2012, Dupuche, John, “„The “Scandalous‟ Tantric Hymn to Kālī Karpūrādi-stotra: an Unexpurgated Translation,” International Journal of Tantric Studies 8:1 (2012). Vol. 8 No. 1 (June 22, 2012)

Dupuche, John, “„The “Scandalous‟ Tantric Hymn to Kālī Karpūrādi-stotra:an Unexpurgated Translation,” International Journal of Tantric Studies 8:1 (2012). Vol. 8 No. 1 (June 22, 2012)



Through his ‘Tantrik Texts Series’ (1913-1940) Sir John Woodroffe initiated modern Western studies of the tantra. However, his 1922 translation of the Karpūrādi-stotra reveals how much he and his collaborators felt constrained to purge the scandalous aspects from the text. It is seriously flawed, and yet still commonly used.

A new unexpurgated translation is needed.

This article describes the rather complex story of the editions and commentaries on the stotra, together with some suggestions on date and authorship: in short, its context. It then provides an unexpurgated translation of the Karpūrādi-stotra along with the Sanskrit text. Lastly, it provides a short commentary on the structure of the text and its purpose.

If Woodroffe had to conceal essential elements of the Karpūrādi-stotra, how reliable are the other translations and commentaries in his ‘Tantrik Texts Series’?

About interfaithashram

Rev. Dr. John Dupuche is a Roman Catholic Priest, a senior lecturer at MCD University of Divinity, and Honorary Fellow at Australian Catholic University. His doctorate is in Sanskrit in the field of Kashmir Shaivism. He is chair of the Catholic Interfaith Committee of the Archdiocese of Melbourne and has established a pastoral relationship with the parishes of Lilydale and Healesville. He is the author of 'Abhinavagupta: the Kula Ritual as elaborated in chapter 29 of the Tantraloka', 2003; 'Jesus, the Mantra of God', 2005; 'Vers un tantra chrétien' in 2009; translated as 'Towards a Christian Tantra' in 2009. He has written many articles. He travels to India each year. He lives in an interfaith ashram.
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