Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Chinnamasta is a deity who has always been in my thoughts. She is responsible for veena and the power behind veena-playing. Chinnamasta is the sixth Goddess in the "Dasa Maha Vidya". She resides in the Surya Mandala. She is the deity who represents the planet Rahu. The other deities of Dasa Maha Vidya and their planetary associations are as follows:-
Rahu is the planet which is reponsible for the nervous system (also for breath, bones, nails etc.) that supports veena playing, and veena strings made of the metal associated with Saturn , steel-("Sani Vat Rahu"-which means Saturn and Rahu have similar qualities as per authentic vedic astrology).
Chinnamasta is also known as "Prachanda-Chanda-Chandika" or "Prachanda Chandika". Lord Parasurama was a Sadhaka of Chinnamasta. Guru Sri. Gorakhnath, who belonged to the Natha Sampradaya was a Sadhaka of Chinnamasta.The most popular temple for Chinnamasta Devi is in Himachal Pradesh , in a town called Chintapurni. This temple is among the "Sakthi-Peethas", and known as Chinnapurni, which means, the Goddess who fulfills the desires of Her devotees. People throng to this temple to find solutions for their problems and to achieve peace of mind.
Scriptures state that Goddess Parvathi, accompanied by Her two attendants, Jaya and Vijaya went to bathe in the River Mandakini. The Goddess was deeply engrossed in Her own thoughts, unaware of the hunger pangs of Her attendants. On repeated demands from Jaya -Vijaya for food, the merciful Goddess severed Her own head, which fell on the palm of Her left hand. Three bloodstreams gushed out of Her throat, the right and left falling respectively into the waiting mouths of Jaya and Vijaya and the centre stream falling into Her own mouth.
According to the vedic tale of Rishi Dadhyach Atharvana (who appears as Kabanda Atharvana in the Brihadaranyaka, with the later name of Chinnamasta's spouse) the attendants were known as Dakini and Vamani. This tale states that the two Ashwins, known for their mystic powers had approached Dadhyach for the secret knowledge of "Soma", the nectar of immortality and food of the Devas, 'amrutham'. Lord Indra warned Dadhyach that his head would fall off if he did so, and the sage continued headless, till the Ashwins fixed the head of a horse to his body.
Dadhyach personifies Indra's thunderbolt or Vajra, whose head is cut off in order to reveal "Soma"(Rig Veda 1. 134. 13-15) According to Rig Veda (IX. 108.3) Dadhyach also grants the amrutham and is the Lord of "Soma".
Chinnamasta is Vajra Vairochani, the effulgent thunderbolt, as much as Dadhyach is.The three streams of blood gushing out of Chinnamasta symbolises "granthis"(knots). Chinnamasta is said to remove the three granthis or knots in the Sushumna (representing the three Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra and the three worlds).
While the above is the story, I had the good fortune of receiving more information on Chinnamasta from Sri Duddu Sarma, General Manager of a major Pharmaceutical Company in Minneapolis/St.Paul, US, and a devotee of Sri Vasishta Ganapathi Muni (also known as "Nayana garu"), who was a great follower of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi. Sri Nayana Garu (1878-1936) who is a mighty spiritual personality had a large following and famously known as Kavyakantha.He recognised the uniqueness of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi's teachings, accepted Him as his Guru and proclaimed Him as the Maharishi to the whole world.
Nayana Garu, in his work, "Uma Sahasram" interprets Sahasrara Chakram as Kamadhenu and Mooladhara Chakram as the calf. He further states that Sahasrara Chakram is Goddess Uma in the form of Renuka and Her son, Lord Vinayaka, the Lord of space and physical existence, as the calf at Mooladhara Chakram. The one who milks is the "atman".
