Object: Kila Purpose: Religious ceremonial object Description: Roughly the size and shape of a dagger, with a handle on one end and ornate carving all over it. The "blade" of this object is completely dull. It is absolutely useless as a cutting tool.

Item Number: VCDH 009 Thursday, November 12, 2009 8:16 AM

From a Report by James SmytheEdit

Smythe: "There are many thousands of such objects detective. Both beautiful and simple. I have three such in my own collection. The kīla (Sanskrit; Tibetan: phur ba), pronunciation between pur-ba and fur-pu, alt. transliterations: phurpa, phurbu or phurpu) is a three-sided peg, stake, knife, or nail like ritual implement traditionally associated with Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Bön, and Indian Vedic traditions. The kīla is associated with the meditational deity (Srkt:ishtadevata, Tib. yidam) Vajrakīla or Vajrakīlaya (Tib. Dorje Phurba).

The kīla is one of many iconographic representations of divine "symbolic attributes" (Tibetan: phyag mtshan) of Vajrayana and Hindu deities. When consecrated and bound for usage, the kīla are a nirmanakaya manifestation of Vajrakīlaya.

One of the principal methods of working with the kīla and to actualize its essence-quality is to pierce the earth with it; sheath it; or as is common with Himalayan shamanic traditions, to penetrate it vertically, point down into a basket, bowl or cache of rice (or other soft grain if the kīla is wooden). The terms employed for the deity and the tool are interchangable in Western scholarship. In the Himalayan shamanic tradition the kīla may be considered as axis mundi. Müller-Ebelling, et al. affirm that for the majority of Nepalese shaman, the kīla is cognate with the world tree, either in their visualisations or in initiatory rites or other rituals.

The kīla is used as a ritual implement to signify stability on a prayer grounds during ceremonies, and only those initiated in its use, or otherwise empowered, may wield it. The energy of the kīla is fierce, wrathful, piercing, affixing, transfixing. The kīla affixes the elemental process of 'Space' (Sanskrit: Ākāśa) to the Earth, thereby establishing an energetic continuum. The kīla, particularly those that are wooden are for shamanic healing, harmonizing and energy work and often have two nāgas (Sanskrit for snake, serpent and/or dragon, also refers to a class of supernatural entities or deities) entwined on the blade, reminiscent of the Staff of Asclepius and the Caduceus of Hermes. Kīla often also bear the ashtamangala, swastika, sauwastika and/or other Himalayan, Tantric or Hindu iconography or motifs.

As a tool of exorcism, the kīla may be employed to hold demons or thoughtforms in place (once they have been expelled from their human hosts, for example) in order that their mindstream may be re-directed and their inherent obscurations transmuted. More esoterically, the kīla may serve to bind and pin down negative energies or obscurations from the mindstream of an entity, person or thoughtform, including the thoughtform generated by a group, project and so on, to administer purification.

The kīla as an iconographical implement is also directly related to Vajrakilaya, a wrathful deity of Tibetan Buddhism who is often seen with his consort Diptacakra (Tib. 'khor lo rgyas 'debs ma). He is embodied in the kīla as a means of destroying (in the sense of finalising and then freeing) violence, hatred, and aggression by tying them to the blade of the kīla and then transmuting them with its tip. The pommel may be employed in blessings. It is therefore that the kīla is not a physical weapon, but a spiritual implement, and should be regarded as such. The kīla often bears the epithet Diamantine Dagger of Emptiness (see shunyata).

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