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March 14th, 2008, 05:18 PM
Hymns to the Goddess

by Arthur Avalon
[Sir Arthur Woodroffe]
London: Luzac

Scanned at sacred-texts.com, November 2005. Proofed and Formatted by John Bruno Hare. This text is in the public domain in the United States because it was published prior to January 1st, 1923. This etext may be used for any non-commercial purpose, provided this notice of attribution is left intact in all copies. *


THE Goddess or Devī (as the Hindus call Her) is God (as the Western worshippers address Him) in Its Mother aspect. The latter not uncommonly deem such attribution of feminine quality to be "heathenish"; but this condemnation (for the criticism has, of course, this intendment) is itself singularly foolish in that it is thereby implied that of two sets of terms (neither of which is in its strict sense applicable to the Deity as the Author of forms), one is, in fact, a more correct description than the other. In the Navaratneśvara it is said: "That Devī, who is existence, consciousness, and bliss, should be thought of as a female or as a male, or as pure Brahman. In reality, however, She is neither male nor neuter (that is to say, that She is not bound to any particular form)."

No one contends that the Brahmatattva in the supreme abode beyond appearances is masculine as opposed to feminine, or the latter as contrasted with the former. Like all else in this matter, words are but the babbling endeavour of our plane to express that which is above it. It is not easy, then, to explain the condemnation except upon the assumption that those who pronounce it think their mother's sex to be inferior to their own, and that thus Deity is unworthily described by any other terms than those of masculine excellence. But Hindus, who ever place the name of mother before that of father, and to whom garbha dhāraṇapoṣābhyām pitur mātā gariyasi, have no partiality for such mistaken notions. On the other hand, it is possible that they might not understand the Christian expression "Mother of God," nor approve it even after they had learnt the limited and special sense which theology gives to this epithet. The Tāntrika would least of all admit the insufficiency of the conception of God as Mother. For the Devī manifests in his own mother, in his prakṛti (as he calls his wife), and in all women. As the Kubjikā Tantra says: "Whosoever has seen the feet of woman let him worship them as those of his guru" (Strinām pādatalam driṣtvāguruvadbhāvayet sadā). Whilst male and female are both Her aspects, yet Śakti is, in a sense, said to be more revealed in the female than in the male form. And so the Muṇḍamāla Tantra says: "Wherever there is a śaktī (female), there I am."

On account of this greater manifestation, women are called Śakti. From this, however, it must not be supposed that Śakti is less present in such forms as Śiva and Kṛṣṇa and others. If, as the author of the Tantra Tattva says, a sādhaka who is a worshipper of the Kṛṣṇamūrti desires to see Him as Kālī, Bhagavān, who fulfils the desires of devotees, will assume that form. All forms come into existence upon the manifestation of consciousness in the play of Her whose substance is consciousness.

Though the Sāktānandataranginī says: Devī is worshipped on account of Her soft heart (komalāntahkaraṇam), yet the use of the term "Mother" has other grounds than those which are founded upon an appeal to the natural feelings which the sweetness of the word "Mother" evokes. The meaning of the term "Devī" is prakāsātmikā, or that which is by its nature Light and Manifestation. And the word is used in the feminine gender because the One, as Śakti and Prakṛti, bears and nourishes all things as their Mother. The Devī is therefore the Brahman revealed in Its Mother aspect (Śrimātā) as Creatrix and Nourisher of the worlds.

Worshippers of Devī or Śakti are called Śāktas. But those who have a true knowledge of Śakti-tattva without which, according to Śāstra, Nirvānamokṣa is unattainable, will in thought surpass the sectarianism which the terms "Śākta", "Vaiṣṇava" and "Śaiva" ordinarily connote. Whatever forms the Devī assumes in Her aspect with attributes are but Her forms. As the author last cited says, the sādhaka will know Her, whether the appearance be that of Kṛṣṇa, Durgā, or Mahādeva. The Vaiṣṇava may consider Her as Viṣṇu in the form of Śakti, or the Śākta may look upon Her as Śakti in the form of Viṣṇu. To those who, immersed in the ocean of Her substance, which is cits'akti, are forgetful of all differences which appertain to the world of form, Kṛṣṇaśakti, Śivaśakti, or Kāliśakti, and all other manifestations of śakti, are one and the same. And so Rāmaprasāda, the Bengali poet and Tāntrik, sang: "Thou assumeth five principal forms according to the differences of worship. But, O Mother! how can you escape the hands of him who has dissolved the five and made them into one?"

