Chinnamasta: The Aweful Buddhist and Hindu Tantric Goddess by Elizabeth Anne Benard

By Elizabeth Anne Benard

This can be the 1st monograph which examines the infrequent Buddhist and Hindu Tantric Goddess, Chinnamasta, her rituals, her names and varieties (namarupa) and their symbolism through evaluating and contrasting her sadhanas (spiritual practices) in Hinduism and Buddhism. the total Hindu "Chinnamastatantra" part from the Sakta Pramoda, the Buddhist "Chinnamunda Vajravarahisadhana" and the "Trikayavajrayoginistuti" are translated for the 1st time into English. for the reason that Chinnamasta is an extraordinary goddess, her texts weren't popularized or made "fashionable" based on the dictates of a selected workforce at a specific time. The earliest extant texts date from the 9th and 10th centuries-a time whilst Hindu and Buddhist Tantras have been constructing less than universal impacts within the similar locations in India. Having such texts approximately Chinnamasta Chinnamasta from those centuries, one could start to comprehend the mutuality of a common Tantric culture and the exclusivity of a selected Hindu or Buddhist Tantric culture. for this reason the learn, not just examines Chinnamasta, but in addition makes an attempt to appreciate what's a Tantric culture.

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In the Hindu tradition all the goddesses are manifestations of a Dcvi, one of her most ubiquitous fonns is Durga. One frequently finds penny posters of Durga 's ten transcendent forms, the Dasa Mahavidyas, surrounding the central deity, Durga. See Plate 1 for the Dasa Mahavidyas. , Vedic Mychology, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass, rpt. 1981:47. Sircar, D. a Pi[has: S-6. Sec Sircar for an extensive account of the pi[has (pp. 80-100). 3:101 ff. Sircar: 48. : Sircar states that Mahala~mi stands for Kamala and Durga for Matangi.

In many Hindu Tantric texts, such as the Great Liberation, the yogis are the ones who meditate on the deity without form while the householders meditate on the deity with form; however Chinnamasta's form is such an awesome vision that only yogis can meditate on her with form. 23 10. Conch ritual is an important rite in Hindu Tantric ritual worship. In all forms of Hindu ritual worship there is a general oblation (sam:in:irghya) which is a sprinkling of consecrated liquid on the practitioners To Worship a Deity 29 and offerings in order to purify them.

33 I Iindu Tantric practitioners perform homa with the repetition of mantras for either mundane or supramundane reasons. tter reason is to become liberated but the mundane reasons are numerous. 21f0, the practitioner is told that he/she can attain good fortune, happiness, longevity, be able to make all kings subservient, be free from diseases, attain poetic talents, captivate people, cause death to one's enemies, attain siddhis, etc. ' 4 Each attainment requires particular offerings and a certain amount of time.

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