Goddess Chinnamasta  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Chinnamasta Image
CHINNAMASTA is the Hindu Goddess of transformation. She is one of the Mahavidyas, the wisdom Goddesses, and is probably the most terrifying of them. She is depicted holding her own head, which she has just cut off. Stories of her origin vary, but one relates that Parvati was bathing with two attendants, Jaya and Vijaya, when the attendants asked the Goddess to satisfy their hunger. After putting them off several times, Parvati looked all around and then cut off her own head. Three streams of blood came from her neck--one went to the mouth of Jaya, one to the mouth of Vijaya, and the last to the mouth of Parvati herself. At this point, Parvati is transformed into the Goddess Chinnamasta, whose name literally means "severed head." When they were satisfied, she put her head back on, became Parvati again, and went home. In other versions, the attendants are named Dakini and Varnini, and Chinnamasta is standing on a couple in the middle of having sex. The couple is Rati, Goddess of sexual desire, and her husband Kama, God of love.

Taken all together, the symbolism in Chinnamasta's depiction represents the transcendence of the body. Standing on the couple having sex, she has mastered the physical body, and then by cutting off her head she frees the mind. Her happy face shows the joy that she feels in bringing together life, sex, and death--three forms of transformation, three parts of the cycle. Chinnamasta's name is also seen as CHHINNAMASTA and CHINNAMASTAKA, and in Tantric Buddhism she is known as CHINNAMUNDA. Her stotra of 108 names is as follows:

CHINNAMASTA


MAHAVIDYA (great knowledge goddess)

MAHABHIMA (great fierce one)

MAHODARI (great bellied one)

CANDESVARI (fierce goddess)

CANDAMATA (mother of fierce beings or the fierce mother)

CANDAMUNDAPRABHANJINI (killer of demons Canda and Munda)

MAHACANDA (great fierce one)

CANDARUPA (fierce form)

CANDIKA (fierce one)

CANDAKHANDINI (destroyer of Canda)

KRODHINI (wrathful one)

KRODHAJANANI (creator of wrathful beings)

KRODHARUPA (wrathful form)

KUHUH (new moon day)

KALA (skillful one)

KOPATURA (afflicted with rage)

KOPAYUTA (filled with rage)

KOPASAMHARAKARINI (destroyer of rage)

VAJRA


VAJRAVAIROCANI (adamantine one)

VAJRAKALPA (competent with a vajra)

DAKINI


DAKINIKARMANIRATA (involved with the work of dakinis)

DAKINIKARMAPUJITA (worshipped as the work of dakinis)

DAKINISANGANIRATA (delighted in the company of dakinis)

DAKINIPREMAPURITA (filled with love of dakinis)

KHATAVANGADHARINI (holder of a khatvanga)

KHARVA (mutilated one)

KHADGAKHARPARADHARINI (holder of a scimitar and a skullcup)

PRETASANA (feeder of pretas [hungry ghosts])

PRETAYUTA (united with pretas)

PRETASANGAVIHARINI (plays or dwells in the company of pretas)

CHINNAMUNDADHARA (holds a severed head)

CHINNACANDAVIDYA (fierce mantra of the one with the severed body)

CITRINI (having variegated forms)

GHORARUPA (terrific form)

GHORADRSTA (terrific to behold)

GHORARAVA (having a terrific roar)

GHANODARI (firm abdomen)

YOGINI (practices yoga)

YOGANIRATA (practitioner of yoga)

JAPAYAJNAPARAYANA (absorbed in sacrifice and recitation)

YONICAKRAMAYI (possessing yonicakra)

YONIH (embodying the yoni)

YONICAKRAPRAVARTTINI (arising from the yonicakra)

YONIMUDRA (has the yonimudra)

YONIGAMYA (accessible to the yoni)

YONIYANTRANIVASINI (abides in the yoniyantra)

YANTRARUPA (has the yantra form)

