Copper Ritual Dagger (Phurba)

Unknown1506 - 1521

Hong Kong Heritage Museum

Hong Kong Heritage Museum

The vajra phurba is the name of one of the precious emblems held by Esoteric deities, and is also the term for an ancient Indian weapon. This vajra is much more complex than those usually seen; the finial is in the form of a vajra staff, which is also called the "impervious", signifying its unlimited power to overcome evil. Below this are the faces of three angry yaksa, and in the central section is a mantra in Sanskrit representing the elimination of all obstructions, which is the final outcome of following the Mahayana and Hinayana practices, and the capacity for unlimited power. The lower section is the vajra phurba, also known as the "demon slaying staff". This is a ritual object used in religious ceremonies that rely on the vajra phurba to suppress all devils and demons. This vajra is inserted into the mouth of a yaksa representing the pinning down of the demon so that it cannot move and thus bringing it under control.

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  • Title: Copper Ritual Dagger (Phurba)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 1506 - 1521
  • Physical Dimensions: h1460 mm
  • Type: Dagger