me Liberation.

O Mother of the World, obeisance.

– From Vimalānandadāyini Commentary on that Lord of Hymns called the Karpūrādi-Stotra to Śrimad Dakṣiṇa-Kālikā.

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