Hymn to Durga
HAIL Mighty Goddess! Universal Soul!
Power or Love, Fate or Illusion sweet!
Whate’er thy name, O mother, whose control
All nature quickens—humbly thee I greet!
Hail! ten-armed Goddess of the lion-throne,
Whose power Time and Space and Being own!
The seed of things was in thy mighty womb,
Their source prolific, and their final doom!
From thee the mystic Trinal Unity—
Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesha—one in three—
All sprung, thou primal dread Divinity,
Thou great First Cause of all and End to be!
The wondrous glories of yon azure sky,
The nameless beauties that around us lie,
The whirlwind’s blast, and lightning’s dazzling flame,
All—all thy pow’r and providence proclaim.
Descend, great Deity! from thy cloud girt seat
Amidst the changeless, everlasting snows
Of lofty Himmala, where at thy feet
Time’s self doth lie like Passion in repose.
And Kartikaya on his star-eyed bird,
As fits the war-god, bravely keeps his guard;
And Ganesha, in sober vesture drest
Wooing Philosophy to his loving breast.
And golden Lakshmee, smiling like the morn,
And bright as when she rose from the ocean foam,
Her lap adorn’d with golden ears of corn,
Emparadises still thy mountain home.
And lovely Saraswatee—lute in hand—
Attended by the Arts—a witching band—
Awakes ethereal music midst the snows,
And all the place with rapturous ardour glows.
The Aryan world prepares for social mirth
By acts of lovingkindness to mankind;
May universal love pervade the earth,
And charity fill every heart and mind!
May brother brother clasp in close embrace,
And pleasure beam in each familiar face,
As friend meets friend around the festive board
And tells of pangs endured or triumphs scored!
Come, Mother come, all clothed in holy light,
The sun and moon both shining at thy feet.
O bless our hearths and homes! O bless our sight
With visions of the glorious Infinite!
In varied names we worship only thee;
In vain, the creeds veil thee in mystery:
For God or Goddess, it is all the same—
In every form we worship but thy name!
Come, Goddess bright, O come, Supernal Power,
In beaming smiles and loveliness arrayed,
Our only hope in dark misfortune’s hour,
Our sole support, and never-failing aid!
O bless the land with Peace and tranquil Joy!
May no distressing ills the Year annoy!
O come with all thy radiant progeny,
Durga, Durga, Durgatinashini!
Nabakrishna Ghosh (1837–1918)