The Bell and Vajra ( Dorge)
Solid bronze metal made in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Vajras may have nine, five or three spokes. The spokes of a peaceful Vajra meet at the tip whereas those of a wrathful vajra are slightly splayed at the end. When paired with a bell their length can vary from four finger-widths to twenty-eight finger widths.
The upper sets of spokes of a five-spoked vajra symbolize the five wisdoms, which are:
- The mirror like wisdom-that which reflects all sense perceptions is purified when one attains enlightenment and becomes the mirror like wisdom.
- The wisdom of equality-arises after all the feelings of pleasantness, unpleasantness and indifference have been purified.
- The wisdom of individual analysis-arises when the factor of discrimination, which distinguishes one object from another is purified. It enables one to benefit each sentient being according to his or her needs and disposition.
- The wisdom of accomplishing activity-arises when the basic ability to perform acts according to particular circumstances is purified.
- The wisdom of the sphere of reality-arises when consciousness is purified and becomes the mind that is the seed of the wisdom truth body of a Buddha. The five lower spokes symbolize have five mothers.
A bell can be eight, twelve, sixteen, eighteen or twenty two finger-widths in height. Its base must be round, above which is a vase surmounted by the face of the goddess Prajnaparamita. Above these are a lotus, a moon disc and finally a vajra.
The hollow of the bell symbolizes the wisdom cognizing emptiness. The clapper represents the sound of emptiness. The eight lotus petals are the four mothers and four goddesses and the vase represents the vase containing the nectar of accomplishment.
Paired with the vajra the bell represents wisdom, and as wisdom and method are an undivided unity so the vajra and bell are never parted or employed separately. These two devices must have things in Buddhist and tibetan ceremonies.