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Kalika Ashtakam

Kalika Ashtakam
(Octet addressed to Goddess Kali)
Translated by P. R. Ramachander

[Here is a prayer addressed to the fierce form of Goddess Parvathi called Kali.. She is supposed to live in the cremation ground and wears a garland of cut heads. There is a reference to her birth in the Devi Mahathmyam (Chandi). When Raktha Bheeja, the commander of Shumbha and Nishumba comes to oppose Parvathi, she creates Kali. This was necessitated because every drop of blood falling from the body of Raktha Bheeja becomes another Raktha Bheeja. Kali simply drinks all the blood that comes out of Raktha Bheeja. She is a presiding deity of Kali Ghat, in Calcutta. I have used the Hindi Translation available at:
shivu360.blogspot.com/2009/06/kali-ashtakam.html to understand this octet.]

Dhyanam
Galadha Raktha mukthavali khanda mala,
Maha gora raava, sudamshtra karala,
Vivasthra smasanalaya mukthakesi,
Maha kala-kamakulaa kalikeyam. 1

Wearing a garland of skulls drenched with blood,
Having a fearful form,black in colour with externally projecting teeth,
She is nude and lives in cremation ground with fully untied hair,
And she is Kali busy in love play with the great Lord Shiva.

Bhuje vama yugme siro asi dhadhaana,
Varam Daksha yugmebhyam vai thadaiva,
Sumadhya api thunga sthana bhara namra,
Lasad Raktha srukka dhwaya susmithasya. 2

Carrying cut heads as well as sword in her two left hands,
Symbols of blessing and protection in her right hands,
Having a lion like middle and bent because of heavy breasts,
And with shining blood drenched lips but smiling prettily.

Sava dwandhwa karnavathasaa sukesi,
Lasad pretha pani prayukthaika Kanchi,
Savaakara - manchathirooda shivaabhi,
Schadhir dikshu shabdhayamanabhireje. 3

Wearing ornaments of made of corpses in her two ears, having a very good hair,
Wearing shining armlets made of corpses and also girdles
Sitting on a seat of corpses and she shines,
Making very fearful sound rocking all four directions.

Sthuthi
(Prayer)

Viranchyadhi devasthrayasthe gunaamsthreen,
Samaradhya Kali!Pradhaana bhabhuva,
Anadhim suradhim makhadim bhavadhim,
Swaroopam thwadheeyam na vindanthi devaa. 4

The holy trinity are depending on your three qualities,
And are engaged in worshipping you as Kali,
You have a form which is primeval, first among devas,
Prime of all fire sacrifices and root cause of the world,
And even the Devas do not understand you.

Jaganmohaneeyam thu vagvadheneeyam,
Suhrut poshinim shathru samharaneeyam,
Vacha sthambaneeyam kimu uchataneeyam,
Swaroopam thwadeeyam na vindanthi devaa. 5

You attract the entire world and are also worshipped by the Goddess of learning,
You are taking care of devotees and are destroyer of your enemies,
You can completely benumb any voice and what can be chanted about you,
And even the devas do not understand you.

Iyam swarga dathri puna kalpavalli,
Manojasthu kaamaan yadartha prakuryath,
Kadha they kruthartha bhavatheethi nithyam,
Swaroopam thwadeeyam na vindanthi devaa. 6

You are the one who grants heaven and also the wish giving tree.
You fulfill the desires of mind in the real realized form,
And all those who benefit by you, would become grateful to you,
And even the devas do not understand you.

Surapanamathe! Subhakthanurakathe!,
Lasad pootha chithe! Yadha aavirbhavasthe!
Japa-dhyana-pooja sudha dhoutha pankha,
Swaroopam thwadeeyam na vindanthi devaa. 7

You are intoxicated, You love your real devotees,
And you are born in the hearts of your loving devotees,
And your form is of the nectar like wings of chant,meditation and worship,
And even the devas do not understand you.

Chidhananda - kandham hasan mandha mandham,
Sarachandrakoti-prabha punja bimbham,
Muneenaam kavinaam hrudhi dhyotha manam,
Swaroopam thwadeeyam na vindanthi devaa. 8

You have a form of divine joy and smile slowly, slowly,
You shine like the globe of billions of moons,
And you make the minds of sages and poets shine,
And even the devas do not understand you.

Maha - megha - kali, surakthabhi shubra,
Kadachith vichithraakruthir yoga maya,
Na Bala na Vrudha na kamathuraapi,
Swaroopam thwadeeyam na vindanthi devaa. 9

Sometimes you are black like a clouds,
Sometimes you are of the pure colour of blood,
Sometimes you are the yogic illusion which has peculiar forms,
You are neither a lass nor a old woman nor one who is intensely passionate,
And even the devas do not understand you.

Kshamaswa aparadham maha guptha bhavam,
Maya loka madhye prakasikrutham yath,
Thwa dhyanapoothena chapalya bhavath,
Swaroopam thwadeeyam na vindanthi devaa. 10

Please pardon me for describing, the very secret form of yours,
In the middle of the people of the entire world,
Please pardon this very unstable conduct of mine,
And even the devas do not understand you.

Phalasruthi

Yadhi dhyana yuktha pateth yo manushyasthadha sarva loke vishalo bhavecha,
Gruhe cha ashta sidhirmruthe chapi mukthi swaroopam thwadheeyam na vindanthi devaa.

That man who reads this meditating on you,
Would become a great one in this entire world,
And even inhis home he would become an expert on the eight occult powers,
And even the devas do not understand you.

|| Kaalikashtakam Sampoornam ||

Thus ends the octet addressed to Goddess Kali

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