vajra


vajra
/vuj"reuh/, n. Hinduism.
(in Vedic mythology) the thunderbolt of Indra.
[ < Skt]

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Five-pronged ritual object extensively employed in the ceremonies of Tibetan Buddhism.

It is fashioned out of brass or bronze, the four prongs at each end curving around the central fifth to form a lotus-bud shape. In Sanskrit the word means both thunderbolt and diamond: like a thunderbolt it cuts through ignorance, and like a diamond it destroys but is itself indestructible. Originally a symbol of Indra, it was used to conquer the non-Buddhist deities of Tibet. In ritual use, it is often employed in conjunction with a bell in the execution of mudras.

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▪ Buddhist ritual object
Tibetan  rdo-rje 
 five-pronged ritual object extensively employed in Tibetan Buddhist ceremonies. It is the symbol of the Vajrayāna school of Buddhism.

      Vajra, in Sanskrit, has both the meanings of “thunderbolt” and “diamond.” Like the thunderbolt, the vajra cleaves through ignorance. The thunderbolt was originally the symbol of the Hindu rain god Indra (who became the Buddhist Śakra) and was employed by the 8th-century Tantric (esoteric) master Padmasambhava to conquer the non-Buddhist deities of Tibet. Like the diamond, the vajra destroys but is itself indestructible and is thus likened to śūnya (the all-inclusive void).

      The vajra is fashioned out of brass or bronze, the four prongs at each end curving around the central fifth to form a lotus-bud shape. A nine-pronged vajra is less commonly used.

      In ritual use the vajra is frequently employed in conjunction with the bell (Sanskrit ghaṇṭā; Tibetan dril bu), the various gestures (mudrās), when correctly executed, having considerable metaphysical power. The vajra (symbolizing the male principle, fitness of action) is held in the right hand and the bell (symbolizing the female principle, intelligence) in the left hand, the interaction of the two ultimately leading to enlightenment. In art the vajra is an attribute of many divinities, such as the celestial Buddha Akṣobhya and his manifestation as a bodhisattva (“Buddha-to-be”), Vajrapāṇi (In Whose Hand Is the Vajra). The viśva-vajra is a double vajra in the shape of a cross with four equal arms.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Vajra —   [ vadʒra, Sanskrit], 1) im Hinduismus Bezeichnung für den »Donnerkeil« und Blitzstrahl des vedischen Gottes Indra; 2) im Vajrayana (»Diamant«) Bezeichnung der »Leerheit« (Shunyata) als der eigentlichen Natur der Wirklichkeit, die als in allem… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • vajra — ● vajra nom masculin (mot sanskrit signifiant foudre) Dans les Veda, nom de l arme d Indra …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Vajra — Un vashra de oro. En idioma sánscrito, la palabra vajra (pronunciada vashra) significa tanto ‘diamante’ como ‘rayo’. vajra, en el sistema AITS (alfabeto internacional de transliteración sánscrita), en el que la letra jota se pronuncia como en el… …   Wikipedia Español

  • vajra — noun a) A Buddhist ceremonial mace and symbol, usually interpreted as both a diamond and a thunderbolt. At the centre is a five pronged vajra draped and bound with a coloured silk scarf, representing one of the Five Buddha wisdoms or activities.… …   Wiktionary

  • vajra — Objeto ritual de cinco puntas muy utilizado en las ceremonias del budismo tibetano. Es de latón o bronce, y las cuatro puntas en cada extremo se curvan hacia la quinta punta, ubicada en el centro, para crear la forma de un botón de loto. En… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Vajra — n. Indra s thunderbolt …   English contemporary dictionary

  • vájra — वज्र …   Indonesian dictionary


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