Skip to main content
Select Source:

Vajra

Vajra (Skt.; Tib., rdo.rje, ‘diamond’, ‘thunderbolt’).
1. In Hinduism, the weapon of Indra. Although often described as his ‘thunderbolt’, the adamantine (‘diamond’) connections of vajra mean that it is equally described as hard and sharp—the splitter. The association may simply be in the connection between lightning and thunder.

2. Double-headed ritual implement in Tibetan Buddhism, used in conjunction with a bell (Skt., ghaṇṭā; Tib., dril.bu). The bell is always held in the left hand where it represents wisdom, emptiness (śūnyatā) nirvāna, and the feminine principle; the vajra is always held in the right hand where it represents skilful means (upāya-kauśalya), compassion, saṃsāra, and the masculine principle.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Vajra." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Vajra." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vajra

"Vajra." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vajra

vajra

vajra in Buddhism and Hinduism, a thunderbolt or mythical weapon, especially one wielded by the god Indra. Being struck by such a weapon is said to bring spiritual illumination.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"vajra." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"vajra." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vajra

"vajra." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/vajra