Vajrakila - a ritual dagger
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ABR 004

 Code: ABR 004

  Country: Tibet (central)

  Style:

  Date: 1300 - 1400

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 9 x 25 x 9

  Materials: Iron

Vajrakila (dorje phurba): ritual dagger

Vajrakila
 (Skt.) or dorje phurba (Tib.) is the name of a particular ancient ritual dagger of Indian or perhaps Mesopotamian origin, employed by all Tibetan Buddhist schools. Many of these iron objects were manufactured in the Derge area of Eastern Tibet (Kham). 

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. 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 phurba is therefore not an actual weapon, but 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.

Müller-Ebelling et. al. (2002) affirm furthermore that the phurba is cognate with lingam, the generative instrument of Shiva that is metonymic of the primordial energy of the Universe. The phurba as lingamactualizes the yoni essence-quality of whatever it penetrates.