Our world is rich in symbols. Symbols are not natural. We create them to signify referents. A symbol can be simple or complex. It can be a word, a sound, a painting, a combination of musical notes. Many symbols, such as verbal language and mathematical symbols not only point to referents but also serve as a means of communication.
Spiritual or religious symbol are plentiful. There are literally hundreds of symbols used in traditional Buddhism, from mudras (hand gestures) to mandalas (graphic representations), enso (circle), the lotus flower, the Buddha’s footprints.
The vajra is a symbol that represents the indestructible quality of awakening. To the right you see a four-pronged or ‘crossed’ vajra. Originally, the vajra was the emblem for the lightning bolt and a weapon used by the Indian god of thunder, Indra, to slay his demon enemies. It is said that the Buddha took the vajra scepter from Indra and closed its open prongs, transforming it into a peaceful symbol.
Vajra is also associated with the diamond, which is precious, brilliant, and the hardest substance in nature. In Tibetan Buddhism, it’s called dorje, meaning ‘lord of stones’, embodying the fixed and unshakable nature of the awakened mind, the radiant and pure excellence of inner illumination.
the fuel between thirst
the intense aspiration
brings the rain
of great mercy
extinguishing the fuel
a moon mandala
from one’s heart
a wisdom being emerges
the lord of stones
unborn no essence
& sweet w/in
the candescent light
om sunyata-jhana vajra-svabhava t’mako ham
om the diamond-nature which is emptiness-knowledge