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Chinnamasta – The Fearsome Goddess Without a Head


Known as Chhinnamastika or Prachanda Chandika, Chhinnamasta is a Tantric goddess in Hindu dharma. Buddhists know her as Chinnamunda. She is a form of Shakti with ferocious power. Chinnamasta actually means, “severed head”, and in Hindu dharma, she is often correlated with fearsome nature.

She symbolizes dual nature of life-giving and life-taking at the same time. Also as a Goddess of Mahavidyas, she also symbolizes sexual desire and embodiment of sexual energy. It depends on if you are looking at the physical side of things or spiritual side of things.

Chinnamasta
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Since she is compared with ferocity, she is not worshipped everywhere. Followers can only find her temples in the northern part of India and in Nepal. Chintpurni in Himachal Pradesh, Chhinnamasta Temple in Rajrappa, Durga Temple in Uttar Pradesh, Kamakhya Temple in Jharkhand, Changu Narayan Temple in Kathmandu valley, Nepal are some of the places where you can find her shrines. Buddhists believe she is closely related to Chinnamunda, the severe-headed form of Vajrayogini, the Tibetan Buddhist goddess.

Maa Chinnamasta
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In the shrines and depictions, she is mostly nude with disheveled hair with blood covering her body. She stands over a naked couple, who are said to be Rati – the Goddess of sexual desire – and her husband the Kama – the God of love. She wears a serpent with a sacred thread and garland of skulls. Blood spills out of her neck in the depiction, and it is being savored by her female attendants – Dakini and Varini. She holds her own head on the left hand and a Khatri on her right through which she cut her head off. In the ancient textbooks, she is only 16 with full-breast and blue lotus near her heart.

The Story of the birth Chinnamasta

Many stories prevail regarding the birth of Chinnamasta. One of the popular stories has it that when Parvati was taking a bath in Mandakini river, she was aroused and turned black. Her two attendants Dakini and Varnini got hungry and asked the Goddess to feed their hunger. Since there was nothing to eat, Goddess Parvati severed her head and blood flowed in three directions: two in the attendants’ mouths and one in her mouth. This is where Parvati took the form of Goddess Chhinnamasta.

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Symbolism

chinnamasta
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Chinnamasta is symbolic of life, death and sex – the three forms of transformation and the three parts of the cycle. Her stance could be the victory over the samsara – the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Her depiction of how she stands over the couple signifies a person’s control over sexual desire, while others consider it to be the embodiment of sexual energy.

What’s in her power and what can she control

Doctors, Surgeons, chemists (especially organic chemistry), geologists, fisheries, plastic, fiber technology, tires, rubber, Tar, molasses, alcohol, liquid gas, refined petrol, freezers, refrigerators, cold storages, engines, electrical appliances, tanning technology, speculations, gambling, share brokers

Worship

While she is not a popular goddess amongst the Hindus, Tantric practitioners do worship her to acquire siddhis and supernatural powers.

Maa Chinnamasta Mantra

srim hrim klim aim Vajravairocaniye hum hum phat svaha.

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