It is used as
weapon of war and as an important component of offerings. It
is often carried by shiva. It may be held by the fire god
Agni or may issue from his body.
It is made of
small wooden handle topped by a strong sharp metal hook. The
handle is sometimes in the form of vajra. It is the
attribute of many tantric deities. When the goad is
surmounted by a Vajra, it is called Vajrankush.
It is symbol of
the never ending cycle. It is a string of beads. The beads
are of other material also such as crystal. In Buddhist
Tradition, it is a special of Avalokiteswar. It is also a
symbol of Prajanparmita, Chunda, Vasundhara. In Hindu
tradition, Brahma, Shiva, Ganesh and saraswati also carry
Bana is an
arrow. It is the symbol of awareness appears with tantric
deities Marici, Kurukulla.
It is a stringed
musical instrument. It is a favourite instrument of
Saraswati, goddess of wisdom, learning and arts.
Chaitya or the
stupa, which represents the Buddhist Universe, is the
Buddhist sanctuary, sometimes square and sometimes round,
with spires or steps on the capital. Each spire or step
represent a heaven, the uppermost portion being a point
which is supposed to be the highest peak of Mount Sumeru, a
mythical mountain whence the Boddhichitta loses itself in
sunya. On the four sides of the chaitya the figures of four
Dhyani Buddhas Akshobhya, Ratna sambhav, Amitabha,
Amoghasiddhi are placed. The place of Vairochana is in the
cantre. In some Chaitya Vairochana is placed to the east
along with Akshobhya.
Wheel is a
symbol of absolute completeness. In the Vedic times the
wheel was symbolical of occult powers and symbol of Hindu
god Vishnu or Krishna. In Buddhism, it symbolized the wheel
of the law which turns twelve times or three revolutions for
each of the four noble truths. It is represented with eight
spokes indicating the eight fold path of salvation.
It appears often
above the image of deities. In the Buddhist Vajrayana
tradition symbolizes complementry of opposites. Both Sambar
and Shiva have the crescent moon as their hair dress.
blood in tantric ritual. Held by Kali and other
manifestations of Shiva Shakti, by Mahakala and other
guardian deities and their Dankinis. Kapala is made of
severed head of a man or the cup made of a skull, or a bowl.
The skull cup is of two kinds, when it is filled with blood
it is called Asrkkapala, and when with flesh it is called
Mamsa kapala. It is used in Tantric ritual. The deities are
appeared to partake of the bloods or the flesh of demon
carried in these cups.
or diamond that destroys all kinds of ignorance, and itself
is indestructible. The vajra is symbol of Indra also. In
tantric ritual the vajra symbolised the female principle
which represent method in the right hand and the Bell symbolised the female principle, is held in the left. Their
interaction leads to enlightenment. Also the Dorje or Vajra
represents the "Upaya" or method Tibetians name Vajra as "Dorje"
Buddhist iconorgraphy, the battle axe is held by ferocious
deities to symbolize severence of this wordly attachment. In
Hindu Iconography, it is a weapon held in the hand of
Parasurma, the sixth Avatar of Vishnu, who descended to this
world to fight Kshatriyas caste of warriors at the call or
representing the female aspect stands for "prijna" or
"wisdom". This is held in the left hand Dorje held in the
right and they are always used in combination during the
religious ceremonies. So Bell & Dorje are inseparable ritual
objects and two together lead to enlightenment.
It is a symbol
of Buddhist goddesses such as Pancharaksa. Usnisasita. It
protects from the evils. It is one of the eight symbols of
It is often held
by supporting Hindu deities and semi Devine beings and
attendants. It is one of the eight symbols of good luck.
scared lamp fed with Ghee (butter). People offer it to the
Gods and Goddesses.
DANI (INCENSE BURNER):
It is a pot made
of metal for burning incense which is to be offered to the
gods and goddesses.
It is a small
double drum with a leather string tied over the narrow
middle or bone ends make of rattling sound on the drum's
memberances, when swung. It is appeared along with the
trident (Trisula) in association with shiva cults. The
tantric symbol known as the Damaru is a hand drum made of
two half skulls.
Dhanusa is a
bow. It is generally carried in the left hand. It appears
with the tantric deities' arrow Marici, Kurukulla. With the
bow and the arrow Marici inflicts pain to the Maras and
wicked beings. Like Bajra and Ghanta, bow and arrow
symbolize the complementary of method and wisdom.
It signifies the
victory of Buddhism.
A staff with a
tapering end used as a weapon in close combat. It is a
symbol of Vishnu. A club made of human bone with a skull on
the end of it is carried by Devi, Durga, Kali and Bhairab.
A trumpet is a
made of human thigh-bone. It is a ritual object used at time
of tantric ceremony and blown to drive away evil sprits.
