Daṇḍa (Skt.). Staff or rod, symbolizing power. In the hand of Kālī, it symbolizes the irreversible power of time. Daṇḍa is also the personified form of punishment, especially as penitential, thus ameliorating the punishments of a future birth. Yama's staff is a form of Yama himself, creating fear of the next life and better behaviour in this. A daṇḍa is bestowed during the sacred thread ceremony (upanayana), and it is carried by a student (brahmacarya) as a symbol of his renunciation of worldly, distracting pleasures.
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