YANTRAMAYI (possesses the yantra)

YANTRESI (goddess of the yantra)

YANTRAPUJITA (worshipped with a yantra)

KIRTYA (renowned one)

KAPARDINI (has matted hair)

KALI


KANKALI (emaciated)

KALAVIKARINI (constantly transforming)

ARAKTA (being slightly red)

RAKTANAYANA (having red eyes)

RAKTAPANAPARAYANA (quaffing blood continuously)

BHAVANI


BHUTIDA (gives prosperity)

BHUTIH (prosperity)

BHUTIDATRI (bestows prosperity)

BHAIRAVI (formidable one)

BHAIRAVACARANIRATA (engaged in the practice of bhairavas)

BHUTABHAIRAVASEVITA (served by fierce beings)

BHIMA (formidable one)

BHIMESVARIDEVI (goddess who is lord of the formidable one)

BHIMANADAPARAYANA (having continuous formidable sounds)

BHAVARADHYA (praised by Sankara)

BHAVANUTA (worshipped by all)

BHAVASAGARATARINI (crosses over the ocean of existence)

BHADRAKALI (a form of Kali)

BHADRATANUH (having a beautiful body)

BHADRARUPA (beautiful form)

BHADRIKA (goodness)

BHADRARUPA (embodies goodness)

MAHABHADRA (magnanimous)

SUBHADRA (wonderful goodness)

BHADRAPALINI (protectoress of goodness)

SUBHAVYA (exceedingly beautiful)

BHAVYAVADANA (having beautiful face)

SUMUKHI (good face or mouth)

SIDDHASEVITA (served by siddhis)

SIDDHIDA (gives siddhis)

SIDDHANIVAHA (has the collection of siddhis)

SIDDHA (accomplished one)

SIDDHANISEVITA (honoured by siddhas)

SUBHADA (gives auspiciousness)

SUBHAGA (elegant)

SUDDHA (pure)

SUDDHASATTVA (has pure sattva)

SUBHAVAHA (bearer of auspiciousness)

SRESTHA (excellent)

DRSTAMAYI (embodies the right view)

DEVI


DRSTISAMHARAKARINI (capable of destroying by her gaze)

SARVANI (Siva's wife)

SARVAGA (omnipresent)

SARVA (complete)

SARVAMANGALAKARINI (creator of all auspiciousness)

SIVA (pacifier)

SANTA (peaceful)

SANTIRUPA (embodiment of peacefulness)

MRDANI (gladdened)

MADANATURA (indomitable by Kamadeva)



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Goddess Ahurani  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Ahurani Image
ACCORDING TO PERSIAN MYTHOLOGY, "AHURANI "IS AN OLD IRANIAN WATER GODDESS. HER NAME MEANS "'SHE "WHO BELONGS TO AHURA' ("THE GOD OF LIGHT). "AHURANI " REPRESENTS THE WATER IN ALL APPEARANCES: LAKES, SOURCES, RIVERS, SNOW, AND RAIN. SHE WAS ALSO THE DIVINE SYMBOL OF BOTH HEALTH AND PROSPERITY. SHE WATCHES OVER THE SEA AND OTHER WATERS AND BRINGS HEALTH, FERTILITY, OFFSPRING, PEACE, WEALTH, AND FAME TO ALL THOSE WHO HONOR HER.

THE PEOPLE PRAYED TO "AHURANI "FOR HEALTH, HEALING, PROSPERITY, AND GROWTH. ALL WATER IS HER HOME. IT IS SAID THAT SHE BRINGS PROSPERITY TO THE LAND AND HELPS WOMEN TO GET PREGNANT. WATER LIBATIONS WERE A KEY PART OF ANY RITUALS FOR THIS GODDESS.

