Chinnamasta, where Chinna means 'chopped-off' and masta means 'head', is one among the ten Mahavidyas
or manifestations of the goddess Parvati
. Chhinnamasta is so called because of her severed head. Chinnamasta stands on a white lotus formed from the union of Lord Kama
, and with the attendant goddesses Varnini (knowing) on her right and Dakini (action) on her left. The goddess is believed to grant all desires of her devotees and impart her life energy to them. Removal of the head is a symbol of the control of the ego-mind and transcending it. Thus it can be seen as a powerful aid to spiritual advancement.
Chinnamasta is said to represent spiritual realisation and the control of the upsurge of kundalini power. In Tantric Buddhism Chinnamasta is known as Chinnamunda or as a form of Vajra-Yogini.Sometimes Chinnamasta is identified with, or seen as, an aspect of either Durga or Kali, and there are also connections to the Buddhist Vajrayogini.