Dharmapala Thangka CentreIconography

Tibetan Iconography


Vajrakilaya [Tib. རྡོ་རྗེ་གཞོན་ནུ་ - Dorje Shönnu] is a Heruka archetype deity with three faces and six or eight arms. He is also known as Vajrakila and Vajrakumara. He is the deity of the magic phurba dagger. The phurba is used in Lamaist Buddhism during rites to exorcise evil influences. Based on a tent peg, the ritual weapon is employed to pin down demons harmful to Buddhist thought in the process of taming and teaching them.

Vajrakilaya is a wrathful form of the Cosmic Buddha Vajrasattva, a purifying force who valiantly tramples obstacles on the path to enlightenment.

His name reflects the power of buddha-wisdom to transfix the destructive self-habbit of ignorant beings.

Vajrakilaya is depicted here with three heads, eight arms and four legs [the back two are mostly covered].

He holds his symbol of the Phurbu dagger embraced with the two lower right and left hands.