Verses 15 and 16, as sufficiently appears from their context, refer to the sadhana of those who are not siddha.

Verses 10, 17, and 18 apply to both sadhaka and siddha, as to verse 20, see pp. 4, 5 ante.

By such sadhana the last vestiges of the most powerful of such bonds is sought to be destroyed, and with such destruction the seed of karma and rebirth. He, like Shiva, becomes destroyer of Smara, and Shiva Himself. Verses 4, 18, and 20 refer directly to this fruit of sadhana. Others indicate the material and intellectual greatness on earth of the sadhaka, who devoutly worships the Devi. To him is given mastery over all persons and things of the world, which on death, if siddha, he leaves for the dwelling by the Supreme Feet (verse 17), or Nirvana. As Shiva says in the Kalivilasa Tantra "I have told you, my beloved, all about the five Tattvas, Sadhana in the cremation ground and with the funeral pyre now listen to the doctrine of the Siddha vira."

Madyang matsyang tatha mangsang mudrang maithunam eva cha Shmashanasadhanam bhadre chitasadhanam eva cha Etat te kathitang sarvang siddhaviramatang shrinu.

It is the sadhana of the cremation-ground on which all passion is burnt away. There are two kinds of cremation-ground, of which the one is the funeral pyre (child), and the other yonirupa mahakali. As the first Chapter of the Niruttara Tantra says there are two cremation grounds namely that which is the funeral pyre and the yoni which, in its sukshma sense, is the Devi, the shmashana being in the same sense dissolution or pralaya. (Shmashanang dvividhang devi chita yoni prakirtita) In even the sthula sense the sadhaka must be susadhaka, for union without right disposition - japa, dhyana etc. - is the animal maithuna of a.pashu.

Shloka 19 refers to animal and human sacrifice to Kali. Reference to this sacrifice is also made in the Kalika Purana, and the Tantrasara speaks of a substitute in the figure of a man made of the paste of cereals. The latter work also says that by the sacrifice of a man one acquires great prosperity, and the eight siddhis. (Naradatte maharddhih syad ashtasiddhir anuttama). But it adds that this is not for all. For the Brahmana may not make such a sacrifice. (Brahmananang naravalidane nadhikarah). And if he does so, he goes to Hell. Moreover according to K. B.. who cites as his authority the Yamala quoted in the Kalikalpalata, the King alone can make such a sacrifice.

This leads one to point out that the Hymn has other than these gross (Sthula) meanings. In Brahmanism everything has three aspects - Supreme (Para), Subtle (Sukshma) and Gross (Sthula). Thus the nineteenth Shloka when referring to the sacrifice of various animals and of man himself intends according to the subtle sense the six great sins for which they stand, ranging from Lust (goat) to Bride (man). It is these which must be sacrificed by the knowers who are worshippers of the Mother, the age of material sacrifice, so universal throughout the world, having passed away. So again the word Parashakti may refer to the Supreme Shakti or may be used in the sense of a Shakti other than the svaskakti or Sadhaka's wife who, may in the case of the competent (adhikari) bean associate in the worship on the principle stated in the Guhyakalikhanda of the Mahakala Samhita.

"As is the competency of the Sadhaka, so must be that of the Sadhika In this way only is success attained and not otherwise even in ten million years".

Yadrishah sadhakah proktah Sadhikapi cha tadrishi

Tatah siddhim avapnoti nanyatha varsha-kotibhih.

This principle rests on the fact that man and woman together make one whole and can only co-operate in the rites where the attainments or Adhikara of each is the same. But this does not necessarily mean that such co-operation is by Maithuna in its sexual sense; quite the contrary. In the the same way in the Vaidik ritual the wife is Sahadharmini. But such ritual is only for the competent within the bounds of Sha stric injunction for, as the Shaktisangama Tantra (Part IV) says, -" Though a man be a knower of the three times, past, present and future and though he be a controller of the three worlds, even then he should not transgress the rules of conduct for men in the world were it only in his mind". Yadyapyasti trikalajnas trailokydkarshanakshamah Tathapi laukikacharam manasapi na langhayet.

