Cchinnamasta puja yantra

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Original artwork is Jan Bailey, 1996. Translations are Mike Magee 1996.

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Shri Cchinnamasta Devi

Her left foot forward in battle, she holds her severed head and a knife. Naked, she drinks voluptuously the stream of the blood nectar flowing from her beheaded body. The jewel on her forehead is tied with a serpent. She has three eyes. Her breasts are adorned with lotuses. Inclined towards lust, she sits erect above the god of love, who shows signs of lustfulness. She looks like the red China rose. - Chinnamasta Tantra, quoted in Alain Danielou's Hindu Polytheism.

This devi is the Hindu tantrik equivalent to Vajra Vairochani. She is one of the Ten Mahavidyas -- great female goddesses in the Bengali tantrik tradition. The others are Kali, Tara, Bhuvaneshvari, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Bagala Siddhavidya, Matangi and Kamala, although these lists occasionally vary. Images show that her own severed head, which she holds in her hand, is drinking one stream of blood spurting from the arteries in her neck, while at her side are two naked Shaktis, each of whom drinks another stream of blood. In the bindu of her yantra, pictured at the top left, is the bija mantra Hum, while outside the second triangle are the mantras Hum Phat.

Her six mantras used in Her six-way nyasa are 1) Shrim Aim Klim Sauh Shrim Hrim Klim Aim Haum 2) Om Krim Strim Krom 3) Im Hum Phat 4) Shrim Klim Hum Aim Vajravairochaniye Hum Hum Phat Svaha. 5) Shrim Hrim Hum Aim Vajra Vairochaniye Shrim Hrim Aim Phat Svaha and 6) Shrim Aim Klim Sauhm Shrim Hrim Klim Aim Haum Om Shrim Klim Hum Aim Vajra Vairochaniye Hum Hum Phat Svaha.

Yantra puja is from the circumference to the centre. The weapons are on the outside of the yantra and are vajra, dart, stick, cleaver, noose. goad, elephant hook, trident, lotus and chakra. In the bhupura are the Lokapalas, the guardians of the directions and sub-directions.

At the tip of the petals, starting from the east, are the Bhairavas Karala, Vikarala, Atikarala, Mahakala.

In the eight petals, starting from the east, are her attendants Ekalinga, Yogini, Dakini, Bhairavi, Mahabhairavi, Indrakshi, Asita, Asitanga and Sanharini. Weapon shaktis are in the two central triangles: Khadga, Sukhadga, Vajra, Pasha, Ankusha, Astra.

Artwork is Jan Bailey, 1995. Translations are Mike Magee 1995. Questions or comments to [email protected]

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