Vajra is a Sanskrit word meaning both thunderbolt and diamond.Additionally, it is a weapon which is used as a ritual object . In its symbolism we find the Vajra .The vajra is probably the most important symbol of Tibetan Buddhism. The term means “diamond” and refers to the indestructible nature of the mind itself , of awakening. This small scepter seems to be, at the origin, the diamond thunderbolt of Indra, a symbol of royalty and power. When combined with the bell, the vajra symbolizes skillful means and compassion, while the bell represents knowledge and emptiness. Taken separately, it has a complete symbolism which is as follows.
The 5 top branches (1) represent the 5 wisdoms, five facets of the diamond which is the enlightened mind : – Wisdom similar to the mirror, which means that the awakened mind, like a perfectly polished mirror, clearly reflecting all things, has the ability to know everything ;
- The wisdom of equality, which recognizes that all phenomena of samsara and nirvana are equal in nature , or of a single essence : emptiness ;
- the wisdom of distinction , which indicates that the awakened mind perceives not only the emptiness of all phenomena but also, in simultaneity without confusion, all phenomena as they occur ;
- fulfilling wisdom, which allows Buddhas to create pure fields and emanations working for the benefit of beings ;
- the wisdom of the universal space ( dharmadatou ), indicating that all phenomena, beyond all duality, remain in the pure knowledge of the mind.
At the same time as the five wisdoms , the five upper branches symbolize the 5 Victorious Ones or five principal male Buddhas on a mystical level : Vairocana , Akshobya , Ratnasambhava , Amitabha , Amoghasiddhi .
* 5 The lower branches (2) symbolize the five female Buddhas. Taken as a whole , the 10 branches also symbolize the ten perfections (generosity, ethics, diligence , concentration, knowledge , skillful means , wishes , force, primordial consciousness) or the 10 lands of bodhisattvas.
* The mouths of makara ( sea monster ) (3) , from which emerge branches, denote liberation from the cycle of existences.
* The top 8 petals (4 ) represent the eight male bodhisattvas, residing in the celestial realms.
* The 8 lower petals ( 5) are the 8 female bodhisattvas. Taken together , the 16 petals also symbolize the 16 emptinesses .
* Above the petals, two moon discs (6) ( one on each side ) symbolize the two openings of the heart, relative and absolute . * Between the base of the 8 petals and the center circle are interspersed 3 circles (7) representing the three characteristics of awakened bliss : emptiness, featureless and effortless.
* The round part in the middle ( 8) refers to emptiness
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