But Parashakti again may mean no woman at all, but Supreme Shakti or the Mother Herself whose forms they are and in such sense the union of the Sadhaka is with the "woman" within himself - the Kundalini Shakti who in Yoga unites with Her Supreme Husband Paramashiva. (See A. Avalon's "Serpent Power"). The context must be known as in the misunderstood saying "Maithunena mahayogt mama tulyo na saugshayah," which does not mean, as a recent English work on Hinduism suggests, that by sexual connection {Maithuna) the Mahayogt becomes without doubt the equal of Shiva or God. This is on its face absurd and had it not been that such criticism is clouded with prejudice the absurdity would be recognised. How can sexual connection make any one God or His equal? The person spoken of is a Mahayogt who, as such, has no connection physical or otherwise with women. Maithuna means "action and reaction" and "coupling" and sexual intercourse is only one form of such coupling. Thus when Mantra is said there is a coupling or Maithuna of the lips. In Yoga there is a coupling {Maithuna) of the active and changeless Principles of the Universe. The saying means that the Mayayogi who unites Kundali Shakti in his body with Paramashiva becomes himself Shiva.

So again it is said in an apparently alarming verse quoted by Tarkalangkara, in his commentary on the Mahanirvana.

Matri-yonau kshipet lingam bhaginyah stanamardanam

Guror murdhnipadang dattva punarjanma na vidyate.

This verse in its literal sense means that if any one commits incest with his mother and sister and places his foot on the head of his Guru he is liberated and is never again reborn. But of course that is not the meaning. The first half of the line refers to the placing of the Jivatmd in the triangle situated in the Muladhara centre with the Svayambhulinga in it which triangle is called Matri-yoni. The Linga is the Jivatma. From this point upwards, after union with Kundalini, the Jivatma is to be led. The union of Jivatma with Kundalini is spoken of in the second half of the first line. Kundalini is the sister of the Jivatma both being in the same body. The meaning of the last line is as follows: - after union of Kundalini and Jivatma the united couple are led up to the Sahasrara or thousand-petalled lotus in the head which is situated above the twelve-petalled lotus which again is the abode of the Guru. When the Yogi is above the twelve-petalled lotus his feet may be described as being on the head of the Guru. Moreover it is said that at this point the relationship of Guru and disciple ceases. Matri-yoni is also the term given to those sections of the fingers between the joints on which count of the Japa or recital of the mantra is not to be done. If Matri-yoni suggests incest, then this verse is a prohibition of it - Matri-yonim paritajya viharet sarva-yonishu. There are many other technical terms in Tantra Shastra which it is advisable to know before criticising it. One of the tests to which at intending disciple may be put consists in being questioned as to such passages. If he is a gross-minded or stupid man his answer will show it.

In order therefore that the Hymn may be understood in its various aspects I have given in the Notes explanations of or in respect of its Stula or gross meaning. This is followed by the valuable commentary given to me, some years ago and now first published, by Vimalananda Svami which is called Svarupavyakhya; that is, it gives the subtle (Sukshma) or, as we should say in English, the inner sense or esoteric meaning according to the teaching of his own Guru Maha-mahopfidhyaya Ramananda Svami Siddhantapanchanana. The text books and Commentary are preceded by an admirable little essay of Svami Vimalananda by way of Introduction to the Vimalanandadayini svarupa-vyakhya on this "Lord of Hymns" which is commonly known as the Karpurudi Stotra chanted by Mahakala to, and in honour of, Dakshina Kalika. It, as also the inner-sense Commentary are written for those liberation-seeking Sadhakas who, worshipping Shrividya, meditate not on the gross form (Sthulamurti) but on the Svarupa-tattva of Brahmavidya, Kaliki. As such many will be glad, as I was, to read it and will derive benefit therefrom.

I may note here that the Svami while revising the Vyakhya, has given a new interpretation of the line "te Lakshmi-lasya-lild-kamala-dala-drishah kama-rupah bhavanti" in the 5th Shloka and of "rati-rasa-mahananda-niratam" in the 13th Shloka.

On the attainment of siddhi, ritual ceases. There is neither sacrifice nor worship, nor yoga, purashcharana, vrata, japa, or other karma. For all sadhana ceases when it has borne its fruit in siddhi. The Siddha Kaula is beyond all rules.

For the meaning of these and other terms, the reader is referred to the Author's "Principles of Tantra (Tantratattva)," "Shakti and Shakta," "Serpent Power" and "Garland of Letters" which is a study on the Mantra Shastra; and for other Hymns to the Devi, his and Ellen Avalon's "Hymns to the Goddess," translated from the Sanskrit of the Tantra, Purana, and the Devistotra of Shangkaracharyya, which gives other specimens of the Hindu Hymnal, of which that now published is but one and a special type.


Arthur Avalon.

30, May, 1922.