Shrine Phurba with Meteorite
Of all Tantric “weapons”, none is more famous than the Phurba (Sanskrit: Kila). Styled as a three bladed knife or dagger, the Phurba is associated with the Buddha’s activity aspect and the meditational deity Vajrakilaya. Rather than being a practical weapon, the phurba is a symbol of the Buddha’s ability to cut through obstacles, to pierce to the heart of situations and problems, and to liberate everything which stands in the way of the full expression of enlightened awareness. Phurbas are found throughout the Himalayan area, and are widely used by Lamas, Tertons, shamans and magicians for a variety of purposes. Excellent examples have been found in many places, including India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Japan, Indonesia and Mongolia, and phurbas are used not only by Buddhists and Bonpos, but also several types of indigenous healers and ritual experts.
Often seen among the accoutrements of wrathful deities such as Guru Drakpo, the phurba represents the piercing, aggressive energy sometimes required in order to nail down destructive forces and penetrate the root of disturbing emotions.
In Vajrayana Buddhism, there are at least three types of physical, ritual phurbas:
Recitation or Shrine Phurba – Often a more elaborate piece, kept on the shrine as an object of devotion and as a support for one’s meditation practice.
Activity Phurba – This phurba is used for performing various activities during development stage of Vajrayana practice.
Protection Phurba – Usually a very small (3-4″), simple representation which can be carried on the body as a symbol of one’s commitment to cutting through obstacles on the path to enlightenment.
All three types of phurba, when properly consecrated, act as the nirmanakaya manifestation of Vajrakilaya, and are treated as the deity in actuality. Phurbas are traditionally made from a wide variety of materials, including metal, wood, bone, horn, meteorite, and crystal.
The phurba we offer here is a beautiful Recitation or Shrine phurba, wonderfully carved and appropriate for one’s shrine. 7 3/4″ in length, made from a metal amalgam, with a electroplated copper surface, each phurba contains a fragment of the Campo Del Cielo meteorite, which fell to earth in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, approximately 5000 years ago, as well as shards of leaden musket balls used in the United States Civil War and later recovered from a battlefield.
The original phurba was hand carved in Bir, India, by a Tibetan craftsman, and exhibits a Vajra handle, crocodile mouth above the blade, the three faces of Vajrakilaya with an eternal knot below and a Vajra crown. This phurba is suitable as a shrine implement and for ritual use.