Dorje & Vajra

Skt., vajra: Lord of Stones
Tib., rDo-rje: Diamond Scepter

1. In Hindu symbology, the vajra is an emblem and/or magical weapon thought to produce the lightning flash controlled by the god Indra. It is said to be of indestructible power and has often been compared to the thunderbolt of other Indo-European male deities such as Zeus.
Such comparison does not apply to the Tibetan symbolism.

2. In Vajrayana teachings, the dorje expresses and symbolizes the hardness and clarity of a diamond, giving to the word connotations of indestructibility, shining clarity, beauty and uncorruptable truth.

Large Dorje at Swayambhu-Nath outside Kathmandu

Large Dorje at Swayambhu-Nath temple outside Kathmandu, Nepal

3. As a ritual object, a dorje has mostly five (Tib., rDo-rJe rTse-lNga) or nine spokes radiating from a central sphere. It appears also as a part of several magical weapons and attributes of Tibetan protective deities. For examples see kartrika, pasha, phurbu, shrinkhala.