A hymn that readily dissolves all the popular notions of any conﬂict between the Vedas and the Tantras, that Ratri, invoked in the Vedas, is the very same as Kaali, who is recognized as being one and the same as the Supreme Absolute Brahman in the Tantras. The Rig Veda is accorded primacy among the four Vedas. Ratri Suktam also known as Vanadurga Suktam is the 5th Chapter in Purva Bhaga of Devi Mahatmyam while Pauranika Ratri Suktam a selection of Devi Stuti from Chapter 1 of Devi Mahatmyam is chanted in lieu of Ratri Suktam.
RIG VEDA 10:127:1-8.
[om] raatree vyakhyadaayatee purutraa devyakshabhih |
vishvaa adhi shriyo‐dhita || 1 ||
raatree – referred to divine mother Ratri (same as the description of Kaali),
may you, who are the original primordial darkness, both the source and Final destination of all, omnipresent, controller of bondage and liberation alike, come forth to save us — may your presence, effulgent, right within us, be awakened now through spiritual realization. Auspicious protectress of all, you see and pervade your entire creation, reigning everywhere, over everything, in all your glory.
orvapraa amartyaa nivato devyudvatah
jyotishaaba adhate tamah (2)
Eternal divine mother, you ﬁll the vast celestial regions, and the earth. May you dispel all the ignorance of our embodied souls through your divine effulgence, the light of Truth.
niru svasaaramaskritoshasam devyaayatee
apedu haasate tamah (3)
Divine Mother, you alone can bring forth the dawn of the highest liberating knowledge to dispel all the darkness of our ignorance.
saa no adya yasyaa vayam ni te yaamannavikshmahi
vrikshe na vasatim vayah (4)
May you compassionately give us refuge from your own as‐if‐endless movements, bringing us home instead to rest in you, just as at nigh me, a bird re‐enters its nest upon a tree.
ni graamaaso avikshata ni padvanto ni pakshinah
ni shyenaasashchidarthinah (5)
For all of humankind, for animals who traverse by foot, and for birds who ﬂy in the air — even for the ambitious hawk — your rest, liberation, is the only true object, of our desperate search.
yaavayaa vrikyam vrikam yavaya stenamoormye
athaa nah sutaraa bhava (6)
Drive away the she‐wolves of confusion and the he‐wolves of egotism, the thieves — hunger, thirst, delusion, grief, decay, and death. Then, certainly, we will cross safely, to the other side.
upa maa pepisha amah krishnam vyaktamasthita
usha rineva yaataya (7)
Divine Mother, do not subject us anymore to this dark ignorance that has enveloped us. Please forgive our many debts, and come to us now instead as the dawning light.
upa te gaa ivaakaram vrineeshva duhitardivah
raatri stomam na jigyushe (8)
O Divine Mother Ratri (Kaali), expression of the heavens — you are the milk‐giving cow, the source of Illumination. Please accept this, our prayer to You — and grant us Victory!
TANTROKTAM RATRISUKTAM : Praise of the Goddess Night Revealed in the Tantra, from the Devi Mahatmyam of Markendeya Purana.
Om Viśveśvarīṃ jagadhātrīṃ sthitisamhārakārinīṃ
Nidrāṃ Bhagavatīṃ Viṣṇoratulāṃ tejasaḥ prabhuḥ (1)
I worship the Goddess controlling this universe, the support of this world, maintainer and destroyer. The beneficial sleep, the incomparable splendor and authority of Vishnu.
Tvaṃ Svāhā tvaṃ Svadhā tvaṃ hi vaṣaṭkāraḥ svarātmikā; Sudhā tvamakṣare nitye tridhā mātrātmikā sthitā (2)
O Devi, you are Svaha, Svadha, Vashatkar. The Svara are a form of yours only. You are the nectar giving life. You are present in the form of the three matras A, U and M of the indestructible syllable AUM.
