The Gentle Devi Chhinnamasta

The Gentle Devi Chhinnamasta

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She is the Devi of contradictions. One of the dasamahavidyas, the ten (‘dasa’) Devis of supreme (‘maha’) consciousness (‘vidya’), She is an aspect of the primordial Hindu Devi as expounded in the esoteric tradition of Tantra. She is as wrathful as She is maternal, as ferocious as She is beautiful, and as destructive as She is life-giving. Her name, Chhinnamasta, is a portmanteau of the words, severed (‘chhina’) and head (‘masta’), the perfect epithet given Her one-of-a-kind iconography.

The painting that you see on this page does away with many of the shocking elements of her iconography. Instead of standing and treading upon a mortal couple in the midst of copulation, She is seated in padmasana on a throne of gold and pink velvet. She is not surrounded by fire, but by rolling green fields overlooked by pregnant, grey clouds. She is dressed like the traditional, maternal Hindu Devi, but with a scimitar in the left hand and Her masta on a golden platter in the right. Her composure of countenance is one compassion. From the spires of Her golden crown emerge lotuses the colour of the upholstery on Her golden throne.

The Devi Chhinnamasta is surrounded by five sages who look up to Her with supplication. They are dressed in saffron clothing, the traditional colour of the renunciate. The garlands on their necks are made of the same flowers as the Mother’s. A bright, clear body of water, on which bloom beauteous lotuses and lilies aplenty, adds symmetry to the composition.

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Item Code: HQ06
Water Color Painting on Paper
Artist : Kailash Raj
8.3 inch X 11 inch
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