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Buddhism: Details about 'Phurpa'

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The Phurba (pronounced 'pur-ba', alt. spelling phurpa) is a three-sided dagger traditionally associated with Tibetan Buddhism. It is used as a ritual implement to signify stability on a prayer grounds during ceremonies, and only those initiated in its use may wield it. Traditionally, like the majority of Tibetan metal instruments, the phurba is made from brass and iron, as well as copper in some cases. The pommel of the blade is traditionally ornamented with a wrathful, or semi-wrathful face of a guardian deity.

As a tool of exorcism, the phurba is described as used to hold demons in place once they have been expunged from their human hosts. More esoterically, it is asserted that the phurba serves to bind and pin down negative energies from a person



or group, in order for purification to be administered.

The phurba as an implement is also directly related to Dorje Phurba or Vajrakilaya, a wrathful deity of Tibetan Buddhism who is often seen with his consort Dorje Phagmo or Vajra Varahi. He is embodied in the phurba as a means of destroying violence, hatred, and aggression by tying them to the blade of the phurba and then vanquishing them with its tip. It is therefore that the phurba is not a physical weapon, but a spiritual implement, and should be regarded as such.

Cultural references

Quincy uses a phurba as a weapon in the videogame Suikoden.

The Ajanti Dagger from the film The Golden Child is a stylized phurba.

A phurba also appears in the 1994 movie The Shadow.



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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Phurpa". A list of the wikipedia authors can be found here.