Phurba, ritual object of Tibetan tantric Buddhism.
Natural rock crystal of Brazil
Crystal of Brazil rock of excellent quality.
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About 90 mm long
Weight of about 27 grams
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The Phurba is a dagger to defeat demons. It was introduced into Tibetan Buddhism by Phadmasambhava and is a symbol of transmutation of negative forces.
Often made of stones, bones, or iron, phurba daggers of Tibetan Buddhist temples are easily recognizable by their triple-sided blade. Used in rituals to drive out unwanted spirits, Phurba acts spiritually to immobilize demonic spirits and sometimes kill them in the hope that they will reincarnate in better places.
Each component of Phurba has its own meaning. The blade of the dagger represents the method, with each of the three sides representing the three-spirit worlds. The tip reconciling all three to form a harmonious global axis. The triple-bladed design is also intended to simultaneously transform the three poisons of the world into positive energies. These poisons are ignorance, greed and aggression. Enemies of Buddhism who may require a lifetime to overcome in the quest for enlightenment. The blade is often seen as indestructible and lit with a fire to burn above hatred.
The handle of the Phurba represents wisdom and is often modeled as an eight-sided bulb with symmetrical knots at each end. There are various interpretations to the presence of these nodes. From the belief that Nirvana is locked inside, to the belief that the different sections of the knots contain the paradises of several gods. Going as far as the desire for a formless form, representing the fact of being formless in the kingdom of the Buddhas.
The top of the handle often displays the three wrathful deities of Yamantaka, Amrita Kundalini, and Hayagriva. Yamantaka, the face of white color, symbolizes the body and the destruction of hatred. Amrita, the face colored in blue, symbolizes the spirit and the destruction of illusion. Hayagriva, the face of red color, symbol of speech and the destruction of greed.
In many illustrations, Phurba's dagger is represented in a simple form, due to its small size. However, in its three-dimensional form, this tiny blade is most often depicted with many Buddhist symbols and demonstrates its focus on purging evil.
Representation of Mahakala on the phurba pommel
Called the "Great Black", Mahakala is peculiar to Tibet and is called Mong- po, and was accepted as a tutelary deity of Mongolia in the seventeenth century under the name of Yeke Gara, under Tibetan influence.
His Chinese name, Dahei Wang or Dahei Tian (大黒天) is only a transcription of the Sanskrit name maha (great- Da in Chinese), Kala (black- Hei) adding Wang meaning king. Dahei Wang 大黑王 The Great Black King, or Dahei Tian Great Black Sky.
Mahakala has never been the subject of a cult in China itself.
In Japan, mainly in the Shingon school, where his image would seem to come from Mongolia, and answering to the name of Daikokuten (大黒天, Great Black Sky) or simply Daikoku (Great Black), he does not have the same symbolism and was venerated from the seventeenth century as one of the 7 deities of happiness with Ebisu, Benzai Ten, Bishamon ten, Fukurokuju, Jurôjin and Hotei, a motley group of deities belonging to both Buddhism and Chinese Taoism artificially created in the seventeenth century by the monk Tenkai who died in 1643 (Postume name Jigen Daishi)
In Tibet Mahakala is both a Dharmapala and a protective god (Yi dam).
The Dharmapala are the protectors of the Dharma, guardians of the teachings.
This name designates the deities taking on the task of protecting the practitioners and teachings in vajrayana and dzogchen.
Very numerous and divided into several classes, these protectors constitute an impressive set of deities, either masculine or feminine. Some having a peaceful appearance, most showing a corous appearance, thus showing their powers and dedication to the protection of secret teachings and ensuring to dispel obstacles on the spiritual path.
Two great classes of protectors are distinguished: The protectors of wisdom or supra-worldly of which the group of Mahakala is a part and the worldly protectors.
The Mahakala group has 75 forms all crowned of which 6 are the most important.
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