TIBETAN, LION'S ROAR, HOP-GAR, LAMA KUNG-FU

              The Tibetan Sword

                                        Vajrasattva 

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Tibetan sword ke-tri . These very rare fighting sword were still used by the Tibetan warriors in the turn of the 20th century. The 29 inches long, heavy single edge blade is forged from laminated steel folded at the tip in the style known as hair pin folding. Hilt mounted with pierced steel fittings and the grip is covered with silver wire. A big round white metal rondel, pierced in a classical Tibetan style is attached to the lower part of the grip and set with a red Coral stone. Also the pommel is set with a a smaller coral stone. The wood scabbard is covered with black leather and framed with a U shaped steel frame including a long pierced white metal panels at the top and bottom of the scabbard. The sword comes with its original carrying belt with white metal buttons, braided leather tip and steel buckle. Total length in scabbard 37 inches.

 

Full length Tibetan sword ke-tri . These very rare fighting sword were still used by the Tibetan warriors in the turn of the 20th century. The 25 inches long, heavy single edge blade is forged from laminated steel folded at the tip in the style known as hair pin folding. Wood grip mounted with pierced steel fittings and covered with ray skin. The pommel is set with a small coral stone. The wood scabbard is covered with red fabric and framed with a U shaped steel frame including a long chased silver panel set with three big coral bids.

 

Shes rab ral gri (Tibetan Wisdom Sword)

Shes rab ral gri (Wisdom Sword)

Generally the sword is a weapon (as a cutlass) with a long blade for cutting or thrusting, often used as a symbol of honour or authority. But in Vajrayana Buddhism, the sword has a special meaning and significance. It is a symbol of the enlightenment of the world, for ‘as the sword cuts knots, so does the intellect pierce the deepest recesses of Buddhist  thought’. Sometimes it is tipped with flames, as this one. Such a sword is also the special symbol of Manjushri  (Bodhisattva of wisdom) who carries it in his right hand. The sword of Manjushri is called the Prajnakhadga (lit. sword of wisdom). It is believed to destroy the darkness of ignorance by the luminous rays issuing out of it. Symbolically the sword represents righteousness, justice, equity, love and creativity.

This double-edged wisdom sword is tipped with blaze. The lower part depicts the blade of the sword issuing from the mouth of a makara (crocodile). The lowest part of the handle has a five-pronged half vajra. These five prongs symbolize the five elements of purity: earth, water, fire, air and ether.

Wisdom sword has also been used as a ritual object in Tibet/China in the Wrathful Fire Ceremony. A Fire Ceremony is an offering dedicated to a particular deity, usually performed at the completion of a religious retreat. The purpose of this ceremony is to destroy harmful or evil beings. It is held at mid-day or midnight on the twenty-ninth or thirtieth day of the month in a slaughterhouse on the south side of the area. This ceremony is to be performed only by a lama with high spiritual perception and very strong concentration. The ceremony must not in any way benefit the person performing it, who must be motivated by compassion arising from the belief that if the harmful creature lives longer, it will continue to hurt itself and others. The lama performing it faces south and wears dark blue or black clothing. The associated sand mandala is triangular. The lama performer first visualizes that rays emerge from his heart and become the Vajra llasso, which ties up the hands and feet of the evil being or spirit to be conquered and destroyed. The lasso then becomes a chain with padlocks on the ends. Then a Vajra hook grabs the evil being and brings it to the place of the Fire Ceremony. With the other implements, of which the wisdom sword is one, the lama can then frighten the creature into changing its evil behaviour. For example, it could be beaten with the hammer, sliced with the knife and sword, and chopped with the axe. The lama can also threaten to burn up the evil being. Since the evil creature knows how powerful the lama is, they usually will beg not to be hurt and will promise to change. This is the method by which it said that Padmasambhava conquered the evil spirits in Tibet and turned them to the service of Buddhism.

 

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