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Tibet

Phurpa (ceremonial dagger)

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Object Details

Culture

Tibet

Medium

Brass or bronze

Dimensions

7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm)

Credit Line

Acquired through the Museum Purchase Fund

Object
Number

62.3351

Among Tibetan ritual objects, the phurpa is a “weapon” used to stab demons in the air, thus represen(…)

Among Tibetan ritual objects, the phurpa is a “weapon” used to stab demons in the air, thus representing the conquering of evil and destruction of obstacles. The multi-headed, ferocious deity Hayagriva forms the handle of the triangular blade that emanates from the mouth of a makara head and is entwined with snakes. The bell and vajra together represent the union of compassion (vajra) and wisdom (bell). The bell is visualized as the Buddha’s body, the vajra as the Buddha’s mind and the sound of the bell as the Buddha’s speech in the teaching of the dharma.

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