Chhinnamasta is associated with the concept of self-sacrifice as well as the awakening of the kundalini – spiritual energy. She is considered both as a symbol of self-control on sexual desire as well as an embodiment of sexual energy, depending upon interpretation. She symbolizes both aspects of Devi: a life-giver and a life-taker. Her legends emphasize her sacrifice – sometimes with a maternal element, her sexual dominance and her self-destructive fury. Though she enjoys patronage as part of the Mahavidyas, her individual temples – mostly found in Northern India and Nepal – and individual public worship is rare, due to her ferocious nature and her reputation of being dangerous to approach and worship. Her individual worship is restricted to heroic, Tantric worship by Tantrikas, yogis and world renouncers.
Chhinnamasta is often named as the sixth Mahavidya in the group, with hymns identifying her as a fierce aspect of the Goddess. Kinsley says three Mahavidyas – Kali, Tara and Chhinnamasta — are prominent among Mahavidya depictions and lists, though Chhinnamasta hardly has an independent existence outside the group. Guhyatiguhya-Tantra equates god Vishnu’s ten avatars with the ten Mahavidyas; the man-lion incarnation Narasimha is described to have arisen from Chhinnamasta. A similar list in Mundamala equates Chhinnamasta with Parshurama.
In a story from the Shakta Maha-Bhagavata Purana, which narrates the creation of all Mahavidyas including Chhinnamasta, Sati, the daughter of Daksha and the first wife of the god Shiva, feels insulted that she and Shiva are not invited to Daksha’s yagna (“fire sacrifice”) and insists on going there, despite Shiva’s protests. After futile attempts to convince Shiva, the enraged Sati assumes a fierce form, transforming into the Mahavidyas, who surround Shiva from the ten cardinal directions. Chhinnamasta stands to the right of Shiva in the west.Similar legends replace Sati with Parvati, the second wife of Shiva and reincarnation of Sati or Kali, the chief Mahavidya, as the wife of Shiva and origin of the other Mahavidyas. While Parvati uses the Mahavidyas to stop Shiva from leaving her father’s house, Kali enlightens him and stops him, who was tired living with her, from leaving her. Devi Bhagavata Purana mentions the Mahavidyas as war-companions and forms of the goddess Shakambhari.
Maa Chinnamasta the “Kundalni Shakti”
Maa Chinnmasta helps in awakening the kundlani shakti, the main spiritual energy in each human body. It is assured that the Kundalni Shakti moves upward very forcefully through sushumna nadi from muladhar chakra to sahastrar chakra in top of the head with such a force that it blows her head out. The blood coming out from the throat applies the upward flowing kundlani breaking all granthis i.e. Brahmgranthi, Vishnugranthi, Rudragranthi which makes a person sad, ignorant and weak. The severed head is “consciousness”. The three blood streams is the flow of nectar when kunlani unites with Shiva in Sahastrar Chakra, which is yogi called Maithun Kriya. Those who do the chakra dhyan sadhna can understand better.
There are several places in India where it is said that sati’s head fell over there, that is why she is worshipped as Chinnamasta.
1. Chintpurni temple in Himachal Pradesh
2. Temple at Bishnupur, West Bengal
3. Ramnagar near Varanasi
4. The most powerful Chinnamasta temple is in Jharkhand, in Rajrappa where devotees are not allowed after 5.30 pm in the evening because of super natural powers roaming around temple complex after evening.
5. There is also one in Kamakhya temple complex in Assam, where, on each Wednesday, there is a long que for people for worshipping and giving sacrifices of goats.
For getting rid of “RAHU” grah(planet)’s bad effects, the puja of Chinnamasta is must. Some knowledgable pandits also recommend deity puja for KETU shanti.