Thursday, March 1, 2012
Tibetan Ritual Dagger
Tibetan ritual dagger also known as a phurba, purba, purbu or phurpa. These early daggers were of extreme importance to the Tibetan masters and were made at the temples. They traditionally contain an alloy of "sky metal", meteoric iron found in the mountains and fields. To the Tibetans, iron is the most powerful metal in combating the demonic forces. Iron is the root metal out of which planetary cores are made. Many traditions consider iron as a repellent against dark forces.
These "thunderbolt" daggers were used as conductors of their highly charged mantras and were considered termas/treasures. Tibetan lamas will use these activated ritual daggers to direct their prayers and to stab/exorcise demons. Unlike Roman, Egyptian artifacts etc.. authentic Tibetan relics are extremely rare on the "open market".
The above is an 18th century hand wrought Bon phurba from my private collection. Authentic phurbas are extremely hard to find these days. Most phurbas in the market now-a-days are fakes unfortunately.
A phurba is normally used in conjunction with a thunderbolt (vajra). In certain cases with an effigy, a pair of owl feather fans, an iron triangle plate and a black stone.