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Phurba (ritual dagger)

19th Century



The phurba in Tibet and Nepal is regarded as a magical ritual dagger with three blades. Padmasambhava, the founder of Buddhism in Tibet, is considered the inventor of this object. By putting the dagger in the earth, it was thought to capture the evil spirits. When erected in its central position in a mandala, it can subdue negativity and malicious influence. Three terryfying heads represent each a dharmapala, protectors of Buddhism; guarding all directions, they are depicted with a open mouth and bulging eyes, adorned with a crown and earrings, the hair topped by a half vajra. The endless knots symbolize the endless of the rebirths.

Private collection Coppens België

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