Ritual Objects

KAPALA (Half Skull)
For containing blood in tantric ritual. Held by Kali and other manifestations of Shiva Sakti, by Mahakala and other guardian deities and their Dankinis. Kapala is made of severed head of a man or the cup made of a skull, or a bowl. The skull cup is of two kinds, when it is filled with blood it is called Asrkkapala, and when with flesh it is called Mamsa kapala. It is used in Tantric ritual. The deities are appeared to partake of the blood or the flesh of the demon carried in these cups.
VAJRA (Thunder Bolt)
The thunderbolt or diamond that destroys all kinds of ignorance, and itself is indestructible. The Vajra is symbol of Indra also. In tantric rituals, the Vajra symbolised the male principle, which represents method in the right hand and the Bell symbolised the female principle, is held in the left. Their interaction leads to enlightenment. Also the Dorje or Vajra represents the "Upaya" or method Tibetans name Vajra as "Dorje".
PA (Battle Axe)
In Tantric Buddhist iconography, the battle axe is held by ferocious deities to symbolize severance of this worldly attachments. In Hindu Iconography, it is a weapon held in the hand of Parasuram, the sixth Avatar of Vishu, who descended to this world to fight Kshatriyas caste of warriors at the call of Bramins.
The bell representing the female aspect, stands for "prajna" or "wisdom". This is held in the left hand Dorje held in the right and they are always used in combination during the religious ceremonies. So Bell & Dorje are inseperable ritual objects and two together lead to enlightenment.

CHHATRA (Parasol)
It is a symbol of Buddhist goddesses such as Pancharaksa, Usnisasita. It protects from the evils. It is one of the eight symbols of good luck.
CHAMARU (Fly Whisk)
It is often held by supporting Hindu deities and semi divine beings and attendants. It is one of the eight symbols of good luck.

DIPA (Lamp)

It is sacred lamp fed with Ghee (butter). People offer it to the Gods and Goddesses.
(Incense Burner)

It is a pot made of metal for burning incense which is to be offered to the Gods and Goddesses.
It is a small double drum with a leather string tied over the narrow middle part of it, where knotted, wooden or bone ends make of rattling sound on the drum's membranes, when swung. It is appeared along with the trident (Trisula) in association with shiva cults. The tantric symbol known as the Damaru is a hand drum made of two half skulls.

Back to the Short Description of Gods,
Goddesses and Ritual Objects Home Page