A Nice Tibetan Phurbu or Ritual Dagger, circa 19th century
The phurbu, called a vajrakila in Sanskrit, served to "impale", or rather subjugate, demons. The blade is three edged and protrudes from the mouth of a makara, above which is the handle, decorated with lotus leaves, followed by the very expressive, grimly formed head of the protective deity, Makala. In his crown are skulls. A vajra caps off the piece.
Tibetan Buddhists took over the custom of ritually using power charged implements from the shaman magicians of India and Tibet. It is believed by the monks that old implements which have belonged to powerful magicians or saints have an extra potency and are used for exorcisms and forceful healings when required.
Sometimes called a magic dagger the phur-bu, meaning spike or nail, is the physical embodiment of the compelling power of the mantra Hüm. Tibetan monks performing rituals gesture with these spirit daggers, either singly or in groups, to enforce the effect of mantras or invocations they have uttered and to drive the invoked energy on its way, thus completing the ceremonies.
Irreducible depth truth piercing through like a dagger-spike”
Condition: Evidence of wear and prolonged use
Size: 7.5 inches