Inventory no.: 1433

Tibetan Vajra


Brass Double Vajra


18th-19th century

width: 17cm

This vishvavajra comprises two crossed five-pronged vajra. Each prong emerges from a base cast with five lotus petals. The vishvavajra has considerable tantric wear and a rich, deep chocolate patina.

In Tibetan Buddhism, the

vishvavajra represents the principle of absolute stability, characterised by the solidity of the element earth. The raised wooden throne on which the Dalai Lamas sat usually was decorated with a central vishvavajra.

The twenty spokes of the five-pronged

vishvavajra such as the example here symbolise the purification of the ‘twenty deluded views’ of the five aggregates, conceived as a group of four self misconceptions, according to Beer (2004). The vajra is an important symbol in Mahayana Buddhism. Originally, the thunderbolt was a weapon of Indra from Indian Hindu legend. Indra became incorporated into Tibetan Buddhist lore as a disciple of the Buddha, and was transformed into the bodhisattva Vajrapani. The vajra emerged as the strongest weapon in the universe and became a symbol of universal compassion of enlightened beings.


Beer, R.,

The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, Serindia, 2004.

Inventory no.: 1433