Chinnamasta – Non-Fiction

Writer: Lamathanka

Subject: Chinnamasta

Link: Tumblr / 19.05.2022


Chinnamasta, also known as Chhinnamastika and Prachanda Chandika is one of the Tantric Goddesses in Hinduism. In Tantric Buddhism she is known as Chinnamunda. Chinnamasta Devi is a form of Shakti who is depicted as ferocious wrathful.

Chinnamasta means, ‘severed head’. The Hindu Divine Mother is commonly identified with her fearsome iconography. Chinnamasta symbolizes both life-giver and life-taker. Chinnamasta is considered both as a symbol of self-control on sexual desire as well as an embodiment of sexual energy, depending upon interpretation.

Chinnamasta is closely related to Chinnamunda – the severed-headed form of the Tibetan Buddhist goddess, Vajrayogini.

Chinnamasta is mostly depicted nude and with disheveled hair in blood red or black colored body. In the texts, She is described to be a sixteen-year-old girl with full breasts and has a blue lotus near her heart. She is standing over a naked couple. The couple is said to be Rati, Goddess of sexual desire, and her husband Kama, God of love. Chinnamasta is depicted wearing a serpent as a sacred thread and a garland of skulls or severed heads and bones like Maa Kali. Blood streams out of her neck and Her two female attendants Dakini and Varnini (also called Jaya and Vijaya) are drinking the blood.

In the left hand, She carries her own severed head (in a platter or a skull-bowl). In the right hand, She holds a kKhatri (a scimitar or knife) by which she decapitated herself.