The hymns to the Devī in this volume (introduced by a stotra to Her Spouse the Kālabhairava) are taken from the Tantra, Purāṇa, Mahābhārata, and Śankarācārya, who was "the incarnation of devotion" (bhaktāvatāra) as well as a great philosopher; a fact which is sometimes ignored by those who do not wish to be reminded that he, whose speculative genius they extol, was also the protagonist of the so-called "idolatrous Hinduism." As his great example amongst many others of differing race and creed tell us, it is not, from the view of religion, the mark of discernment (even though it be the mode) to neglect or disparage the ritual practice which all orthodoxies have prescribed for their adherents. Stavapujā are doubtless the sādhana appropriate to the first of the several stages of an ascent which gradually leads away from them; but they are in general as necessary as the higher ones, which more immediately precede the attainment of brahmabhāva and siddhi. and

Apart, however, from this aspect of the matter, and to look at it from the point of view of that modern product, the mere "student of religions," who is not infrequently a believer in none, a knowledge of ritual (to use that term in its widest sense) will help to a greater and more real understanding of the mahāvākya of the Āryas than can be gained from those merely theoretical expositions of them which are now more popular. Those, again, whose interests are in what Verlaine called "mere literature" will at least appreciate the mingled tenderness and splendour of these Hymns, even in a translation which cannot reproduce the majesty of the sanskrit ślokas of the Tantra and Purāṇa, or the rhyme and sweet lilting rhythms of Śankara.

Of the Hymns now published, those from the Mahābhārata and Candī have already been translated; the first, in the English edition of the Mahābhārata, by Protap Chandra Roy and by Professor Muir in his "Original Sanskrit Texts," and the second by Mr. Pargiter, whose rendering of the Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa (of which it is the most celebrated portion) has been printed by the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

Ādyākālisvarūpastotra has also been previously published as part of a rendering by myself of the Mahānirvāṇa Tantra. The first two sets of Hymns have been translated afresh. In the translation of such works a Sanskrit dictionary (however excellent) is not either a sufficient or reliable guide. It is necessary to study the Hindu commentators and to seek the oral aid of those who possess the traditional interpretation of the Śāstra. Without this and an understanding of what Hindu worship is and means, absurd mistakes are likely to be made. I have thus, in addition to such oral aid, availed myself of the Commentaries of Nīlakanṭha on the Mahābhārata, of Gopāla Chakravarti and Nāgogī Bhatta on Candī, and of Nīlakantha on the Devībhāgavata. As regards the Tantra, the great Sādhana Śāstrā, nothing which is of both an understanding and accurate character can be achieved without a study of the original texts undertaken with the assistance of the Tāntrik gurus and pandits, who are the authorized custodians of its traditions.

The other stotras are now rendered in English for the first time; at least, I have come across no translation of them.The text of the Tantrasāra which has been used is that edited by Shrījut Rasik Mohun Chatterjee. It is not free from faults, which have necessitated reference to other Manuscripts. A more correct text of the Tārāshtakam, from the Nīla Tantra, is given in the Brihatstotraratnākara, to which reference has also been made for the hymns of Vālmīki and Indra. Both Ellen Woodroffe and myself have collaborated in the translation of the hymns by Śankara. For the rest, as also for the Introduction and Commentary, I am alone responsible. Some of the notes deal with matter familiar enough to the Hindu reader but have been inserted for the use of his English friends. Other portions of the commentary will, I believe, be found to be of use to both.