Ardhamātrāsthitā nityā yānuccāryā viśeṣataḥ
Tvameva sandhyā sāvitrī tvaṃ devī jananī parā (3)
You are the unpronounceable half matra at the end of AUM. You are Sandhya, Savitri, O Devi, you are the original Mother.
Tvayai tadhāryate viśvaṃ tvayai tat sṛjyate jagat
Tvayaitat pālyate devi tvamatsyante ca sarvadā (4)
You are supporting this Universe, you create this World, you sustain this World. At the end of the Universe, you absorb everything in yourself.
Visṛṣṭau sṛṣṭi rūpā tvam sthiti rūpā ca pālane
Tathā saṃhṛti rūpānte jagato’sya jaganmaye (5)
At the time of generation of this World you are Srushti – the Creation, while the world continues to exist you are Sthiti – its stability, and at the time of Dissolution you are Samhriti – the Destroyer.
Mahāvidyā mahāmāyā mahāmedhā mahāsmṛtiḥ
Mahāmohā ca bhavatī Mahādevī Mahāsurī.(6)
You are the ultimate knowledge, illusion, intelligence, memory, ignorance, goddess and controller.
Prakṛtis tvaṃ ca sarvasya guṇa traya vibhāvinī
Kālarātrir Mahārātrir Moharātriśca dāruṇā (7)
You are the Prakriti – the Fundamental material – which creates the three Gunas – the properties. You are three kinds of Night – Time, the Fundamental and Ignorance.
Tvaṃ Śrīs tvam Īśvarī tvaṃ Hrīstvaṃ buddhir bodha lakṣaṇā
Lajjā puṣṭistathā tuṣṭis tvaṃ śāntiḥ kṣāntireva ca (8)
You are Shri – the Wealth, Ishvari – the controller, Hri – modesty, and intelligence in the form of perceptions. You are bashfulness, enrichment, satisfaction, peace and forgiveness.
Khaṅginī śūlinī ghorā gadinī cakriṇī tathā
Śaṅkhinī cāpinī bāṇa bhuśuṇḍī paridhāyudhā (9)
You have these different forms of representations.
Saumyā saumya tarā śeṣa saumyebhyastvati sundarī
Parāparāṇāṃ paramā tvameva Parameśvarī (10)
You are beauty and more beauty. You are most beautiful amongst all the Saumya things. You are Parameshvari, the Supreme Goddess, beyond the things near and far.
Yacca kiñcit kvacidvastu sadasadvākhilātmike
Tasya sarvasya yā śaktiḥ sā tvaṃ kiṃ stūyase tadā (11)
Om Omnipresent Devi, whatever things are really there or not there, and whatever is their ability, you are verily that. Under this condition, how can we prayer to you?
Yayā tvayā jagat sraṣṭā jagat pātyatti yo jagat
So-pi nidrā vaśaṃ nitaḥ kastvāṃ stotumiheśvaraḥ (12)
You have put to sleep even Vishnu, who creates, maintains and destroys this World, under that condition, who is able to pray to you.
Viṣṇuḥ śarira grahaṇa Mahamīśāna eva ca
Kāritāste yato’tastvāṃ kaḥ stotuṃ śaktimān bhavet (13)
You have given a body (or a form) to myself, Lord Vishnu and Lord Mahadeva, so who has the ability to pray to you?
Sā tvamitthaṃ prabhāvaiḥ svairudārair devi samstutā
Mohayaitau durādharṣā vasurau madhu kaiṭabhau (14)
O Devi, you are praised due to your beneficial abilities. Please put these Asuras, Madhu and Kaitabha, difficult to battle with, under your spell.
Pradbodhaṃ ca jagat svāmī nīyatā macyuto laghu
Bodhaśca kriya tāmasya hantu metau mahāsurau (15)
Please awaken Vishnu and inspire him to destroy these two mighty demons (representing name and form).
Om Namaś Chaṇḍikāyai. Om, I bow to the Goddess Chaṇḍikā.