Karpuradi Stotra (Hymn to Kali)
translated by Arthur Avalon.
O Mother and Spouse of the Destroyer of the three cities, they who thrice recite Thy Bija formed by omitting from Karpura, the middle and last consonants and the vowels, but adding Vamasi and Bindu, the speech of such, whether in poetry or prose, like that of men who have attained all powers, issues of a surety with all ease from the hollow of their mouth, O Thou who are beauteous with the beauty of a dark rain cloud.
Oh Mahesi, even should one of poor mind at any time recite but once another doubled Bija of Thine, composed of Isana, and Vamasravana, and Bindu; then, O Thou who hast great and formidable ear-rings of arrow form, who bearest on Thy head the crescent moon, such an one becomes all-powerful, having conquered even the Lord of Speech and the Wealth-Giver, and charmed countless youthful women with lotus-like eyes.
O Kalika, O auspicious Kalika with disheveled hair, from the corners of whose mouth streams of blood trickle, they who recite another doubled Bija of Thine composed of Isa, Vaisvanara, Vamanetra, and the lustrous Bindu, destroy all their enemies, and bring under subjection the three worlds.
O Destructress of the sins of the three worlds, auspicious Kalika, who in Thy upper lotus-like left hand holdest a sword, and in the lower left hand maketh the gesture which dispels fear, and with Thy lower right hand that which grants boons; they, O Mother with gaping mouth, who reciting Thy name, meditate in this way upon the greatness of Thy mantra, possess the eight great powers of the Three-Eyed One in the palm of their hands.
O Mother, they who recite Thy charming Bija, composed of the first of the group of letters, followed by Vahni, Rati, and beautified by Vidha, thrice, the Kurca Bija twice, followed by the two Thas, they, O Spouse of the Destroyer of the Deva of Desire contemplating Thy true form, become themselves the Deva of Love whose eyes are as beautiful as the petals of the lotus which Laksmi holds in her playful dance.
O Devi of full breasts, whose throat is adorned with a garland of heads, They who meditating recite any one or two or three of Thy very secret and excelling Bijas or all thereof together with Thy name, in the moonlike face of all such the Devi of Speech ever wanders, and in their lotus-like eyes kamala ever plays.
O Mother, even a dullard becomes a poet who meditates upon Thee raimented with space, three-eyed, Creatrix of the three worlds, whose waist is beautiful with a girdle made of numbers of dead men’s arms, and who on the breast of a corpse, as Thy couch in the cremation-ground, enjoyest Mahakala.
Those who truly meditate on Thee, the Spouse of Hara, who art seated in the cremation-ground strewn with funeral pyres, corpses, skulls, and bones, and haunted by female jackals howling fearfully; who art very youthful, and art in full enjoyment upon Thy Spouse, are revered by all and in all places.
What, indeed, O Mother, can we of so dull a mind say of Thee whose True Being not even Dhata, Isa, or Hari know? Yet, despite our dullness and ignorance, our devotion towards Thee makes us talk of Thee. Therefore, O Dark Devi, forgive this our folly. Answer towards ignorant creatures such as we, is not befitting Thee.
If by night, Thy devotee unclothed, and with disheveled hair, recites whilst meditating on Thee, Thy mantra, when with his Sakti youthful, full-breasted, and heavy-hipped such an one makes all powers subject to him, and dwells on the earth ever a seer.
O Spouse of Hara, should (a Sadhaka) daily recite Thy mantra for the space of a year meditating the while with knowledge of its meaning upon Thee intent upon Thy union with the great Mahakala, above whom Thou art, then suck a knower has every pleasure that he wills upon the earth, and holds all great powers in the grasp of his lotus-like hands.
O Mother, Thou givest birth to and protectest the world, and at the time of dissolution dost withdraw to thyself the earth and all things; therefore Thou art Brahma, and Lord of the three worlds, the Spouse of Sri, and Mahesa, and all other beings and things. Ah Me! how then, shall I praise Thy greatness?
O Mother, people there are who worship many other Devas than Thyself. they are greatly ignorant, and know nothing of the high truth, (but I) of my own uncontrollable desire for Thee approach Thee, the Primordial Power, who dost deeply enjoy the great Bliss arising from union (with Siva), and who art worshipped by Hari, Hara, Virinci, and all other Devas.
O Kali, spouse of Girisa, Thou art Earth, Water, Air and Ether. Thou art all. Thou art one and beneficent. What can be said in praise of Thee, O Mother? Of Thy mercy show Thy favor towards me, helpless as I am. By Thy grace may I never be reborn.
He, O Mahakali, who in the cremation-ground, naked, and with disheveled hair, intently meditates upon Thee and recites Thy mantra, and with each recitation makes offering to Thee of a thousand Akanda flowers with seed, becomes without any effort a Lord of the earth.
O Kali, whoever on Tuesday at midnight, having uttered Thy mantra, makes offering even but once with devotion to Thee of a hair of his Sakti in the cremation-ground, becomes a great poet, a Lord of the earth, and ever goes mounted upon an elephant.
The devotee who, having placed before himself and meditated and again meditated upon, the abode strewn with flowers, of the Deva with the bow of flowers, recites Thy Mantra, Ah! he becomes on earth the lord of Gandharvas, and the ocean of the nectar of the flow of poesy, and is after death in Thy supreme abode.
He who at night, when in union with his Sakti, meditates with centred mind on Thee, O Mother with gently smiling face, as on the breast of the corpse-like Siva lying on a fifteen-angled yantra deeply enlisted in sweet amorous play with Mahakala, himself becomes the destroyer of the God of Love.
O Dark One, wondrous and excelling in every way, becomes the accomplishment, of those worshippers who living in this world freely make offering to Thee in worship of the greatly satisfying flesh, together with hair and bone, of cats, camels, sheep, buffaloes, goats, and men.
O Mother, he who, being a controller of his passions, eats havisyannam, and, being proficient in meditation on Thy feet, rightly recites Thy mantra a hundred thousand times by day, and who afterwards naked at night, when united with his Sakti, rightly recites Thy great mantra another such hundred thousand times, becomes on earth like unto the Destroyer of Smara.
o Mother, this Hymn of Thine is the source from whence originates Thy mantra. It sings of Thy real self, and contains injunctions for the worship of Thy two lotus Feet. He who reads it at midnight or at time of worship even in his random talk becomes the nectar juice of poesy.
Numbers of women with large eyes, like those of the antelope, impatient for his love, ever follow him. Even the King becomes subject to his control. He becomes like Kubera himself. An enemy fears him as if he were a prison. Living in continuous bliss the devotee is liberated when yet living, and is never again reborn.
Here ends the Hymn by Sri Mahakala, entitled Karpuradistotra