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Ratri Suktam

AcharyaDanKonnor,MBA ShaktaHinduPriestofKali JAIDEVIMAHAKALIMA _________________________________________________________________________________

(RigVedaSamhita10.127) TheRatriSuktamoftheRigVedaSamhitaispossiblythersthymnorprayertooureternalDivine Mother Kali, that was Divinely revealed for the benet of all humankind, and passed from generaJontogeneraJonthroughtheoraltradiJonbeforebeingrecordedinwriLenform.SirJohn Woodroe(whousedthepennameArthurAvalon),agreatscholaroftheVedasandtheTantras, assertedmostdeniJvelyinhisclassicbook,Shak%andShakta,abookthatreadilydissolvesallthe popularnoJonsofanyconictbetweentheVedasandtheTantras,thatRatri,invokedintheVedas, istheverysameasKali, WhoisrecognizedasbeingoneandthesameastheSupremeAbsolute BrahmanintheTantras.TheRigVedaisaccordedprimacyamongthefourVedas.

RATRISUKTAM

TheTradi<onalViniyogaAssociatedwiththeSuktam
(ARitualisJcALribuJonandApplicaJonFarPostDaJngtheActualRevelaJonoftheVedas) [rishihkushikasaubharaathavaaraatribraadvajee| devataaraatri| chandah(a)gaayatree||] [The seer of this hymn is Kushikah, the son of Sobhari or Ratri, the daughter of Bharadvaja. GoddessRatri[Kali]isgloriedandinvokedinthisprayer,andthemeterusedistheGayatrimeter (twentyfourSanskritsyllablestoaverse).]

TheSuktam
(TheActualContentoftheVeda) [om]raatreevyakhyadaayateepurutraadevyakshabhih| vishvaaadhishriyodhita||1||

Acharya Dan Konnor, MBA

Ratri Suktam
[Om.] ODivineMotherRatri(Kali),mayYou,WhoaretheoriginalPrimordialDarkness,boththe SourceandFinalDesJnaJonofAll,omnipresent,controllerofbondage*andLiberaJonalike,come forth to save us may Your Presence, eulgent, right within us, be awakened now through spiritual realizaJon. Auspicious Protectress of All, You see and pervade Your enJre creaJon, reigningeverywhere,overeverything,inallYourglory. *(ThroughHerdeludingPowerofMaya,whichisrequiredtosustainourexistenceonearth.) orvapraaamartyaanivatodevyudvatah| jyo<shaabaadhatetamah||2|| Eternal Divine Mother, You ll the vast celesJal regions, and the earth. May You dispel all the ignoranceofourembodiedsoulsthroughYourDivineeulgence,theLightofTruth. nirusvasaaramaskritoshasamdevyaayatee| apeduhaasatetamah||3|| DivineMother,YoualonecanbringforththeDawnoftheHighestLiberaJngKnowledgetodispel allthedarknessofourignorance. saanoadyayasyaavayamniteyaamannavikshmahi| vrikshenavasa<mvayah||4|| May You compassionately give us refuge from Your own asifendless movements, bringing us homeinsteadtorestinYou,justasatnighcme,abirdreentersitsnestuponatree. nigraamaasoavikshatanipadvantonipakshinah| nishyenaasashchidarthinah||5|| Forallofhumankind,foranimalswhotraversebyfoot,andforbirdswhoyintheairevenfor theambiJoushawkYourrest,LiberaJon,istheonlyTrueobject,ofourdesperatesearch. yaavayaavrikyamvrikamyavayastenamoormye| athaanahsutaraabhava||6|| DriveawaytheshewolvesofconfusionandthehewolvesofegoJsm,thethieveshunger,thirst, delusion,grief,decay,anddeath.Then,certainly,wewillcrosssafely,totheotherside. upamaapepishaUamahkrishnamvyaktamasthita| usharinevayaataya||7|| Divine Mother, donotsubjectus anymore to this dark ignorance that has envelopedus. Please forgiveourmanydebts,andcometousnowinsteadastheDawningLight. upategaaivaakaramvrineeshvaduhitardivah| raatristomamnajigyushe||8||

Acharya Dan Konnor, MBA

Ratri Suktam
ODivineMotherRatri(Kali),expressionoftheheavensYouarethemilkgivingcow,theSource ofIlluminaJon.Pleaseacceptthis,ourprayertoYouandgrantusVictory!

