Chinnamastā

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Jit Majumdar

Sometimes transliterated as: Chinnamasta, ChinnamastA, Chinnamastaa


  1. (with) a cut-off head; decapitated
  2. one of the ten Mahāvidyā goddesses and one of the primary deities of the Tāntrika tradition, also known as Vajravairocanī in the Buddhist school of Tantra, who is depicted as a beautiful young woman, with the complexion of the morning sun or the hibiscus flower, naked, bedecked with jewels and a garland of skulls, holding her head which she herself has cut off with the scimitar in her other hand, and feeding herself (her head) and her two companion yoginīs flanking her with three streams of blood that are gushing out from her neck, while she stands on the back of the supine body of Rati who is united with Kāma in the reverse sexual position with herself on top; thus symbolizes or personifying Primordial Nature herself, and her eternal cycle of life and death feeding each other in turn, where desire, sexual union, death and regeneration are all inseparable and necessary parts to complete the wholeness of existence, and where each of these flow seamlessly into another and each of these are necessary for the other to be possible and to carry on the whole of existence itself.