March 1, 1913


SANĀTANA BRAHMAN is called sakala when with Prakṛti, as It is niṣkala when thought of as without Prakṛti (prakṛteranya), for kalā is Prakṛti. 1 To say, however, that Śakti exists in or with, the Brahman is an accommodation to human thought and speech, for the Brahman and Śakti are in fact one. Śakti is eternal (anādirūpā), and Brahmarūpā, and both nirguṇā and saguṇā. 2 She, the Goddess (Devī), is the caitanyarūpiṇi devī who manifests all bhūta; the ānandarūpiṇi devī by whom the Brahman, who She is, manifests Itself, 3 and who, to use the words of the Śāradātilaka, pervades the universe as does oil the sesamum seed. "Sa aikṣata," of which Śruti speaks, was itself a manifestation of Śakti, the paramāpūrvanirvāṇaśakti, or Brahman, as Śakti.

From the paraśaktimaya issued nāda, and from nāda, bindu 4. The state of subtle body known as kāmakalā is the mūla of mantra, and is meant when the Devī is spoken of as mūlamantrātmikā. 1 The Parambindu is represented as a circle the centre of which is the Brahmapada, wherein are Prakṛti-puruṣa; the circumference of which is encircling māyā. It is in the crescent of nirvāṇakalā the seventeenth, which is again in that of amākalā the sixteenth, digit of the moon circle (candramaṇḍala), situate above the sun-circle (sūryamaṇdala), the Guru and the Hamsah in the pericarp of the 1,000 petalled lotus (sahasrārapadma). The bindu is symbolically described as being like a grain of gram (canaka), which under its encircling sheath contains a divided seed--Prakṛti-puruṣa or Śakti-Śiva. 2

It is known as the Śabda Brahman. 3 A polarization then takes place in paraśaktimaya. The Devī becomes unmukhi. Her face is turned to Śiva. There is an unfolding which bursts the encircling shell. 4 The devatāparaśaktimaya exists in the threefold aspect of bindu, bīja, and nāda, the last being in relation to the two former. An indistinct sound then arises 5 (avyaktātmāravobhavat). Nāda, as Rāghava Bhatta 6 says, exists in three states, for in it are the three guṇas. The Śabda Brahman manifests Itself in the threefold energies, Jnāna, Ichhā, and Kriyā Śakti. 7 For, as the Vāmakeśvara Tantra says, the Devī Tripurā is threefold, as Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Īśa. Paraśiva exists as a septenary under the forms of Śambhu, Śadāśiva, Īśāna, Rudra, Viṣṇu, and Brahmā. The last five are the Mahāpreta, four of whom form the support, and the fifth the seat, of the bed on which the Devī is united with Paramaśiva in the room of cintāmaṇi stone on the jewelled island clad with clumps of kadamba, and heavenly trees set in the ocean of ambrosia. 1

Śakti is both māyā and mūlaprakṛti, whose substance is the three guṇas, representing nature as the revelation of spirit (sattva); nature as the passage of descent from spirit to matter, or of ascent from matter to spirit (rajas), and nature as the dense veil of spirit (tamas). The Devī is thus the treasure-house of guṇas (guṇanidhih). 2 Mūlaprakṛti is the womb into which the Brahman casts the seed from which all things are born. 3 The womb thrills to the movement of the essentially active rajoguṇa, and the now unstable guṇas in varied combinations under the illumination of Śiva (cit) evolve the universe which is ruled by Maheśvara and Maheśvarī. The dual principles of Śiva-Śakti, which are the product of the polarity manifested in Paraśaktimaya, pervade the whole universe, and are present in man in the svayambhulinga of the mūlādhāra and the Devī Kuṇḍalinī, who in serpent form encircles it. The Śabdabrahman assumes the form of the Devī Kuṇḍalinī, and as such is in the form of all breathing creatures (prāṇi), and in the form of letters appears in prose and verse. She is the luminous vital energy (jīvaśakti), which manifests as prāṇa. Through the various prakṛta and vaikṛta creations, issued the Devas, men, animals, and the whole universe, which is the work and manifested form of the Devī. For, as the Kubjikā Tantra says, "Not Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Rudra create, maintain, and destroy, but Brāhmī, Vaiṣṇavī, Rudrāṇī. Their husbands are but as dead bodies."

The Goddess (Devī) is the great Śakti. She is māyā, for of Her the māyā which produces the samsāra is. As Lord of māyā, She is Mahāmāyā. 1 Devī is avidyā (nescience), because She binds; and vidyā (knowledge), because She liberates and destroys the samsāra. 2 She is Prakṛti, 3 and, as existing before creation, She is the ādya (primordial) śakti. She is the vācaka-śakti, the manifestation of cit in Prakṛti; and the vācya śakti or cit itself. The ātmā should be contemplated as Devī. 4

Śakti or Devī is thus the Brahman revealed in its Mother aspect (srīmātā) 5 as creatrix and nourisher of the worlds. Kālī says of Herself in Yoginī Tantra: 6 "Saccidānandarupāham Brahmaivāham sphuratprabham." So the Devī is described with attributes both of the qualified 7 Brahman, and (since that Brahman is but the manifestation of the Absolute), She is also addressed with epithets which denote the unconditioned Brahman. 1 She is the great Mother (ambikā) sprung from the sacrificial hearth of the fire of the Grand Consciousness (cit) decked with the Sun and Moon; Lalitā--"She who plays"--whose play is world-play; whose eyes, playing like fish in the beauteous waters of Her Divine face, open and shut with the appearance and disappearance of countless worlds, now illuminated by Her light, now wrapped in her terrible darkness. 2 For Devī, who issues from the great Abyss, is terrible also in Her Kālī, Tārā, Chinnamastā, and other forms. Śāktas hold that a sweet and complete resignation of the self to such forms of the Divine Power denotes a higher stage of spiritual development. 3 Such dualistic worship also speedily bears the fruit of knowledge of the Universal Unity, the realization of which dispels all fear. For the Mother is only terrible to those who, living in the illusion of separateness (which is the cause of all fear), have not yet realized their unity with Her, and known that all Her forms are those of beauty.

The Devī as Parabrahman is beyond all form and guṇa. The forms of the Mother of the universe are threefold. There is first the Supreme (para) form, of which, as the Viṣṇu Yāmala 1 says, "none know." There is next Her subtle (sūkṣma) form, which consists of mantra. But, as the mind cannot easily settle itself upon that which is formless, 2 She appears as the subject of contemplation in Her third or gross (sthūla) or physical form, with hands and feet and the like, as celebrated in the Devīstotra of the Purāṇas and Tantras. Devī, who as Prakṛti is the source of Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Maheśvara, 3 has both male and female forms. 4 But it is in Her female forms that she is chiefly contemplated. For, though existing in all things, in a peculiar sense female beings are parts of Her. 5 The Great Mother, who exists in the form of all Tantras and all Yantras, 6 is, as the Lalitā says, the "unsullied treasure-house of beauty," the sapphire Devī 7 whose slender waist, 1 bending beneath the burden of the ripe fruit of her breasts, 2 swells into jewelled hips heavy 3 with the promise of infinite maternities 4. Her litanies depict Her physical form from head to foot, celebrating Her hair adorned with flowers and crowned with gems; Her brow bright as the eighth-day moon; Her ruby cheeks and coral lips; teeth like to "the buds of the sixteen-syllabled mantra," and eyebrows curved as are the arches at the gate of the palace of Kāmarāja; Her nose; Her teeth; Her chin; Her arms; and "Her twin breasts offered in return for that priceless gem which is the love of Kāmeśvara"; Her waist girdled with jewelled bells; Her smooth and faultless limbs rounded beneath the "jewelled disc of the knee like the sapphire-studded quiver of the God of Love" descending in lines of grace to Her bright louts feet, 1 which dispel the darkness of Her worshippers. 2 For moonlight is She, yet sunbeam, soothing all those who are burnt by the triple fires of misery (tāpatraya). Her face, Her body from throat to waist, and thence downwards, represent the vāgbhava and other kūta. The colour of the Devī varies according to the form under which She is contemplated. Thus, in conferring liberation, She is white; as controller of women, men, and kings, She is red; and as controller of wealth, saffron. As creatrix of enmity, She becomes tawny; and in the thrill of love, passion (śṛngāra), She is of the colour of the rose. In the action of slaying She becomes black. Thus, Devī, the Supreme Light, is to be meditated upon as differently coloured according to Her different activities. 3

