The Vajra Of Vajrayana Buddhism

1372 WordsNov 16, 20166 Pages
The Vajra in Vajrayana Buddhism As Buddhism developed different schools or sects began to branch out taking the main component of Buddhist belief, called Dharma, but coming up with different ways to practice their own distinct view of Buddhism. Vajrayana Buddhism is of Indian tantric origin but it developed in the “Himalayan nations of Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan” because of this many Vajrayana’s tantras, rituals, have woven into Tibetan Buddhism making it difficult to differentiate between the two (“The Vajrayana …”). In this paper I will analyze the nineteenth century Tibetan artwork called Vajra Ritual Scepter donated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and discuss the symbolism behind the vajra as well as the importance of the vajra in Vajrayana Buddhist practices. The artwork I chose to analysis was a Vajra Ritual Scepter that is currently being held by the Philadelphia Museum of Art (“Vajra Ritual Scepter” & See Appendix 1). The Wheeler’s donated this piece to the museum in 1933. The actual artwork has been dated to the nineteenth century from somewhere in Tibet. The artist is unknown but the vajra was constructed of copper alloy with mercury gilding. As a result it is a shiny cool gold color, not quite true gold but not quite a true silver or metallic color. The center is made of a bead of metal where a person can hold the vajra between the tips of their thumb and a finger. From the center the decorative elements are identical on either side, creating a symmetrical

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