(SamaVedaSamhita608[AranyakaKhanda3.3.7]) This is an invocaJonof Ratri (Kali) appearing in theSama Veda. While theRig Veda consistsof poeJchymnsorprayerstoberecitedtoglorifytheDivine,theSamaVedaconsistsofsongstobe sung to glorify the Divine. All but about 75 verses of the Sama Veda, appear to be rearranged verses of the Rig Veda, although evidence exists that in some cases the formulaJon contained withintheSamaVedamayinfactbeolderinorigin. TheSamaVedaisusuallylistedthird,inthe orderofthefourVedas;however,inotherrespectsitisaccordedtheposiJonofbeingsecondonly totheRigVeda.ThisinvocaJonofRatri(Kali)presentintheSamaVedaisoneofthefewversesof theSamaVedathatcannotberelatedtoaspecicverseoftheRigVeda.Itappearstobeaverse thatisenJrelyuniquetotheSamaVeda. aapraagaadbhadraayuva<rahnahketoontsameertsa<| abhoodbhadraaniveshaneevishvasyajagatoraatree|| We invoke You, Divine Mother Ratri (Kali), to save us from the scorching rays of the sun, the blisteringheatofourearthlyexistence.YouaretheulJmateGiverofResttotheenJreuniverse. MayYoupleasebringusquicklytoreaLaintothatstateofblissfuleternalrestinYou.

INVOCATIONOFRATRI

(SamaVidhanaBrahmana3.8.2) The SamaVidhana Brahmana is, as with all the Brahmanas, a later revelaJon, composiJon, interpretaJon,orapplicaJon,thantheoriginalrevelaJonsoftheVedaSamhitasthemselves.The RatriSuktampresentwithintheSamaVidhanaBrahmana,whichisassociatedwiththeSamaVeda (butnotapartoftheoriginalVeda,meaningtheSamhita),isashortprayertoRatri(Kali)thatwas, attheJmeitwasrevealed,orcomposedwithinspiraJon,intendedforusebyanyoneatallin contrasttotheSamaVedaSamhitaitselfwhichwasattheJmeconsideredappropriateforuseonly by a certain class of Hindu priests. That the SamaVidhana Brahmana sought to simplify Vedic rituals,istrue,buttothinkthattheSamaVidhanaBrahmanaisinanywaylimitedtowhatsome people today call the use or applicaJon of "magic," is error, unless "magic" is extraordinarily broadlydenedandinterpretedsoastoindicatetheinvocaJonoftheswilacJonoftheDivine.It islikewiseagreaterrortothinkasevencertain"scholars"oftheVedasandSanskrittoday(who maywellindeedhaveaLainedtogreatintellectualachievements,butnonethelesslackthevastly moreimportantdirectspiritualexperience)think,thatanyoftheVedicprayerstoRatri(Kali)were

RATRISUKTAM

Acharya Dan Konnor, MBA

Ratri Suktam
ever originally intended only to "wish away a bad dream," unless, again, "a bad dream" is so extraordinarily broadly dened and interpreted so as to include our enJre, delusive, earthly existence so that the invocaJons are wishing it away in preference for the aLainment of Moksha, LiberaJon. The famous, if more recent, eighteenverse prayer knownas the Sri Durga Chandrakala StuJ, received by the (personally Shaiva) seer Sri Appayya Dikshithar, tells us in its eighteenth and nal verse that it (the prayer to Durga) will be found to relieve all sorts of tremendousearthlytroublesanddiculJesbutrst,initsseventeenthverse,ittellsusthatthe personseekingonlyLiberaJon,shouldinsteadrecitethisveryRatriSuktamfromtheSamaVidhana Brahmana. omraatrimprapadyepunarbhoommayobhoomkanyaam| shikhandineempaashahastaamyuvateemkumaarineemaadityah| shreechakshushevaantahpraanaayasomogandhaayaaapah| snehaayamanahanujnaayaprithivyaishareeram|| We invokeour Divine MotherRatri (Kali), thePrimordial Darkness Whois theSourceof All, and WhopervadesAllExistence,seekingtorealizeHerastheMostBelovedExpressionofAllExistence, as True Spiritual Understanding. In Her Highest Nature She is beyond all Duality. We meditate upon Her with form, as being seated upon a peacock of rarest Beauty, Her carrier, holding the nooseof theUnityof All in Her Hand,eternally youthfulandEver Pure. Her Eyes are lled with compassion,andHer Lifebreath is DevoJon.Sheis theUndyingRiver of LiberaJng Knowledge. Her Mind is lled with Love and Wisdom, which She freely showers upon even the most minute parJclesofHerCreaJon.

MAHAADEVEEOMTATSATOM

Acharya Dan Konnor, MBA