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Assyrian Goddess Astarte  

Posted by Stella Clark

Assyrian Goddess Astarte Image
THE ASSYRIAN GODDESS, ASTARTE, IS ONE OF THE OLDEST GODDESSES TO BE WORSHIPPED BY HUMANS; IN FACT, SHE DATES BACK AS FAR AS THE BRONZE AGE. ASTARTE AS A GODDESS WHO WAS KNOWN BY MANY NAMES...FOR MANY HUNDREDS... EVEN THOUSANDS OF YEARS. SHE HAS BEEN CALLED BOTH ASTARAT AND ASTORETH, AND SOME SAY THAT SHE IS AN INCARNATION OF ISHTAR AND INANNA.

ASTARTE WAS A GODDESS OF MANY THINGS. IN MESOPOTAMIA, SHE WAS KNOWN AS THE GODDESS OF LOVE AND WAR. HER NAME MEANS "STAR", AND SHE IS THE POWER BEHIND THE MOON, THE BRIGHTEST STAR, THE BEACON OF BOTH THE MORNING AND THE NIGHT. OTHERS BELIEVED THAT IT WAS ASTARTE WHO RULED OVER THE SOULS OF THE DEAD, THOSE WHO IN HEAVEN,; THEY ARE THE STARS THAT SHINE BRIGHTLY AT NIGHT.

THE ASSYRIANS WORSHIPPED HER AS A GODDESS OF FERTILITY AND MOTHERHOOD AND PICTURED HER HAS A MOTHER GODDESS WITH A BABE IN HER ARMS. AS THE GODDESS OF LOVE AND FRUITFULNESS, SHE RULES OVER PASSION, MARRIAGE, AND SEXUAL ENCOUNTERS. ASTARTE PERSONIFIES THE SENSUALITY OF THE WOMAN'S BODY AND THE POWER OF FEMININE INDEPENDENCE. IN HER DARK ASPECT, SHE IS THE WARRIOR QUEEN; HER PASSION WAS CHANNELED INTO WAR AND BATTLE VICTORIES.

ASTARTE WAS WORSHIPPED BY MANY DIFFERENT CULTURES..INCLUDING SYRIANS. SHE WAS KNOWN TO THE PHOENICIANS ON SICILY, AND AT CARTHAGE AND EVEN ON THEREA, CYPRUS, AND CRETE. ON MALTA, THE CANAANITE BUILT GREAT STONE TEMPLES IN HER NAME. PILGRIMS WOULD COME TO WORSHIP HER AND CAST JEWELS AT HER FEET. SOME WOULD SHEAR THEIR HAIR IN HER MEMORY; OTHERS WOULD SHEAR THEIR GENITALS TO BECOME PART OF HER HOLY PRIESTHOOD. SHE WAS INTRODUCED TO EGYPT DURING THE 18TH DYNASTY, AND HER CULT OFTEN OVERLAPPED WITH ISIS' WORSHIPPERS. KING SOLOMON BUILT A TEMPLE TO HER NEAR JERUSELEM.

HER SYMBOLS INCLUDED THE BULL, DOVE, HORSE, AND LION. AND, SHE IS OFTEN PICTURED WEARING HORNS AND SOMETIMES EVEN WEARING THE HEAD OF A BULL. SHE IS OFTEN PICTURED WITH A REPRESENTATION OF THE MOON AND THE STARS. SHE CAN ALSO BE SEEN BEARING HORNS LIKE ISIS, ENTWINED IN A SACRED SNAKE. BUT, HER MOST SACRED SYMBOL WAS THE 'EGG' FOR IT REPRESENTS LIFE.

ASTARTE WAS THE "PRIMA MATERIA. "WHEREVER SHE WAS FOUND, BY WHATEVER NAME SHE WAS CALLED, TO WHATEVER PEOPLE WHO WORSHIPPED HER, SHE WAS, ABOVE ALL, THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN, THE MOTHER OF ALL OF THE DEITIES, THE GUARDIAN OF OUR BELOVED EARTH...THE GREAT GODDESS.

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