Damaru goes side which gives" Magical Music" for the
celestial journey. Music is considered to be similar to a
tradition, kalasa contains the primeval water carried by
Brahma, the creator. In Buddhist iconography, the Kalasa
helds Amrit, the water or the elixir of immortality. It
appears with Padmapani. It is also one of the auspicious
sign and symbolizes plenty among the eight Astamangals.
symbolizing severance of all material and this wordly bonds
held by Mahakala and by the Dankinis embracing the
Dharmapalas and the Yidams such as Yama and Yamantaka.
It is symbols of
enlightenment, used to destroy ignorance, the enemy of
liberation from the bonds of worldly attachments, hence of
continuous misery. It is a special symbol of Manjushree. The
sword in the hand of Manjushree is called the Prajna Khadga
or the sword of wisdom which is believe to destroy the
darkness of ignorance by the luminous rays issuing out of
It is a kind of
club, made of bone of forearm or leg, somethings of wood and
metal. It is a magic wand held by tantric deities, Dakinis
and Vajrayana saints. It is generally surmounted either by
vajra or Kapala or the Trishula or the banner or all of
them. In any case for a Kharwanga the skulls are necessary
and it will be so called even if nothing else in present.
It is a symbol
of Shiva. In its usual form it is a cylindrical piece of
stone or wood standing on its narrow end. The top is usually
rounded. The lingam is frequently founded in combination
with the yoni, a platelike disc with a drain, which supports
(literally meaning a circle) is Tantric meditation device.
It is a visual aid for concentration and introvertive
meditation leading to the attainment of insights and to
activation forces culminating in "Siddhi" supernatural
forces. The Mandala ist he graphic representation of this
process. It is not only theoretical but practical as an
operational scheme involving a clear plan for practical
realization of the process within oneself. It this becomes
as instrument (Yantra). There are many types of varieties of
mandalas depending on the nature of the central deity. The
most classic pattern appears in the oldest tantrics. The
mandala represents "Palace of Purity" a magic sphere cleaned
of spiritual obstacles and impurities. The square of the
'scared palace' proper is enclosed in multiple circles of
flame, vajra, eight cemetries (appears only in wrathful
deities) lotus, then the inner square to reach of the deity
of the Mandala.
It is a first
incarnation of Vishnu, therefore may be associated with him.
Suvarna matsya, the two golden fish, symbolizing beings
rescued from the ocean of misery suspicious signs of
It is a three
peacock feathers spread in a kind of fan. The feathers are
from the peacocks.
Ramnant of early
fertility rites. Worshipped as divine and semi- Devine
beings. Frequent ornament of guardian tantric deities. Nagas
have power to bring or with held rain. So, they are regarded
as gods of rain. They are believed to be the product of the
law of Buddha.
vomiting jewels is associated with god of wealth kubera and
his Buddhist counterpart, Jambala. It is believed to be the
receptacle of all germs and when the god of wealth presses
the animal, it vomits forth all the riches.
Padma is a lotus
which may be of any colour except blue. The blue lotus is
designated by the word Utpala or Nilotpala. In Tantric works
the padma is the day lotus, while Utpala stands for the
night lotus. It is regarded as especially scared by all
classes of Indians. When the lotus shows petals in both the
upper and lower directions it is called the Viswapadma or
the double lotus. Padma indicates purity of descent. In
Buddhist tradition it symbolizes self creation (hence it is
the sign of swayambhu). In vajrayana it represents the
female principle. White open padma appears above the left
shoulder of Avalokiteswara Padmapani, his spiritual parents
are Dhyani Buddha Amitabha and White Tara.
A “magical dart”
used especially for the ritual slaying of human effigy of
exclusively Buddhist praying instrument which always bears
the mystical word ’OM MANI PADME HUM” numbering six
syllables in the mantra of Avalokiteswara. The syllables are
carved outside the wheel printed in the paper in numerous
numbers. When it turns one round it means the mantra is read
how much mantra has kept inside the wheel.
It is asymbol
transcendental wisdom accompanies both Buddhist and Hindu
deities such as Brahma, Manjushree, Saraswati,
Prajnaparnmitta, Avalokiteswar, Vasundhara associated with,
learning and arts. The book is sometimes placed on lotus. In
Buddhist iconography, the pustaka as a symbol represents the
prajnaparmita, treaties on transcendent wisdom supposed to
have been given to the Nagas by the Buddha to guard until
mankind had become wise enough to grasp its profound truths.
SANKHA (CONCH SHEEL):
vessel; a symbol of Vishnu. In Hindu tradition, the conch
shell seems to have been extensively used in wars by ancient
Indian. The white conchs shell whose humming sound proclaims
the glory of the saints. It is especially given as a symbol
to the gods as the sound vibrated through a shell penetrates
far and wide.
