Chinnamasta is Sanskrit for “She whose head is severed.” As one of the ten Tantric Mahavidyas, Chinnamasta represents the ferocious aspects of Devi, the Hindu Mother goddess.
She is sometimes represented standing nude on the copulating love-diety couple, three jets of blood spurting out her neck while she holds her self-decapitated head in one hand and a scimitar in the other.
According to the text of Gupta Lalitambika, she “is the embodiment of virtue, love, humanness, anger, valiancy, terror, odiousness, mysticism, humor, and tranquility all put together.” Quite the resumé.
Her decapitation symbolizes her courage in transcending the limitations of mind and body. The blood spurting forth is her generosity in sacrificing herself to nourish others.
The Chinnamastra yantra represents the severing of the ego and mind-chatter to achieve the inner wisdom of the third eye, as depicted in the downward pointing triangle in its middle. The eight-petalled lotus surrounding the triangle represents cosmic harmony. The outer geometric sheath corresponds to the earth; and it’s outermost area to the mundane emotions, such as anger, fear, and worldly desires. The T-shaped structures protruding from the square are the gates of the four directions, and the entry points of the yantra.
Yogis meditate on Chinnamasta for the courage to overcome all odds.