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The Illustrated Encyclopedia

of
Hinduism

James G. Lochtefeld, Ph.D.

The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
New York

To teachers whose gift of learning I can never fully repay.
To students whose learning has taught me, and whose friendship has enriched me.
To Fiona, Vera, and Gavin, who put life back into perspective every day,
although they have yet to know this.
To Rachel, who has made all of this possible.

Published in 2002 by The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc.
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010
Copyright © 2002 by James G. Lochtefeld
First Edition
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without
permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Lochtefeld, James G., 1957–
The illustrated encyclopedia of Hinduism/James G. Lochtefeld.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-8239-2287-1 (set)
ISBN 0-8239-3179-X (volume 1)
ISBN 0-8239-3180-3 (volume 2)
1. Hinduism Encyclopedias. I. Title.
BL1105.L63 2002
294.5'03—dc21

Manufactured in the United States of America

Staff Credits
Editors: Margaret Haerens, Michael Isaac, Christine Slovey
Editorial Assistant: Rob Kirkpatrick
Book Design: Olga M. Vega
Cover Design: MaryJane Wojciechowski
Production Design: Erica Clendening, Beverly Fraser, Christine Innamorato,
MaryJane Wojciechowski

99-27747
CIP

Chintapurni

congregational exercise, and also the act
of emulating the god Shiva, the paradigmatic ascetic, whose love for drugs is
well known.

Chinmayanand, Swami
(b. Balakrishna Menon, 1915–1993)
Modern Hindu ascetic and teacher.
Chinmayanand became an ascetic under
the influence of Swami Shivananda,
whose articles Chinmayanand had first
read while serving a prison sentence for
his involvement in the independence
movement. For several years he devoted
himself to the study of ancient texts and
became one of the leading authorities of
the Vedas. Part of his legacy is the
Chinmayanand Mission, which carried
the abstract, intellectual, and peaceful
message of the Vedanta philosophical
school to the world. Another part of his
legacy is the Vishva Hindu Parishad, a
modern militant Hindu organization.
He was one of its founding members in
1964, and for some years he was the only
ascetic on its governing council.

Chinmoy, Shri
(b. 1931) Modern Hindu teacher and
missionary, who since 1964 has spent
much of his life addressing Western
audiences. His teachings are largely
drawn from classical ideas on yoga and
stress the importance of vegetarianism,
discipline, and service to one’s guru. His
own lifestyle is austere and largely unostentatious, as an example to his followers. On one hand he is notable for his
attention to the arts—painting, poetry,
and music, particularly the bamboo
flute—and on the other for performing
prodigious feats of strength to demonstrate the power of mind over matter. He
is based in New York City, although like
many modern Hindu teachers, he travels throughout the world.

Chin (“consciousness”) Mudra
In Indian dance, sculpture, and ritual, a
particular symbolic hand gesture
(mudra) in which the tips of the thumb

and index finger are touching, with the
rest of the fingers extended and the
palm facing the viewer. This is the
hand gesture used to signify explanation or exposition. For this reason it is
also known as the vyakhyana (“teaching”) mudra and the sandarshana
(“expository”) mudra.

Chinnamasta
(“She whose head [masta] has been cut
off [chinna]”) Particular manifestation
of the Goddess, one of the Mahavidyas
(a group of ten powerful goddesses), and
an important deity in the esoteric ritual
tradition known as tantra. The image of
Chinnamasta is one of the most striking
in Hindu iconography: a naked headless
woman often seated on a copulating
couple, holding her head on a platter
and gushing three streams of blood
from her neck—two into the mouths of
Chinnamasta’s attendant deities and
one into the lips of her own severed
head. The story behind this figure is that
Chinnamasta severs her own head to
satisfy the demands of her attendants
because they have not drunk their fill of
blood in battle. This image graphically
portrays the interconnections between
nourishment, sex, and death and the
power of the Goddess over all of
these things. Although Chinnamasta is
powerful, she does not have many
temples dedicated to her. One of the
most important is the temple of the
goddess Chintapurni, identified as a
form of Chinnamasta in the Shiwalik
Hills. For further information see
David R. Kinsley, Hindu Goddesses, 1986;
and Kathleen Erndl, Victory to the
Mother, 1993.

Chintapurni
(“She who fulfills one’s wishes”)
Presiding goddess of a temple in a village by the same name in the state of
Himachal Pradesh. Chintapurni is one
of the Shiwalik goddesses, a group of
local deities in the Shiwalik Hills who
are all considered to be manifestations

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