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.
Sri Chinnamasta Beginning:
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.
Sri Chinnamasta Sketches:
Sketch One: Chinnamasta is depicted as a girl of sixteen years adorned with garland of skulls and necklaces of bones. She wears on her naked body a serpent as the sacred thread (yajnopavita) and she has full breasts covered by lotus flowers and strings of beads. but the most gruesome aspect of her is that she has cutoff her own head with a sword and holds in her hands the severed head as also the sword. The blood gushing out of her decapitated head sprouts in three jets. The central Jet streams into the mouth of her own head , usually held in her left hand , while the other two jets fall into the mouths of her two companions Dakini and Varnini – standing on her either side.
She stands against the backdrop of thunder and lightning with her head in hand. She is not dead but is said to be in a state of amanaska, free from human follies, distractions and sensations of pain etc. The beheaded -head of Chinnamasta is shown ecstatically drinking the central stream of blood flowing out of her headless trunk.
It displays three eyes wide open in joy and a lovely face lit up with a beatific smile. The hair on the head is disheveled and adorned with fragrant flowers. The more amazing sight is that headless naked trunk of Chinnamasta is standing upon a handsome couple engaged in sex in the viparita-maithuna posture (the female on top of her male partner)stretched over a lotus flower. The scene of the activity is a cremation ground set against the background of hills, river, flowers amidst thunder and lightning. The loving couple in each others arms, engrossed in sex and blissfully unaware of anything outside their act, are identified & Kama or Manamatha the god of desire (like eros) and his companion rati the very act of sex.
There are also depictions where Chinnamasta is riding over a supine Shiva. A couple of Jackals watch the scene with little interest. Chinnamasta is described as a goddess red as hibiscus flower, bright as the rising sun.She is usually pictured in red and sometimes in blue. .There are also depictions of her with four arms and without the couple engaged in sex. The head is decorated with a well crafted diadem, as also ear and nose rings.
Chinnamasta, in a single frame, makes a stunning presentation of varying and conflicting aspects of life and death; of self destruction while nourishing others;of death by violence and enjoyable sex; of gory violence spilling blood and smiling blissful face; death and destruction placed next to creation; of the joy of transcending the body and not the pain of losing it; and of giving up the ego to attain wisdom. It combines in itself the elements of heroism(vira), terror (bhayanaka) and eroticism (srungara) and portrays, in its own manner, a composite picture of life where all life events become intrinsic parts of unified scheme. It enfolds the entire multiplicity of life. Chinnamasta in her energetic form shows the power of transformation in action.
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.
Sri Chinnamasta Effects Though Rahu:
1) Accidents, snake bites, thefts, robberies, attacks, treachery etc unexpected suddent events are due to her effect through Rahu.
2) Rahu has heavily influenced middle-east and european cultures and their religious practices.
3) Languages like arabic, urdu, which are written and read from right to left are due to its effect.
4) Overnight stardom, fame and money and sudden loss of everything is also due to its effect.
5) Jail life, foreign travel, business in foreign countries, income in foreign currencies, herbal cure, preparing medicines etc is under her control through rahu
Sri Chinnamasta controlled Professions:
Doctors, Surgeons, chemists (especially organic chemistry), geologists, fisheries, plastic, fiber technology, tyres, rubber, Tar, molasses, alchohol, liquid gas, refined petrol, freezers, refrigirators, cold storages, engines, electrical appliances, tanning technology, speculations, gambling, share brokers etc controlled by her power.
Sri Chinnamasta Worship:
Chinnamasta belongs to kali-kula the family of kali. she is visualized as residing in a red sun orb (Surya Mandala)in all her glory. Given her fierce form , her worship rituals follow the tantric Vama-marga the left-handed path involving pancha-makaaras the five Ms of madya (liquor), mamasa(meat), matsya(fish), mudra (hallucinating substance) and maithuna (sex). The worship is carried out in the dead of the night in the cremation grounds.
Because of her ferocious nature and the dangers following improper worship, it is said, only the brave ones (vira) should dare venture her worship through vama-marga. Tantrics aspiring for siddhis (magical powers) or victory over rivals by casting spells or by causing harm usually take up these extreme rituals. It is said, in the olden times the soldiers were initialed into the Chinnamasta cult to enable them gain self-control and to imbibe in them the spirit of self-sacrifice and the courage to face death without fear. Chinnamasta in this context is invoked as Ranjaitri (victorious in war) and celebrated as for her prowess in battles.
As regards the householders, they are cautioned and advised to contemplate on Chinnamasta only in her abstract esoteric form without being distracted by her fierce iconography. Her worship through softer methods is said to yield: health; wealth; freedom from fear; ability to influence family, friends, women, enemies, and rulers; and liberation.
Sri Chinnamasta Temples:
1) Chhinnamastika in Chintpurni, Himachal Pradesh is one of the Shakti Peethas and is where the goddess Sati’s forehead (mastaka) fell.
2) Chhinnamasta Temple near Rajrappa in Jharkhand, where a natural rock covered with an ashtadhatu kavacha is worshipped as the goddess.
3) Chhinnamasta Temple was built by a Tantric sadhu in the Durga Temple complex, Ramnagar, near Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh,
4) Chhinnamasta Temple in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. This shrine is open only three days a year, around Chaitra Navaratri.
5) Kamakhya Temple complex, Assam
6) Basukinath Temple in Jharkhand along with other Mahavidyas.
7) Chhinnamasta Temple in Bishnupur, West Bengal.
8) Manikeswari in Odisha.
9) Chhinnamasta’s shrines are also found in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley. A shrine in the Changu Narayan Temple holds a 13th-century icon of Chinnamasta. A chariot festival in the Nepali month of Baishakh is held in honour of the goddess.