After the description of the form of the Devī in brahmāṇḍa follows that of Her subtle form, called Kuṇḍalinī in the body (piṇḍāṇḍa). As the Mahādevī 4 She exists in all forms as Śarasvatī, Lakṣmī, Gāyatrī, Durgā, Tripurasundarī, Annapurṇā, and all the Devī who are avatāra of the Brahman. 1

Devī, as Satī, Umā, Pārvatī, and Gourī, is spouse of Śiva. It was as Satī, prior to Dakṣa's sacrifice (dakṣayajna) that the Devī manifested Herself to Śiva 2 in the ten celebrated forms known as the daśamahāvidyā--Kālī, Bagala, Chinnamastā, Bhuvaneshvarī, Mātanginī, Shorosi, Dhumāvati, Tripurasundarī, Tārā, and Bhairavī. When at the dakṣayajna She yielded up Her life in shame and sorrow at the treatment accorded by Her father to Her husband, Śiva took away the body, and, ever bearing it with him, remained wholly distraught and spent with grief. To save the world from the forces of evil which arose and grew with the withdrawal of His divine control, Viṣṇu, with his discus (cakra), cut the dead body of Satī, which Śiva bore, into fifty-one fragments, which fell to earth at the places thereafter known as the fifty-one 3 mahāpīthasthānas, where Devī, with her Bhairava, is worshipped under various names.

Thus the right and left breasts fell at Jalandhara and Ramgiri, where the Devī is worshipped as Tripuramālinī; the yoni at the celebrated shrine at Kamrup in Assam, where the Devī is worshipped as Kāmākṣā or Kāmākhyā (see ibid.); 4 the throat, shoulders, nose, hands, arms, eyes, fingers, tongue, buttocks, lips, belly, chin, navel, cheeks, thighs, teeth, feet, ears, thumbs, heels, toes (some at Kālīghat), waist, hair, forehead, with skeleton (several of these parts being themselves divided), fell at other pītha, at each of which the Devī is worshipped under different names in company with a Bhairava or Śiva, also variously named. Thus, the Devī at Kālīghat is Kālikā, and the Śiva Nakuleśvara, and the Devī at Kamrup is Kāmākshā, and Her Bhairava is Ramānanda.

These are but some only of Her endless forms. She is seen as one and as many: as it were, but one moon reflected in countless waters. 1 She exists, too, in all animals and inorganic things, since the universe, with all its beauties, is, as the Devī Purāṇa says, but a part of Her. All this diversity of form is but the infinite manifestations of the flowering beauty of the one Supreme Life--a doctrine which is nowhere else taught with greater wealth of illustration than in the Śākta Śāstras and Tantras. The great Bharga in the bright sun, and all Devatā, and, indeed, all life and being are worshipful, and are worshipped, but only as Her manifestations. 2 And he who worships them otherwise is, in the words of the great Devībhāgavata, 3 "like unto a man who, with the light of a clear lamp in his hands, yet falls into some waterless and terrible well." It is customary nowadays to decry external worship, but those who do so presume too much. The ladder of ascent can only be scaled by those who have trod all, including its lowest, rungs. The Śaktirahasya summarises the stages of progress in a short verse, thus: "A mortal who worships by ceremonies, by images, by mind, by identification, by knowing the self, attains kaivalya." Before brahma-bhāva can be attained the sādhaka must have passed from pūjābhāva through hymns and prayer to dhyāna-bhāva. The highest worship 1 for which the sādhaka is qualified (adhikāri) only after external worship, and that internal form known as sādhāra 2 is described as nirādhāra. Therein Pure Intelligence is the Supreme Śakti who is worshipped as the Very Self, the Witness freed of the glamour of the manifold universe. By one's own direct experience of Maheśvarī as the Self, She is, with reverence, made the object of that worship which leads to liberation.

