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Monday, December 15, 2014
Tantric Buddhist Fire Spoons (火供灌杓)
This set of fire spoon is used in Yamantaka subjugation ritual (大威德金刚诛法火供).
The above picture is a set of rare tantric Buddhist iron
fire spoons meant for subjugation rituals only. Unlike the Hindu homa ritual
that uses only one fire spoon; tantric Buddhism uses two fire spoons: the male
is for pouring oil or offering substances into fire, while the female is used
to offer/pour oil/stuffs into the male element.
The triangle shape is the male and the round represents the
female element of wrathful deities. An ordinary practitioner would have only
one set of fire spoons for general use but a monastery can have up to 4 sets of
fire spoons. One set each for the 4 activities:
activity requires silver fire spoons
activity requires yellow bronze fire spoons
activity requires copper fire spoons
activity requires iron fire spoons
Since killing of spirits are prohibited in Buddhist
doctrine, iron fire spoons are quite rare to come by and rarely being used.
This is because using iron as offering container to spirits will harm the
spirits and this is not a friendly gesture. But I would recommend a
practitioner to at least keep a pair of fire spoons for general uses and
another pair of spoons for subjugation rituals. Well, you will never know when
you need them. Believe me, when you need one; you will never find them on time.