Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article
Chinnamasta (‘the headless’). A Tantric Hindu form of Durgā. She is the fifth mahāvidya who represents the end of life, especially when a sacrificial victim is beheaded. The Buddhist Tantric equivalent is Vajrayoginī, who is also depicted iconographically without a head. She is of particular importance in abhicāra (magic ritual) directed to the injury of enemies, or to other maleficent ends.