[INDOLOGY] Chinnamasta

John Huntington john.darumadera at gmail.com
Sat Mar 15 16:42:26 UTC 2014

Traditionally Chinnamsta is shown as a red nude figure, in a dancing
posture with her own  severed head and blood flowing into her own mouth and
either the mouths or kapalas of Vijaya and Jaya, her two companions. All
three as ascetic females wearing little but jewelry

Her "Vahana" is Kama and Rati shown in Pahari painting as copulating

There are numerous modern  interpretations including her as essentially
also sa brandishing Durga's knife  (to slay the buffalo?) and occasionally
with other figures in attendance.

In Nepal the traditional for occurs in both Hinduism and Buddhism and in
the latter she is is specifically an aspect of Vajravarahi.

I know of no traditional images of her on a Lion and only one by a modern
artist, Kailash Raj, Cited below at exoticindiaart.com It might be
interesting to ask him if he has a traditional source for the iconography.


John C. Huntington, Professor Emeritus
Buddhist Art, Asian Numismatics,
Field and Object Art Photography
 john.darumadera at gmail.com

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