Nayana Garu's belief was that Chinnamasta was none other than Renuka (personified as Lord Parashurama's mother and saint Jamadagni's wife). As Parashurama beheads Her (Lord Parashurama who is an avatara of Lord Vishnu, literally beheads His own mother with an aim to teach Her perfection in 'kundalini' for achieving moksha through Sahasraram). Goddess Uma induced Her own Shakthi into Renuka, making Her the immortal "Prachanda Chandi" and hence She is the Maha Vidya of Shakthi. The sahasrara chakram (1000 petalled) is represented by Kartha Veeryarjun (the demon with 1000 hands). Lord Parashurama cutting off the 1000 hands of Kartha Veeryarjun to release His mother from sin is depicted by His act of severing Her head to attain salvation through Sahasrara chakra. It is also likely that Renuka Devi was probably the first female in human form to have achieved this, with Goddess Uma making her immortal by inducing Her own Energy into her.Renuka Devi was also known as Kamadhenu like the Sahasrara Chakra, that which continuously delivers the nectar of life and gnana.
Sri Nayana Garu's message about Chinnamasta is echoed in the beautiful composition of Sri Muthuswami Dikshithar (Raga-Kannada Bangala, Thala- Khanda Jampa).
Renuka Devi Samrakshithoham Anisham
Venu Vaadyaadiyutha Vijaya Nagarasthithey
Maanikya Bhooshani Madhura Rasa Bhaashini
Baana Sadrusaakshini
Parashurama Janani
Konatraya Vaasini Guruguha Vishvaasini
Kannada Bangaley Gaandharva Bhanjani
Sri Renuka Devi's temple is in Vijayapuram, a small village located towards the north of Thiruvarur. The krithi mentioned above, states that the Goddess is the mother of Lord Parashurama and is very closely associated with all the musical instruments ("venu vaadyaadiyutha") and resided in Vijayapuram ("Vijayanagara sthithey!"). Renuka Devi, who manifested as Chinnamasta is an important deity to propitiate for achieving expertise in the field of arts.
Chinnamasta is naked,the jewel on Her forehead is tied with a serpent. She has three eyes. Her breasts are adorned with lotuses and She represents Indrani Shakthi, which is associated with Swadhishtana Chakram which is responsible for creativity and lust.
Her mantra as per Mantra Mahodadhi :
"Om Shreem Hreem HreemAim Vajra Vairochaniyai Shreem Hreem Hreem Phat Swaha!"
More information is availble in an article by Sri Prakhya Madhubabu on Chinnamasta. He quotes Sri Nayana Garu's sloka-
"Chinnaam Bhinnaam Sutharaam Sannaa
Mannaa Bhaavadabhithaha Khinnaam
Ethaam Paathum Bharatha Kshoneem
Jaaye Jishnoho Kurumaam Shakthaha!"
("Uma Sahasram"- Nayana Garu, November 26th, 1907).
Meaning:Oh Devi, please give me the strength to protect the Mother land which is scattered and deprived of food.
In the same article, Sri Prakhya Madhubabu has stated that Renuka (Chinnamasta) is the source of atomic energy. Meditating on Her is extremely powerful and intricate. This practice is conducted in secrecy by tantriks of high order in Himalayas, all the way upto Kerala.In Nepal and Tibet, She is known as 'Vajrayogini' and Buddhists consider Her as the Goddess who grants meditative powers and salvation. Even the harijans in Andhra Pradesh worship Her as the village Goddess, "Ellamma".The villagers and devotees of Ellamma recount the many miracles performed by Ellamma. In Andhra,there used to be a practice of decorating young girls in households as Ellamma and worshipping her. They would also address her as "Mathangi"!
Mathangi or Raja Mathangi, is the presiding deity for veena! Chinnamasta's represents Rahu (the most important planet for veena-playing). The kundalini-sadhana intended through veena -playing derives stength through worship of Chinnamasta, who cuts off the 'ida' and'pingala' nadis for salvation through "Sahasraram".


