Chinnamasta, Chinnamastā, Chinna-masta: 7 definitions



Chinnamasta means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Chhinnamasta.

In Hinduism

Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Chinnamasta in Shaktism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Śāktism

Chinnamastā (छिन्नमस्ता, “the beheaded”):—The fifth of the ten Mahāvidyās. She represents the Power (śakti) of the Sacrifice. She rules over the Pañchamahāyajña (“five Great-Sacrifices”) that every human is indebted to enforce at every occasion. Those five sacrifices represent the continual expressing of gratitude to all those who facilitate our existence.

  1. Pitṛiyajña (sacrifice for the ancestors),
  2. Devayajña (sacrifice for the gods),
  3. Brahmayajña (sacrifice for the Supreme),
  4. Manuṣyayajña (sacrifice for fellow human beings),
  5. Bhūtayajña (sacrifice for the elements and animals).

The ten Mahāvidyās are the emanations of Mahākālī, the Goddess of time and death. She is depicted as a fearful laughing goddess with four arms entwined with poisonous snakes in her hair. She has three red eyes, a wagging tongue and feaful teeth. Her left foot is standing on a corpse

Source: Red Zambala: The 10 Great Wisdom Goddesses

Chinnamastā represents the end of things, the spectacular moment when the victim is sacrificed, beheaded; life, existence, comes to an abrupt end. The Vedic ritual of sacrifice consists in beheading the victim — “The sacrifice is indeed beheaded.” (Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa). Hence the Shakti of the sacrifice is depicted as the “Beheaded-one (Chinnamastā).

Shaktism book cover
context information

Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Chinnamasta in Hinduism glossary
Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Chhinnamasta (Sanskrit: छिन्नमस्ता, Chinnamastā, "She whose head is severed"), often spelled Chinnamasta and also called Chhinnamastika and Prachanda Chandika, is one of the Mahavidyas, ten Tantric goddesses and a ferocious aspect of Devi, the Hindu Divine Mother. Chhinnamasta can be easily identified by her fearsome iconography. The self-decapitated goddess holds her own severed head in one hand, a scimitar in another. Three jets of blood spurt out of her bleeding neck and are drunk by her severed head and two attendants. Chhinnamasta is usually depicted standing on a copulating couple.

Chhinnamasta is associated with the concept of self-sacrifice as well as the awakening of the kundalini – spiritual energy. She is considered both as a symbol of self-control on sexual desire as well as an embodiment of sexual energy, depending upon interpretation. She symbolizes both aspects of Devi: a life-giver and a life-taker. Her legends emphasize her sacrifice – sometimes with a maternal element, her sexual dominance and her self-destructive fury. Though she enjoys patronage as part of the Mahavidyas, her individual temples – mostly found in Northern India and Nepal – and individual public worship is rare, due to her ferocious nature and her reputation of being dangerous to approach and worship. Her individual worship is restricted to heroic, Tantric worship by Tantrikas, yogis and world renouncers.

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Chinnamasta in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Chinnamasta (छिन्नमस्त).—a. decapitated.

-stā, -kā a headless form of Durgā.

Chinnamasta is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms chinna and masta (मस्त). See also (synonyms): chinnamastaka.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Chinnamasta (छिन्नमस्त).—mfn.

(-staḥ-stā-staṃ) Decapitated. f.

(-stā) A form of Durga without her head. E. chinna, and masta the head; also with kan added chinna mastaka, chinnamastakā.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Chinnamastā (छिन्नमस्ता):—[=chinna-mastā] [from chinna > chid] f. = staka, [Tantrasāra iv; Mantramahodadhi vi].

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Chinnamasta (छिन्नमस्त):—[chinna-masta] (staḥ-stā-staṃ) a. Decapitated. f. A form of Durgā.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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