Chinnamastā: The Aweful Buddhist and Hindu Tantric Goddess

This is the first monograph which examines the rare Buddhist and Hindu Tantric goddess, Chinnamasta, her rituals, her names and forms (namarupa) and their symbolism by comparing and contra-sting her sadhanas (spiritual practices) in Hinduism and Buddh-ism. The entire Hindu Chinnamastatantra section from the Sakta Pramoda, the Buddhist Chinnamunda Vajra-varahisadhana and theTrikayavajrayoginstuti are translated for the first time into English. Since Chinnamasta is a rare goddess, her texts were not popularized or made fashionable according to the dictates of a particular group at a particular time. The earliest extant texts dated from the ninth and tenth centuries a time when Hindu and Buddhist Tantras were developing under common influences in the same place in India. Having such texts about Chinnamasta Chinnamunda from these centuries, one can begin to understand the mutuality of a general Tantric tradition and the exclusivity of a particular Hindu or Buddhist Tantric tradition. Hence the study not only examines Chinnamasta, but also attempts to under-stand what is a Tantric tradition.