alchemister said...

Interesting! I always thought, mathrini (matangi) is associated with veena playing.


Veenaagayathri said...

Dear Sri. Kannan, You will find the answer in the revised version of my article.Gayathri

Anonymous said...

Gayathri garu,
Thanks for the acknowledgement. The association of "rahu (who's head is separated, and has a "snake (kundalini)" as the rest of his body has a striking resemblence to "Chinnamastha's" own apperance as described by the tantriks (and as you showed above)
Sarma Duddu, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Veenaagayathri said...

Sri.Sarma Garu,
Thank you for reading the posting. I agree with your analysis that Chinnamasta does resemble Rahu as depicted by tantriks.

ShyamalaSajnani said...

Thank you for sharing this information, it was uplifting in every way

Veenaagayathri said...

Thank you so much Sham!

Ganti Lakshmi Narasimha Murthy said...

Dear Emani Gayathrigaru,namaskaram.Your above article on chinnamastha and veena is very interesting.In this connection I draw your attention to Kavyakantha vasishta Ganapathi Muni,who has shown to the world the power of Chinnmastha and Kpalabhedana Sidhi.He was the only one yogi in India,after vedic rishis who lived 14 years after getting his skull broken by Tapas Shakthi(not by breaking coconut after one's death)under the aegis of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi. Thus he proved that Upanishad mantras like 'vypoha seershakapale....."-Taittareeayopanishsad are not false and can be proved concretelyThere are many yogis who are upasakas of this Tantrik deity,but none of them achieved this rare sidhi.The Present Peethadhipati of Kurtalam Peetham,Sri Sdheswarananda Bharathi Swamiji, is a great sidha himself, is also a upasaka of Chinnamastha in the footsteps of Nayana.Kavyakantha Vasishta Ganapathimuni's sanskrit works were brought out by his disciple Late Natesan in 10volumes.A lot of work has to be done for bringing out his Telugu works-Murhty

Veenaagayathri said...

Dear Sri.Murthy,
Thank you for enlightening me about Sri. Kavyakantha. I have heard a lot about Him and am trying to acquire His book, "Uma Sahasram". Kindly let me know where I could have the darshan of Kutralam Peetadhipathi. Also would like to know how and where to get the works of Sri. Kavyakantha.

Ganti Lakshmi Narasimha Murthy said...

Dear Gayatri garu.Umasahasram in sanskrit with commetary was published by the first disciple of Kavyakantha sri,Kapali sastry of aurabindo Ahramam.Telugu poetic transilation was published by late Pantula Lakshminarayana Sastry.which is not in print now.Sanskrit print with Englsih transliteration is now available in volume No1 of 11 volumes of collected works of Kavyakantha published by late Nateshan,the oldest disiple of Nyanagaru for RAmanashramam Thiruvannamalai.Regarding Sri Siddeshwarananda Bharathi swamiji, he is available at secunderabad ,Dharmarakshana Mahayagnam from 6-2-2010to12-2-2010.From 13-2-2010 he will be available at coutalam where he will be performing Brahmotsavam of courtalam temple.Here is the Phone number of swamiji's Peetham@courtalam 04633-283707.My phone number is 080 26482744.u may depend on me for anaything on Nyana's works and his life-urs Murthy

Veenaagayathri said...

Thank you for the kind information you have shared. Extremely kind of you.I shall note all the details for my requirements.

Anonymous said...

Kourtalam Swamiji has spent great amount of time on sadhana of Chhinnamasta. He has several experiences related to Her and I had opportunity to learn those from him.

Veenaagayathri said...

I would be very happy to know in detail about the same. I am interested to know everything there is to it,

Anonymous said...

Does Devi Chinnmasta worship helpin marriage of a girl, she has Rahu in Lagna ?

Veenaagayathri said...

If Chinnamasta is the prime deity to appease Rahu, surely She should help in removing obstacles caused by a weak Rahu in lagna and bestow marriage on the native.

Sri said...

