Two Vajrakila - ritual daggers
  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 Phurba)

Vajrakila (Skt.) or dorje phurba (Tib.) is the name of a particular ancient ritual dagger of Indian or perhaps Mesopotamian origin, used by all Tibetan Buddhist schools. 
The phurba as a ritual object is also directly related to Dorje Phurba or Vajrakilaya, a wrathful deity of Tibetan Buddhism who is often seen with his consort Dorje Phagmo or Vajravarahi. Vajrakila is an important deity in the ancient Nyingma-tradition. He is embodied in the phurba as a means of destroying (in the sense of overcoming and then freeing) violence, hatred, and aggression by tying these inner “demons” with the three blades of the phurba and transmuting them with its tip. The pommel may be employed in blessings. The dagger is therefore simultaneously seen as an instrument of destruction and of preservation, and not as an actual weapon, but as a spiritual implement. 
The phurba often bears the epithet "Diamantine Dagger of Emptiness". According to Tibetan tradition, the cult and practice of wrathful deity Vajrakila was introduced from India to Tibet during the 8th century by Padmasambhava.
It is also said that the phurba is cognate with lingam, that is metonymic of the primordial energy of the Universe. The phurba as lingam actualizes the yoni essence of that which it penetrates.