Dharma which protects like a shield.
It is an endless
knot. It is also considerate luck knot, life knot or love
It is a Hindu
sun god. In Buddhism it is associated with moon as symbol of
basic unity of the apparently different relative and
absolute truth; appears separately intheupper part of
thang-kas. It is a special symbol of Akashgarbha.
Used both in
Hindusm and Buddism as a symbol of the law. It is also an
auspicious sign (Swasti in Sanskrit is well being). It is
one of the sixty five marks of Buddha hood found in the
imprint of Buddha’s foot. As a Buddhist symbol in represents
the esoteric doctrine of Buddha.
thunderbolts are crossed it is called a viswa vajra. It is
the emble of Amoghasiddhi. In Buddhist Tantra the word
generally designates Sunya or void which cannot be cut,
cannot be destroyed but which destroys all evils.
the three fold jewels namely Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. The
meaning of these three fold jewels Buddha, Dharma and Sangha
is a title signifying “The Enlightenment” or “The Awakened”,
Buddha, the doctrine and community propounded by Shiddartha
It is also
called sula. It is the favourite weapon symbolizes shiva’s
creation, protection, and destruction. It is carried by
members of shaivists. In Buddhist iconography, it is
regarded as a representation of Tri Ratna, the three fold
jewels- Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. It is also carried by
Agni, Mahakala and Padma sambhav.
(HALF CLOSED LOTUS):
petals,blue, characterizes the Green Tara, consort of one of
the Dhyani Buddha. It is designated by the word Utpala
stands or Nilotpala. In tantric works Utpala stands for
Nights lotus. It is the special symbol of Manjushree and
It is the name
of the text which expound the mystic philosophy and the
principles of the action leading to the attainment of
“Enlightenment” i.e. the state of mind of total independence
from the bonds of existence in the span of one’s life.
Yab-Yam is a
Tibetian word consisting of two particles yab and yum. The
word ‘yab’ means the ‘honorable father’ and ‘yum’ means the
‘honorable mother’. The combined word therefore, means the
father in the company of the mother or in her embrace.
Yantra is a
nucleaus of the visible and knowable, a linked diagram of
lines by means of which visualized energies are
concentrated. There are different kinds of yantras and Sri
yantra is the Great Yantra. Other lesser yantras (Om yantra,
Kali yantras etc.) are obviously segment out of the all
embracing Sri yantra. Yantras may be made in permanent form
of many substances. The Most important is rock crystal. Its
clear colourless substance which can be shaped so as to
focus light at its apex in a very good emblem for the all,
inclusive substance of fundamental reality just as
colourless light includes all the possible colours of light.
So crystals can serve as analogy for the substance which
includes all substance.
MUKHA (RITUAL CROWN):
The crown worn
by Buddhist priest of Vajrayana during the religious
performances is known as Mukha (ritual crown). Invariably,
the crown bears images of four of the five Dhyani Buddha to
established cosmic principle. The Dhyani, Buddhas
represented here are Vairochana, Akshyovya, Ratna Sambhaba,
and Amitabha. The fifth member Amoghashiddhi is not shown
physically but symbolized by the thunderbolt at the top of
Poorna kalash is
a water vase which is full of all the characteristics of
goodness. As it is full of all goodness it is treated as an
auspicious object for all human beings. When the religious
ceremonies are held poorna kalash is kept at the centre
surrounded by eight vessels. In poorna kalash, there will be
signs of eight auspicious symbols.
Sukunda is an
oil lamp with combination of lamp and oil container. It is
made of metal in artistic design. Oil was stored in the main
section of the large pot and burnt in the bowl beside the
neck with the aid of a wick. The filling of oil was done by
a metal spoon known as Sumicha. Sukunda is the most
important object for every religious and social
performances. There must be the inscription of Ganesh in it,
whose presence is always needed for the performances as the
god of bestower of success.
Ghau is a
portable shrine in which an image of the owner’s personal
deity (Ishta Devata) is kept wrapped in silk cloth. Most
Tibetans used Ghau at home and during traveling. At home, it
is kept on an alter. But when traveling it is fastened at
the cross belt. Generally, Ghau has a trefoil shapes top and
a window in the middle through which one can see the
personal deity. Ghau is made of two parts which fit together
to forma box. The back is usually left plain and the front
is richly decorated.
Water is perhaps
the most important both in Hindu and Buddhist ritual and
always present on the alter in a costly pot or in some other
container. The pot whose shape is just like a flat shape jar
with a pipe to bring out the water from the pot and which is
richly decorated with precious stones and metals is known as