Shri Chhinnamastika Devi is the 6th vidya (Knowledge) among the ten Mahavidyas (Supreme knowledge)’ and Her temple is about 80 km from Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand. The temple is located on the confluence of rivers Bhairavi-Bheda and Damodar and it is the second biggest Shaktipeeth (Seat of divine worship)’ in the world. There is no idol of Devi in the temple, a Peetha (Seat of worship) is present instead.
1. History of the foundation of this temple
This temple was built 6000 years ago. During the Mughal rule, they tried to destroy the temple multiple times; but they could not succeed. During the British regime, even the British used to visit this temple for a darshan.
2. Description of Shri Chhinnamastika Devi’s form
Shri Chhinnamastika Devi’s divine form is ascended on a huge flat rock adjacent to a wall in the north of the temple. There are 3 eyes inscribed on the rock which is inside the Shri Chhinnamastika temple. The form of Devi is seen with her left leg in the front; standing on a lotus flower. Below Her feet lie Kamadev and Rati in rati mudra. Shri Chinnamastika Devi’s neck adorns garlands of snakes and skulls. With Her loose hair, tongue hanging out, She is in a divine form adorned with ornaments. There is a sword in Her right hand and Her left hand holds Her own severed head. There are idols of Dakini and Shakhini standing on Her two sides. Three streams of blood are flowing through the neck of Devi and Devi Dakini and Shakini are drinking blood from the two streams while Devi’s head is drinking blood from the third stream. These 3 streams of blood symbolize acquisition of supernatural powers through the path of Yoga by balancing the 3 nadis (Energy channels) i.e. Ida (The moon channel located on the left side of the body and carrying soothing energy), Pingala (Sun channel), and Sushumna Nadi (the central channel of the spiritual energy flow system extending from the base of the spine to the top of the head).
3. Few other specialities of this temple
1. The temple is open till midnight on the Pournima (Full-moon) and Amavasya (New-moon) days.
2. After Kamakhya Devi in Assam, and Tara Devi in Bengal, Chhinnamastika Devi in Jharkhand is the main place for those who perform tantrik spiritual practice (The science of Tantra) form.
3. Several devotees from within the country and abroad come here for Devi’s darshan during Navaratri festival and on every Amavasya night.
4. There is a place in front of the temple where offerings are made. Every day, a goat is offered to Devi. Despite this being a place of animal sacrifice, one doesn’t see a single fly here which is a miracle.
5. There is pit, that said to eliminate sins, in front of the temple. The devotees believe that they get freed from all diseases by having a bath in this pit.
(Ref: ‘Bharat Discovery’ website)
4. The origin of Shri Chhinnamastika Devi
Thousands of years ago, human beings and Gods were terrified due to monsters and demons. The human beings, therefore, prayed to God. Parvati Mata manifested in the form of Chhinnamastika Devi and she eliminated the demons with her sword. She went on eliminating the evils and forgot to even have food or water. This resulted in canals of blood flowing on the earth; there was chaos everywhere. The Goddess had assumed a Huge form; due to which She is also known as ‘Prachandachandika’. Even after the elimination of evils, her anger was not subsiding. The Deities, therefore, prayed to Bhagavan Shiva to pacify such a huge form of Devi; else the whole earth would be destroyed.
After hearing to the Deities’ prayers, Bhagavan Shiva went to the Goddess. Devi said to Bhagavan Shiva that She is very hungry and asked for His advice to satiate Her hunger. Bhagavan Shiva said to Her that ‘She is the Devi of the whole Universe. She Herself is the ‘Shakti’. If She cuts Her own head with Her sword and drinks the blood coming from there, Her hunger would be satiated. Devi immediately did what Bhagavan Shiva told Her and cut Her head, holding it in Her left hand. After severing the head, three streams of blood started flowing from the neck. Shakini and Dakini, who were on each side of Devi, drank blood from two streams while Devi drank from the third stream which pacified Her.