A tantrika transform of goddess Chhinnamasta


Academy of Fine Arts and Literature

Academy of Fine Arts and Literature

The goddess who decapitates herself is instantly identified as goddess Chhinnamasta, one of the ten Mahavidyas. Instead of demanding blood-sacrifice from her devotees she feeds them with her own blood. Chhinnamasta is not the deity in regular worship among Hindus; she is nonetheless one of the most popular deities of Tantrikas. This form of the goddess is, however, far different from her normally known image. She does not have sixteen arms. She has an altogether different posture. It is also not the style of blood releasing from the cut stump of her neck. Normally three jets of blood spurt from it, one of which feeds her own decapitated head and the other two, two ‘yoginis’ on either side. Quite strangely, her form here joins two deity forms, both females, one green and other blue, each attributed with eight arms. Influenced, perhaps, with the forms of the Buddhist Tara, who has green and blue manifestations, the Tantrika painter has innovated this form believing that this will double her power of fulfilling her devitee’s desire.

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  • Title: A tantrika transform of goddess Chhinnamasta
  • Date: 1901/2000
  • Location: India, perhaps Maharashtra
  • Physical Dimensions: Paper, 12 X 25 cm
  • Subject Keywords: Tantra School
  • Type: Painting


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