Phurba, ritual object of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. bronze, representation of Mahakala, kartika ritual knife of the daikinis. 15cm/ 5cm

Phurba, ritual object of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism. bronze, representation of Mahakala, kartika ritual knife of the daikinis. 15cm/ 5cm

$53.47

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Phurba, ritual object of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism.
Bronze
Representation of Mahakala,
15cm long 5cm wide
Weight of 0.126kg

Handcrafted in bronze in a Tibetan foundry (Gyaltran, North Yunnan)

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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 from Tibetan Buddhist temples are easily recognizable by their triple-sided blade. Used in rituals to drive away 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-spirited worlds. The tip reconciling all three to form a harmonious global axis. The triple-blade design is also intended to simultaneously transform the world's three poisons 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 the hate.

The Handle of the Phurba represents wisdom and is often modeled as an eight-sided bulb with symmetrical nodes 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. By going as far as the desire for a formless form, representing the fact of being shapeless 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 white face, symbolizes the body and the destruction of hatred. Amrita, her face colored 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, the Phurba dagger is depicted 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 pommel of Phurba


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 the 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 worshipped in China itself.

In Japan, mainly in the Shingon school, where his image would seem to come from Mongolia, and answering 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, heterogeneous group formed by deities belonging to both Buddhism and Chinese Taoism artificially created in the seventeenth century by the monk Tenkai who died in 1643 (Name postume 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 assuming the task of protecting practitioners and teachings in vajrayana and dzogchen.


Very numerous and divided into several classes, these protectors constitute an impressive set of deities either male or female. Some having a peaceful appearance, most showing a corrucée 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 including the mahakala group and the worldly protectors.

The Mahakala group has 75 all curved forms of which 6 are the most important.

Below Mahakala is depicted a kartika

A kartika or kartrika is a small ritual skinning knife in the shape of a crescent used in the. Tantric ceremonies of Vajrayana Buddhism. Kartari is said to be "one of the attributes par excellence of wrathful tantric deities". It is commonly referred to as the "knife of the dakinis". Its shape is similar to that of the Inuitsulu or women's knife, which is used for many things, including skin cleansing.

While the kartari is normally held in the right hand of a dakini in the iconography and spiritual practice of vajrayana, it can sometimes be seen held by esoteric male deities, such as some forms of Yamantaka. It is also frequently found in the iconography of Chöd's Tibetan Buddhist spiritual practice.

In the same way that the bell and the vajra are usually paired ritual elements in the spiritual practice and iconography of the vajrayana (one is held in the right hand and the other simultaneously held in the left), the kartika usually appears as a pair with the kapala or "skull-Cup".

The shape of the kartika, or trigug, with its crescent shape and hook at the end, is derived from the shape of a traditional form of the Indian butcher's knife.

Representations of Vajrayogini usually contain kartika as one of its attributes. In the iconography of enlightened dakinis and tantric female yidams, it is common to find the hooked kartika knife in his right hand and the skull cup in his left, representing "the inseparable union of wisdom and skillful means."

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