Mahiṣāmardinīstotra From The Tantrasāra

Mahishasura Mardini

Aum, Sri Mathre Namah

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Mahishasura Mardini is the title of Durgā, Śakti of Śiva as the powerful destroyer of demons. She is Mahiṣāmardinī, meaning the slayer of the Asura named Mahiṣa. The Daitya Śumbha attacked Her in the form of a buffalo


1. O CANDĪ! 3 wander in my heart,
By whom the act of formidable Asura was shattered,
Destroy the calamities which deeply pierce me,
Arising from the mass of malice and fears (which assail me),
So that, free from danger,
And protected by the lotus cluster of Thy feet,
My swan-like 5 mind may swim and rejoice in the ocean of bliss.

2. What fear of his enemies has he who worships Thee?
The Devas who worship Thy feet stamping on beast and noose,
Having abandoned the form of Narasimha,
Whose towering mane reached the summit of Mount Sumeru,
And whose fingers are outstretched to tear (the breast of) Hiraṇyakaśipu,
Now worship the lion, 4 the enemy of the elephant.

3. O Candī! when the syllables, the letters of which speak of Thee,
Reach the ear, then Brahmā and other Devas
Sing the truth, touching Puruṣa and Prakṛti.
O Devī! be to-day gracious to me,
Devoted as I am to the kissing of Thy beautiful lotus feet,
The one and only glittering abode of the essence of the nectar of all Devatās.

4. If, because of my following your way of Kula,
I suffer reproach better is it that I shall thus be without fame.
Let me not have that which comes of the worship of Keśava 2 and Kauśika;
Rather, O Mother! let my heart rest in meditation on Thy lotus feet,
Worshipped by Brahmā, Hari, the enemy of Smara 4 and the enemy of the Daityas.

5. O Mother! if I be engaged in the rightful contemplation of Thy lotus feet,
What matters it if I know not other sacred places?
May Thy lotus feet be ever present to my mind--
Thy feet which are the wealth of our wounds!
O propitious Mother! do Thou forgive me.

6. Verily and without doubt, even the Lord of Bhūtas 3 would have perished,
Maddened as He was with the joy of the embrace of (Thee who art) His own self,
Had He not enjoyed the lotus fragrance of Thy feet,
Full of honey from which drop liquid sandal,
And the nectar, there haply fallen from the moon.

7. O Mother! let the stream of heavy showers of holy devotion towards Thee
Be ever shed upon me,
Struggling and drowning, alas! as I am in the endless ocean of illusion,
Without taste of the springing water of the Bliss of Brahman,
Which dispels the weight of mental afflictions from numbers of Devas.

8. May (Thy) glory, dark as collyrium cloud, Be ever in my heart.
From its glittering lustre were born the three Devatās,
Who create, maintain, and destroy the world,
Whose substance is pure intelligence and bliss,
Dispelling the darkness which overspreads the heart
By the (glory of the unnumbered)millions of their rays!

9.May 5 Devī Mahiṣāmardinī, who hath power to destroy
The proud enemies of the Devas,
And is the slayer of many another demon,
Ever conquer!
She it was who, having severed the head of the Asura Mahiṣa,
Seized upon him who assumed the form of a buffalo by his magic art
Upon the field of battle,
Now bellowing, now running, now lowering his head downward,
Falling upon the battlefield, and then vanishing from it for a while.

10. She kills the Asuras upon the battlefield.
Terrible it was, with the dancing of the weapons and streamers of the enemy.
With a cloud of thrown discus and other missiles.
There the copper-coloured weapon 2 dashed and flashed from the enemy's arrows--
Enemies so stout, strong, and tall, proud of wealth and power,
The field of battle thus seemed to have been swept by a tempest,
Most hideous it was, thickly spread with limbs and dead bodies of Asuras,
In whose blood and flesh birds slaked their thirst and appeased their hunger.

11. Let the Sadhaka meditate upon Devī Mahiṣāmardinī.
Rushing now here, now there on the field of battle for the slaughter of the enemies,
Attended by eight companion Mātrikas,
Ear-ringed with eight-petalled lotuses,
Within each petal of which are writ the eight syllables
Mahiṣāmardinyai namah.
Formidable was that field with the tossing of the huge curved horns of Mahiṣa,
Deeply black, maddened, wandering to and fro, horribly roaring
Whose instant death was desired of the Devas.

12. Let the Sādhaka meditate
Upon the auspicious black Bhogavatī Mahiṣāmardinī,
Holding in Her hands discus, lance, axe, shield, arrow, bow, and trident,
Making the gesture which dispels fear;
Her long, matted hair is like a bank of cloud,
Covering Her face most formidable,
Loudly screaming, now with peals of terrible laughter,
And then with Her threats greatly frightening the Daitya heroes.

13. O Devī! such as in this manner
Meditate upon Thy faultless form,
Worshipped by Indra and other Devas,
To them it is given to attack the cities of their enemies,
And, conquering their enemies, to gain a kingdom;
They, too, acquire nectar of the knowledge of poesy,
And power to arrest, banish and slay.

14. O Mother! salutation to Thee! May Thou conquer!
Whosoever, meditating upon Thy lotus feet,
Utters this Thy hymn,
In the palms of the hands of all such
Are forthwith wealth, fulfilment of desire, and liberation.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Source: From the Hymns to the Goddess by John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon),1913. Readers please note that this is not an exact reproduction of the original text. We have made some changes to it and also added Sanskrit text in some cases. While we have taken every care to reproduce the original text in parts, we cannot guarantee its accuracy orauthenticity. Please check original copy for accuracy, study and research.