1:1 Śāradā Tilakam (chap. i.). See Introduction to Tantra Śāstra by Sir John Woodroffe--sub. voc. "Śiva and Śakti," of which the above is in part (with added matter) an abbreviation.

1:2 Praṇamya prakṛtim nityām paramātmasvarūpinīm (chap. i.). Śāktānandataranginī, both Tāntrik works of high authority.

1:3 Kubjikā Tantra (First Paṭala).

1:4 Sāradā (loc. cit).

2:1 See Bhāskararāya's Commentary on the Lalitā Sahasranāma (verse 36), and the Pādukāpancaka in The Serpent Power.

2:2 See Ṣatcakranirūpaṇa of Purnānanda Svāmi in The Serpent Power.

2:3 Śāradā (loc. cit).

2:4 Ibid.

2:5 Ibid.

2:6 See Commentary on verse 49 of the Ṣatcakranirūpaṇa, and generally as to the subject-matter of this Introduction, my "Introduction to Tantra Śāstra."

2:7 See Goraksha Samhitā, Bhutaśuddhi Tantra, and Yoginī Tantra, Part I, p. 10.

3:1 See Ānandalaharī of Śankarācārya, verse 8. The dhyāna is well known to the Tāntrik sādhaka.

3:2 Lalitā, verse 121.

3:3 Bhagavadgītā (chap. xiv., verses 3,4).

4:1 Mahāmāyā without māyā is nirguṇā, and with māyā, saguṇā. Śāktānandataranginī (chap. i.).

4:2 Śāktānandataranginī (chap. L).

4:3 Brahmavaivarta Purāṇa (chap. i.); Prakṛtikhanda. Br. Nāradiya Pr.

4:4 See chap. ii. of Devī Bhāgavata.

4:5 Devī is worshipped on account of her soft heart. Śāktānandataranginī (chap. iii.).

4:6 Part I., Chapter X.

4:7 Such as Mukunda, an aspect of Viṣṇu. Lalitāsahasranāma, verse 838.

5:1 Ibid, verse 153, and Commentator's note to Chapter II., where Devī is addressed as Supreme Light (paramjyotih), Supreme Abode (paramdhāma), Supreme of Supreme (parātparā).

5:2 See the Lalitā.

5:3 See the saying of Rāmaprasāda, the poet-devotee of Kālimā, quoted at p. 714 in Babu Dinesh Chunder Sen's "History of Bengali Literature."
"Though the Mother beat him, the child cries 'Mother! O Mother!' and clings still tighter to her garment. True, I cannot see Thee, yet am I not a lost child. I still cry 'Mother!'

6:1 Mātastvatparamamrūpam tanna jānāti kashchana (see chap. iii. of Śāktānandataranginī)

6:2 Amurtauchitsthironasyāt tatomurtim vichintayet (ibid., chap. i., as was also explained to Himavat by Devī in the Kurma Purāṇa).

6:3 Ibid., and as such is called Tripurā (see Bhāskararāyā's Commentary on
Lalitā, verse 125).

6:4 Ibid., chap. iii., which also says that there is no eunuch form of God.

6:5 So in Candi (Mārkaṇḍeya Purāṇa) it is said:
"Vidyāh samastāstava devī bhedāh,
Stryah samastāsakalā jagatsu." The Tāntrika, more than all men, recognizes the divinity of woman, as was observed centuries past by the author of the Dabistan. The Linga Purāṇa also, after describing Arundhati, Anasūyā and Shachi to be each the manifestation of Devī, concludes: "All things indicated by words in the feminine gender are manifestations of Devī." Similarly the Brahmavaivarta Purāṇa.

