Tantra in Hinduismand Buddhism is primarily a method or practise rather than a specific philosophy. It is actually concerned with the development and implementation of effective methods which would help the practitioner to accomplish liberation from cyclic of birth and rebirth. Tantra incorporates theological and philosophical beliefs from non tantric Hinduism and Buddhism but its emphasis is actual practise. Tantric practitioners perform one or more practises, utilising Tantric methods to attain siddhis, as well as ultimate goal, liberation. Although the texts and methods are both varied and vast, Tantric practitioners follow particular texts or methods dedicated by their spiritual teacher.
Spiritual Practise of Goddess Chinnamasta
Spiritual practises also known as Sadhanas comprises of two broad groups, Yoga and ritual worship or puja. Ritual worship can be divided into three kinds: those performed daily known as nitya puja, those performed on particular dates known as naimittika puja and those performed for the fulfilment of a special desire or for averting misfortune known as kamya puja. In the Chinnamasta Sadhanas the chief focus remains on the daily ritual worship i.e. nitya puja but some naimittika and kamya pujas are also performed.
There are different manuals and texts for worshipping Goddess Chinnamastika. The Sakta Pramoda is one such manual that was compiled by king Devanandanasimha of Muzaffarpur during the nineteenth century. This is considered as one of the well known manuals that is used by the practitioners. The manual relates various tantric rituals for the performance of each of the Ten Mahavidyas along with the five main deities also known as pancha devata. The five deities are Kumari, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord Surya and Lord Vishnu. Apart from the Sakta Pramoda another text prescribed for tantric rituals is the Pracandacandika section of the tantrasara. This was written in the sixteenth century by Krsnanabda Agamavagiasa. The Pracandacandika bears resemblance to the Sakta Pramoda that relates about the pujavidhih. Sri Chinnamasta Nityarcana written by Sri Swamiji Maharaj is yet another text composed for assisting practitioners in their regular worship of Goddess Chinnamasta.