The vajra, a symbol of indestructability and power, is one of the primary ritual symbols in Tibetan Buddhism. Derived from Sanskrit and translates to both thunderbolt and diamond, the vajra consists of two sets of prongs from which lotus petals emanate, flanking a central sphere. Often used in combination with a bell, which represents feminine wisdom, the vajra symbolizes the masculine attribute of skillful means or compassion.
Beautifully cast revealing an iron armature with eight prongs, the present work was given to Mr. Ellsworth by a dear friend who, having learned that Mr. Ellsworth was ill, sent the vajra from his personal shrine to Mr. Ellsworth with instructions to sleep with it under his pillow. Two weeks later, Mr. Ellsworth called his friend to report he had made a full recovery. From that point on, the vajra remained on Mr. Ellsworth’s bedroom headboard, resting at the feet of a seated yogi (lot 8). Vajras such as this would have been utilized by mystical adepts, like this seated yogi, as part of their ritual practice.