Hello Gayathriji,

Maa Chinnamasta Mahadevi represents sushumna nadi in yogic parlance. She is atomic energy unlike Maa Kali who is electrical energy.

Ofcourse both are extremely powerful forces. Sri Kavyakanta Ganapathi Muni is very rare versatile mahatma who had kapala moksha during his life time in physical sense.He ofcourse would had done intesne sadhana for many lives to have this in this life time.He is a rare gem who never was known much till Kapali sastry or David Frawley wrote the books on tantric goddesses.

You may refer to "mantra mahodadhi" for more information on Maa Chinnamasta.

Though there is lot of romantisization about experiences in the sadhana, it is purely personal and is direcly proportional to what we perceive Maa to be. Maa cannot be put in a cup of coffee and assumed that she is a cup:-)

My Guru initiated me into this though she is only for warriors and saints and is supposed to be very kind. She destroys everything and reconstructs and protects the deity.

Rahu bows down in abidance to her sight as she is the one who makes him work as her vibhuti.

All manisfest world works in submission to Maa and they better.

I can share more in private as these are very secretive tantric practices.
Jai Maa

Veenaagayathri said...

Dear Sri.Sri,
Thank you for your kind comment I shall surely refer to Mantra Mahodadhi.I also thank you for all the wonderful info you have given on Goddess Chinnamasta.

Murthy's Blog said...

Thanks for the enlightening article.


Veenaagayathri said...

Dear Sri.Murthy,
Thank you for the appreciation!

gandhi said...

Dear Sri ji
I have read this article & seems to be very interesting
Can you please tell any person who performed this sadhana recently.
I am passionate to do the same.
Hope to get a reply soon.
Gandhi Kumar
Kharagpur-WB, INDIA

Veenaagayathri said...

Dear Sri.Gandhi,
Thank you. I have no idea about anyone doing this sadhana presently. There are books (in telugu) available in Tiruvannamalai Ramana Ashram that could give you some guidelines.

vlggprasad said...

Please be in Touch With Sri LANKA KRISHNA RAO GARU of Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh. He is a Great KUNDALINI SADHAKA and a Master in SRI CHAKRA NAVAVARNA ARCHANA. His e-Mail ID is "krishnarao lanka"

We are all his disciples
and i am CA VLG GAYATRI PRASAD 9849344818 at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh INDIA.our Group of Disciples List with E- Mail ID's is Given hErewith,,,,,,,,,,,

Veenaagayathri said...

Thank you very much for the info!!

Brzee said...

Dear Shrimathi Gayathriji,
Complete works of Nayana are seen in The below link will lead you to Umasahasram. I don't know in which volume of the 'complete works' umasahasram occurs.

Venkat said...

Cchinnamasta is a Godess worshipped by hardcore Yogis and Tantrics. She is the Lightning that runs through the Vajra naadi. She takes Her worshipper away from sensuality and makes him Urdhvaretas (One with vital seed drawn up). Varnini and Dakini represent Ida and Pingala here and the central stream of blood represents Sushumna /Suzhimunai(literally tip of the vortex where name and form dissolve). She takes her adorer from Mind to No-mind or the state of Turya.

Anonymous said...

Hari Om,

I am a disciple of KavyaKantha Ganapati Muni Garu, while reading some article on Chinnamastha, where very highly respected scholars and Spiritual gurus mentioned that out of Ten Mahavidya only Chinnamastha and Bhairavi, and some also said Dhumavati can be worshipped only by Left wing path, I.e. Vamachar Sampraday, but I am of believe that Ganapati Muni garu is the only Tapasvi in this kaliyuga after Parashurama to attain Kapalbhedan an lived for 14 years and also only at least known to me have attain all 10 mahavidya siddhis by Dakshinachar way only.

He was also blessed with the amrutam from Bhuvaneshwari devi after his tapas who is one of 10 mahavidya.

Ramesh Vadlamani


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