Chhinnamasta: Once, the goddess Bhagwati Bhawani (another name for Chhinnamasta) went to have a bath in the river Mandakini with her two companions Jaya and Vijaya. After having their bath all of them became hungry. Jaya and Vijaya asked for something to eat. Goddess Bhagwati told both of them to wait. After sometime they demanded food again. They were again told by goddess Bhagwati to wait. Unable to control their hunger Jaya and Vijaya politely said to Bhagwati: "Mother gives food to her hungry children as soon as it is demanded." Bhagwati was very pleased by their innocence as well as recognizing her as the Mother of all. She severed her head by her own hand and held the severed head in her left hand, three streams of blood started to squirt out from her neck. All of them satisfied their hunger by drinking the blood from the three streams of blood respectively. Rather than have Jaya and Vijaya portrayed as separate from Chhinnamasta, Leela took the artistic liberty to have two more arms coming from her form, each holding a bowl to collect the blood.
She is called Chhinnamasta because of her severed head. She satisfies our spiritual hunger. Goddess Chhinnamasta is clothed by the 4 directions. She is very much alive even though her head is severed from her body. Some say that her severed head is symbolic of introverted nature of accomplishment. She represents a higher state of consciousness, going beyond the head. She represents personal sacrifice for the sake of her loved ones. She is another form of Kali. She has conquered sound and time. She is standing on top of an amorous couple showing control over the sensual pleasures.