6:6 Sarvatantrarūpā Sarvayantrātmīkā (See Lalitā, verse 53).

6:7 Padma Purāṇa says: "Viṣṇu ever worships the sapphire Devī."

7:1 Ājnvarastanatatimtanuvrittamadhyām (Bhuvaneśvarīstotra), tanumadhyakrishodari (Ādyakālisvarūpāstotra, Mahānirvāṇa Tantra, 7th Ullāsa).

7:2 Stotra and dhyāna commonly represent Her as having large, full, and erect breasts--pīnastanādye (in Karpurādistotra), pinonnatapayodharām) (in Durgā-dhyāna of Devī Purāṇa), bakshojakumbhāntari (in Annapurṇāstava) āpivarastanatatim (in Bhuvaneśvarīstotra)--which weight her limbs--kuchabharanamitāngīm (in Sarasvatidhyāna), annapradānaniratāngstanabhāranamrām (in Annapūrṇastava). And the Lalitā, verse 15, says: "Her golden girdle supports Her waist, which bends under the burden of Her breasts, thrice folding the skin below Her bosom" (trivalīvalayopetām).

7:3 So it is said in the tenth śloka of the Karpūrākhyastava samantādāpīnastanajaghanadhrikyauvanavatī. Śankarācarya, in his Tripurāsundarīstotra, speaks of Her nitaniba (buttocks) "as excelling the mountain in greatness" (nitambajitabhūdharām). The Javanese also call Her Loro Jongram, "The pure exalted virgin with beautiful hips."

7:4 The physical characteristics of the Devī in Her swelling breasts and hips are emblematic of Her great Motherhood, for She is Śrimātā.

8:1 See the Lalitāsahasranāma, verse 4 et seq. "Her brow (aṣṭamīcandravibhrājadalika sthala śobhitā), Her eyebrow (vadanasamara māngalyagrihatoranacillika), Her twin breasts (kāmeśvarapremaratnamani pratiphalastani), Her waist (ratnakinkinikārabhyarashanādāma bhūṣitā), "Her thighs, known only to Kameśa" (Kāmeśajnātasaubhāgya mardavorudvayānvitā), Her lower limbs (indragopa parikṣipta smaratunā bhajandhikā); Her instep 'arched like the back of a tortoise,' the bright rays from her nails and the soles of Her feet in beauty shaming the lotus."

8:2 From the beautiful litany to the Devī in the Lalitāsahasranāma.

8:3 Bhāskararāya's Commentary on Lalitā, verse 170.

8:4 She whose body is, as the Devī Purāṇa says, immeasurable.

9:1 Śāktānandataranginī (chap. iii.).

9:2 In order to display Her power to Her husband who had not granted, at Her request, His permission that She might attend at Dakṣa's sacrifice (see "Principles of Tantra" and for an account of the daśamahāvidyā, their yantra and mantra, the Daśamahāvidyā upāsanārahasya of Prasanno Kumar Shastri).

9:3 The number is variously given as 50, 51, and 52.

9:4 Here at Her shrine the menstruation of the earth which, according to Hindu belief, takes place in the month of Assar, is (Lalitā, verse 79). p. 10 said to manifest itself. For three days during ambuvāchī no cooked food is eaten by the women, nor does any cooking take place in the house.

10:1 Brahmabindu Up, p. 12.

10:2 See chap. iii. of the Śāktānandataranginī, where it is said: "The Parabrahman, Devī, Śiva, and all other Deva and Devī are but one, and he who thinks them different from one another goes to Hell."

10:3 Hymn to Jagadambikā in Chapter XIX.

11:1 Sūtasamhitā, 1, 5, 3, which divides such worship into Vedic and Tāntrik (see Bhāskararāya's Commentary on Lalitā, verse 43).

11:2 In which Devī is worshipped in the form of mantra according to the instructions of the Guru.