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Chinnamasta Story – Symbolism - Goddess Chinnamastika Devi With Severed Head In Hand

The story of Goddess Chinnamasta is found in the Markandeya Purana. Chinnamastika Story is part of the Devi Mahatmya section of the Purana and is a continuation of the attempts made by Goddess Durga to defeat Mahishasura.

Chinnamasta Story In Renuka Tantra

During the war against Durgamasur, one of the chief commanders of him, named Aghorasura started creating havoc by annihilating huge number of people. He vandalized many things, so goddess Adi Shakti (Mother Goddess Shakti) took the form of Vajrayogini and came to annihilate the demon.

Rare Picture of Chinnamasta Yantra
Devi killed the demon, drank his blood, and started dancing in the battlefield. Devas soon realized that the dance would put an end to the world. They prayed to Lord Brahma for a solution.

Brahma suggested only kama (lust) can subdue krodha (anger).

So the gods asked Kamadeva to subdue the anger of Mother Goddess Shakti. Lord Kamdev along with his spouse Rati, came to the battlefield and aimed an arrow of love at her.

The arrow had no effect on the Goddess. She caught the arrow and threw it back at Kamdev and Rati.

Kamdev and Rati, hit by their own weapon of love, lost control over their senses and started to have sex in the battlefield.

The goddess laughed at this, and trampled the copulating couple.

At that time, the chief attendants of Devi, Dakini and Varnini, asked for food as they were hungry and tired due to the war.

Goddess severed her own head and gave her own blood to them. As Dakini and Varnini drank blood, they became free from all kind of hunger and thirst. They were filled with joy of self realization.

The goddess then drank her own blood and attained self realization and she returned her source. That is how Adi Shakti became Chinnamasta as per Renuka Tantra.

Chinnamasta Symbolism

Only self realization can help in achieve true bliss. The world is after kama or lust (desire, wealth, power etc) but it cannot give joy. It will only result in misery.

Goddess Chinnamasta by trampling on the couplating Rati and Kamdev sends out clear message that desires will only result in misery and rebirth.

Self realization can only be achieved through understanding the Primordial Energy - Mother Goddess Shakti. When we get the chance to drink the truth we become self realized and escape from the cycle of birth and death.

Open ourselves and see the supreme truth in us.
The one who is devoid of " I " is Chinnamasta . I means I own this body and other valuables of life , but Chinnamasta exists beyond these limitations . She herself severed her own head , as she can exist both without a form and with form . This tantric imagery of the Goddess is a reminder for us to look constantly for self realization , where the head of immortality/knowledge is separated from the mortal limited body . She never dies without a head , and so will you . Once a being realizes his divine identity the concept of birth and death is forever gone from one's life. (this paragraph from https://www.facebook.com/devibhaktishakti/)

Another Story

Legend has it that numerous manifestations appeared from Goddess Durga to defeat the various demons in the army of Mahisha. Goddess Chandi was one among the Goddess that appeared. She along with her two companion yoginis Jaya and Vijaya created havoc and butchered several demons and drank their blood.

But the two yoginis Jaya and Vijaya and Chandi Mata were not satisfied and were still thirsty.

Goddess Chandi cut off her own head to quench Her and Jaya and Vijaya’s thirst for more blood. Three streams of blood flowed from her head – two streams flowed towards the mouth of the two yoginis and one towards the head of Chinnamastika.

The severed head symbolically suggests humans to drop the attachment to body and to merge in the pure consciousness.

Chinnamastika is part of the Tantric tradition and meaning of the image is secretive and is difficult to understand.