A viswa vajra in pendant form. Photo credit: Kashgar
The viswa vajra is created by two crossed vajras or four vajra-heads that sit at the cardinal points of a central hub. Vajra is a Sanskrit word that means both thunderbolt and diamond. As a ritual object in Buddhism, the vajra symbolises the indestructibility of a diamond and the irresistible force of the thunderbolt. The crossed, double or universal vajra is thus called the viswa vajra and represents the absolute stability of the physical world. It is also a powerful protective symbol that cannot be destroyed but itself destroys all evil. It is associated with Amogasiddhi, one of the five Dhyani Buddhas whose mudra is Granting Protection or Fearlessness (hand raised with outward facing palm) and whose consort is the Green Tara.
With its dual meaning of stability and protection from evil, deception and temptation, the viswa vajra is utilised extensively in Buddhism in its two dimensional and three dimensional forms. It is often found stamped or applied to the base plate of statues that have been consecrated, and to canisters and containers that hold precious relics, important documents or prayers. It can be worn as a pendant to provide spiritual protection. In visualisation practices associated with the teaching and learning of Buddhist principles, the viswa vajra may be imagined by the practitioner to assist with stabilising the mind, creating a receptive state in which ignorance is dispelled and wisdom is encouraged, thereby increasing spiritual power.
References and Further Reading
Beer, Robert 2003 The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols. Serindia Publications, Inc.
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia. Visvavajra. Accessed 9 May 2017
Wikipedia. Vajra. Accessed 9 May 2017
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