Kila (Purba) – Ritual dagger
  See it in the Museum
Orientation 3
Display 5

ABR 027

 Code: ABR 027

  Country: Tibet


  Date: 1700 - 1800

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 3.5 x 10.8 x 6.2

  Materials: Copper with gilt

Vajrakila (dorje purba) – The ritual dagger

Vajrakila (dorje purba in Tibetan), the "adamantine dagger" is the name of a ritual peg or dagger with a pyramidal blade used by all religious schools in Tibet.
The ritual object purba is directly related to Dorje Phurba or Vajrakila, an eponymous wrathful deity embodying the awakened activities of all Buddhas. Vajrakila is one of the most important meditation deities in the ancient Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He is embodied in the purba as a means of destroying all obstacles and hindrances on the path to Buddhahood, his three faces appearing on the pommel of the dagger. These wrathful activities consist of the overcoming and liberation of violence, hatred, and aggression then transmuted into wisdom. The dagger is also employed to bestow blessings. According to Tibetan tradition, the cult and practice of wrathful deity Vajrakila was introduced from India to Tibet during the 8th century by the tantric master Padmasambhava.

This example of gilded copper dagger with an iron blade rests on a triangular support, ornate with macabre designs, and the effigy of an obstructing spirit where the blade embeds itself.