Goddess Chinnamasta  

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Goddess Chinnamasta Image
CHINNAMASTA is the Hindu Goddess of transformation. She is one of the Mahavidyas, the wisdom Goddesses, and is probably the most terrifying of them. She is depicted holding her own head, which she has just cut off. Stories of her origin vary, but one relates that Parvati was bathing with two attendants, Jaya and Vijaya, when the attendants asked the Goddess to satisfy their hunger. After putting them off several times, Parvati looked all around and then cut off her own head. Three streams of blood came from her neck--one went to the mouth of Jaya, one to the mouth of Vijaya, and the last to the mouth of Parvati herself. At this point, Parvati is transformed into the Goddess Chinnamasta, whose name literally means "severed head." When they were satisfied, she put her head back on, became Parvati again, and went home. In other versions, the attendants are named Dakini and Varnini, and Chinnamasta is standing on a couple in the middle of having sex. The couple is Rati, Goddess of sexual desire, and her husband Kama, God of love.

Taken all together, the symbolism in Chinnamasta's depiction represents the transcendence of the body. Standing on the couple having sex, she has mastered the physical body, and then by cutting off her head she frees the mind. Her happy face shows the joy that she feels in bringing together life, sex, and death--three forms of transformation, three parts of the cycle. Chinnamasta's name is also seen as CHHINNAMASTA and CHINNAMASTAKA, and in Tantric Buddhism she is known as CHINNAMUNDA. Her stotra of 108 names is as follows:


MAHAVIDYA (great knowledge goddess)

MAHABHIMA (great fierce one)

MAHODARI (great bellied one)

CANDESVARI (fierce goddess)

CANDAMATA (mother of fierce beings or the fierce mother)

CANDAMUNDAPRABHANJINI (killer of demons Canda and Munda)

MAHACANDA (great fierce one)

CANDARUPA (fierce form)

CANDIKA (fierce one)

CANDAKHANDINI (destroyer of Canda)

KRODHINI (wrathful one)

KRODHAJANANI (creator of wrathful beings)

KRODHARUPA (wrathful form)

KUHUH (new moon day)

KALA (skillful one)

KOPATURA (afflicted with rage)

KOPAYUTA (filled with rage)

KOPASAMHARAKARINI (destroyer of rage)


VAJRAVAIROCANI (adamantine one)

VAJRAKALPA (competent with a vajra)


DAKINIKARMANIRATA (involved with the work of dakinis)

DAKINIKARMAPUJITA (worshipped as the work of dakinis)

DAKINISANGANIRATA (delighted in the company of dakinis)

DAKINIPREMAPURITA (filled with love of dakinis)

KHATAVANGADHARINI (holder of a khatvanga)

KHARVA (mutilated one)

KHADGAKHARPARADHARINI (holder of a scimitar and a skullcup)

PRETASANA (feeder of pretas [hungry ghosts])

PRETAYUTA (united with pretas)

PRETASANGAVIHARINI (plays or dwells in the company of pretas)

CHINNAMUNDADHARA (holds a severed head)

CHINNACANDAVIDYA (fierce mantra of the one with the severed body)

CITRINI (having variegated forms)

GHORARUPA (terrific form)

GHORADRSTA (terrific to behold)

GHORARAVA (having a terrific roar)

GHANODARI (firm abdomen)

YOGINI (practices yoga)

YOGANIRATA (practitioner of yoga)

JAPAYAJNAPARAYANA (absorbed in sacrifice and recitation)

YONICAKRAMAYI (possessing yonicakra)

YONIH (embodying the yoni)

YONICAKRAPRAVARTTINI (arising from the yonicakra)

YONIMUDRA (has the yonimudra)

YONIGAMYA (accessible to the yoni)

YONIYANTRANIVASINI (abides in the yoniyantra)

YANTRARUPA (has the yantra form)

YANTRAMAYI (possesses the yantra)

YANTRESI (goddess of the yantra)

YANTRAPUJITA (worshipped with a yantra)

KIRTYA (renowned one)

KAPARDINI (has matted hair)


KANKALI (emaciated)

KALAVIKARINI (constantly transforming)

ARAKTA (being slightly red)

RAKTANAYANA (having red eyes)

RAKTAPANAPARAYANA (quaffing blood continuously)


BHUTIDA (gives prosperity)

BHUTIH (prosperity)

BHUTIDATRI (bestows prosperity)

BHAIRAVI (formidable one)

BHAIRAVACARANIRATA (engaged in the practice of bhairavas)

BHUTABHAIRAVASEVITA (served by fierce beings)

BHIMA (formidable one)

BHIMESVARIDEVI (goddess who is lord of the formidable one)

BHIMANADAPARAYANA (having continuous formidable sounds)

BHAVARADHYA (praised by Sankara)

BHAVANUTA (worshipped by all)

BHAVASAGARATARINI (crosses over the ocean of existence)

BHADRAKALI (a form of Kali)

BHADRATANUH (having a beautiful body)

BHADRARUPA (beautiful form)

BHADRIKA (goodness)

BHADRARUPA (embodies goodness)

MAHABHADRA (magnanimous)

SUBHADRA (wonderful goodness)

BHADRAPALINI (protectoress of goodness)

SUBHAVYA (exceedingly beautiful)

BHAVYAVADANA (having beautiful face)

SUMUKHI (good face or mouth)

SIDDHASEVITA (served by siddhis)

SIDDHIDA (gives siddhis)

SIDDHANIVAHA (has the collection of siddhis)

SIDDHA (accomplished one)

SIDDHANISEVITA (honoured by siddhas)

SUBHADA (gives auspiciousness)

SUBHAGA (elegant)

SUDDHA (pure)

SUDDHASATTVA (has pure sattva)

SUBHAVAHA (bearer of auspiciousness)

SRESTHA (excellent)

DRSTAMAYI (embodies the right view)


DRSTISAMHARAKARINI (capable of destroying by her gaze)

SARVANI (Siva's wife)

SARVAGA (omnipresent)

SARVA (complete)

SARVAMANGALAKARINI (creator of all auspiciousness)

SIVA (pacifier)

SANTA (peaceful)

SANTIRUPA (embodiment of peacefulness)

MRDANI (gladdened)

MADANATURA (indomitable by Kamadeva)

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This entry was posted on 17 August 2010 at Tuesday, August 17, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .