' Whoever' (Ye, ye).

Even the most sinful. The Kalikularahasya says, ' Whoever he be who remembers Durga with or without reverence is delivered from evil and attains the supreme end.'

Recite

(Japanti)

' Thy Bija'

Meditate upon.

[Durgarama Siddhantavagisha calls it the nine syllabled Bija.]

First letter (Vargadyam)

The aspect of Consciousness (Chinmayarupa) which is the beginning of creation.

Placed on

Vahni (Vahnisamstham)

' Associated'

(Vidhuratilalitam

Full of Tejas.

That is cooling and beautiful.

1 Hrim, literal meaning of Lajjd, is modesty.

2 Or Svaha, Shakti of Agni. The mantra is, then, Krim, Krim, Krim, Hum, Hum, Hrim. Hrim Svaha, or the nine-lettered Vidya, or feminine mantra, which ends with Svahd, (see Vishvasara Tantra).

3 Smarahara or Shiva, who destroyed Manmatha with fire from his central eye of wisdom when the latter sought to distract him by passion from his Yoga. The Devi, according to the Brahmavaivarta Purana, restored Manmatha to life (see as to this Bhaskararaya's Commentary on the Lalita, verse 34).

4 Svarupam, that is true form as described in the first and other verses (V).

5 Lakshmi is associated with, holds, and stands on the lotus, hence Her titles - Kamala, Padma, Padmalaya, Padmadharini (see Lakshmi-stotra in Tantrasara, p. 577, Rasik Mohan Chatterjee's edition).

That is the three aspects of Sattva, Rajas, Tamas

' Thrice' (Trayam)

Is Shabdabrahman.

Kurchcha

Is Brahman associated with Maya

' Lajja'

Svaha the revealing Shakti of Fire.

'Two Thas'

Because She is always blissful.

' Smiling face' (Smitamukhi)

Shakti of Shiva who is the Destroyer of passionate Desire ; that is She destroys the lust, anger and so forth of Her Sadhakas.

' Spouse of the

Destroyer' (Smarahara-mahile)

That which is not different (in essence) from Jivatma. Svarupa is explained here as the Rupa of Sva, that is Atma, meaning the Oneness of Paramatma and Jivatma. Kalika Shruti says, 'One should always think of Atma as Kali'. Kali-kulasarvasva says, 'He who worships the spouse of Shiva thinking that his Atma is Kalika's Atma and meditating on the Shivalike Guru is Sadashiva Himself.' Yogini Tantra says, 'He who thinks, even if it were for a moment, "I am Brahman" to him the Devi gives unending fruit. One's own body should always be thought of as the body of the Ishtadevata. And so the whole world should be considered as Her body. '

' Thy true form ' (Svarupam)

[Durgarama explains Svarupa in the following ways: (a) The true form is that indicated in the previous or following verses. (6) It is that of the nine-syllabled Mantra, (c) It is that . indicated by the letters composing the Mantra. For instance Barada Tantra says that in 'Krim', K is Kali, R is Brahma, I is Mahamaya, Nada is the Matrix of the universe and Bindu is the Dispeller of Sorrow. In 'Hum', H is Shiva, U is Bhairava, Nada means the Supreme and Bindu is the Dispeller of Sorrow. In Hrim, H is Shiva R is Prakriti I is Mahamaya Nada the Generetrix by the Universe and Bindu the dispeller of pain. Contemplation on Mantras constituted of these letters reveals their Chaitanya. Japa of Mantra without knowing its Chaitanya is useless.]

' Become themselves ' (Kamarupa bhavanti)

They acquire the power of assuming whatever form they desire and of charming the whole world with their beauty.

0 Devi1 of full breasts,2 whose throat is adorned with a garland of heads, They who meditating3 recite any one or two or three of Thy very secret and excelling Bijas or all thereof 4 together with Thy name,5 in the moonlike face of all such the

Notes

1 Devi which comes from the root Div to shine, is the Shining One. (V)

2 Pinastanadhye (see also Bhairavistotra in Tantra-sara, p. 596). The physical characteristics of the Devi in swelling breasts and hips are emblematic of Her great Motherhood, for She is Shrimata. See also as to the former, Durga Dhyana in Devi Purana, which speaks of her large and rising breasts (Pinonnatapayodharam); the Annapurna Stava (Bakshojakumbhantari); Bhubanesvari Stotra (Apivarastana-tatim); and the Saraswati Dhyana (Kuchabharanamitamgim). The Annapurna Dhyana (Annapradananiratang stanabharanamram) speaks of Her limbs as weighted by Her breasts. The Mababhagavata describes Her as naked, terrific, with fiery eyes, full and erect breasts, and dishevelled hair; and the Lalita (verse 15) says: ' Her golden girdle supports Her waist, which bends under the burden of Her breasts, thrice folding the skin below Her bosom' (Stanabharadalan-madhyapatiabandhavalitraya).

3 Bhavayan ah, that is, meditating on the naked, full-breasted, black form with dishevelled hair as stated in Her Dhyana, and which is the

' Artha of the particular Mantra. The Bhutashuddhi Tantra says, ' A

Mantra should be recited mentally meditating the while on the form of the Devi denoted by it' (V).

4 Any one of the aforesaid Bijas or the whole that is, the whole nine-lettered Vidya in full. Which according to the Kumari Tantra cited in Tantraratna is Krim, Krim, Krim, Hum, Hum, Hrim, Hrim, Hrim, Hrim- Shyamarahasya quoting Kalika Shruti, says that the whole Vidya should be recited once, twice, or thrice, or the whole mantra with ' Dakshinc Kalike between the Bijas." (K.B.) Thus, Krim, Krim, Krim, Hum, Hum, Hrim, Hrim, Dakshine Kalike, Krim, Krim, Krim, Hum, Hum, Hrim, Hrim.

5 Dakshina Kalika,

Devi of speach1 ever wanders, and in their lotus-like eyes Kamala2 ever plays.3