Symbols and art

The Vajra (Skt., Tib. dorje) is a prime symbol and ritual object in Vajrayana Buddhism. The term is usually translated as ‘diamond scepter’. Originally, the vajra referred to the scepter or ‘thunderbolt’ of the supreme Hindu god Indra. In Buddhism it embodies the highest wisdom and complete awakening. It consists of a central hub from which grow two symmetrical end-pieces. These have either one, three, five or nine rays, which in turn merge into a tip.