Three-pronged Vajra Pestle (Sankosho)

early 1300s
Overall: 17.5 x 5 cm (6 7/8 x 1 15/16 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

The vajra is said to tear through ignorance like a powerful thunderbolt.


Called a vajra in Sanskrit, a pestle of this kind is an Esoteric Buddhist ritual implement derived from the thunderbolt held by the Indian Vedic god Indra. The round forms along the center of the handle, known as demon eyes, are rather compressed in this example, and the lotus petal shapes near the prongs are quite sharply delineated.
Three-pronged Vajra Pestle (Sankosho)

Three-pronged Vajra Pestle (Sankosho)

early 1300s

Japan, Kamakura period (1185–1333)

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