Vajrakila or Vajrakilaya, meaning 'the dagger of indestructible
reality', is a powerful and wrathful yidam deity of the Nyingma
tradition who embodies the destructive energy of the triple-bladed
ritual dagger or kila (Tib. phur-bu), which annihilates all demonic
obstacles and hindrances. He is blue-black in colour, with three faces,
six arms and four legs, and he tramples upon the Hindu gods Mahadeva and
Umadeva, who lie prone upon his sun disc and lotus. With his two
principal arms he rolls a vast triple-bladed dagger as he embraces his
consort, Diptachakra. She is dark blue in colour, and wears a
leopard-skin loincloth, gold and bone ornaments, and a garland of fifty
dry white skulls. With her left hand she holds aloft a skull-cup full of
blood, while with her right hand she holds a blue lotus behind
Vajrakila's neck as she embraces him.
With his second and third
right hands Vajrakila holds a nine-pointed vajra with open prongs, and a
five-pointed vajra with closed prongs. With his second left hand he
makes the 'threatening forefinger' gesture as he unleashes a blazing
mass of fire from the palm of his hand, and with his third left hand he
holds a khatvanga trident.
Vajrakila's three wrathful faces are
coloured white (right), blue-black (centre), and red (left), which
represent his triumph over the three poisons of ignorance, hatred and
desire. He stands amidst a blazing mass of fire; with the sharp feathers
of his vajra-wings spread open, and his tawny hair streaming upwards.
He is adorned with the 'eight attires of the charnel ground': human ash
on his forehead; blood on his nose and cheeks; human fat on his chin and
neck; a five-skull crown and a garland of fifty freshly severed heads;
ornaments of writhing serpents; a tiger-skin loincloth; a human skin
shawl, and a flayed elephant skin that is stretched across his back.
Above his head is a serpent-devouring garuda, and in the sky are two
vultures carrying eyes and human entrails. At the top centre are blue
Samantabhadra and his white consort, Samantabhadri, and at the bottom
are skull and jewel offerings.
text by Robert Beer