Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 4:08 AM
Goddess Chhinnamasta is one of the Mahavidyas, ten Tantric goddesses and a ferocious form of the Divine Mother. She is the most mysterious and the most rewarding of the ten Mahavidyas. Chhinnamasta means the goddess who has beheaded herself. Like other mahavidyas, goddess Chhinnamasta, too, has a unique and fearsome appearance. She blesses her devotees with happiness, victory, success, health, wealth and knowledge. She is traditionally portrayed as a naked or scantily dressed woman, holding her own severed head. She is considered the goddess of courage and discernment and sexual energy. Traditionally, she is portrayed as a naked woman in the standing position.
Once upon a time, goddess Parvati went to bathe in the river Mandakini with her two attendants Jaya and Vijaya. After having their bath all of them became hungry. Jaya and Vijaya asked for something to eat. Goddess Parvati told both of them to wait. Unable to control their hunger, they politely said to Parvati: "Mother gives food to her hungry children as soon as it is demanded. She was very pleased by their innocence as well as recognizing her as the Mother of all. She severed her head by her own hand and held the severed head in her left hand, three streams of blood started to squirt out from her neck. All of them satisfied their hunger by drinking the blood from the three streams of blood respectively. She is called Chhinnamasta because of her severed head. She is another form of the goddess Kali. She represents a higher state of consciousness and personal sacrifice for the sake of her loved ones.
Goddess Chhinnamasta is popular in Tantric and Tibetan Buddhism, where she is called Chinnamunda. She is not as popular as an individual goddess. Her individual temples as well as her public worship are rare. Her hundred-name hymn and thousand-name hymn describe her fierce nature. She is pleased by human blood, human flesh and meat and worshipped by body hair, flesh and fierce mantras. Tantric practitioners worship her for acquiring supernatural powers (siddhis). The Tantric texts Tantrasara, Shakta-pramoda and Mantra-mahodadhih contain details about the worship of goddess Chhinnamasta and other Mahavidyas. There are two different interpretations of this aspect of Chinnamasta's iconography. One understands it as a symbol of control of sexual desire, the other as a symbol of the goddess's embodiment of sexual energy. She conveys reality as an amalgamation of sex, death, creation, destruction and regeneration.