Bhutanese Ritual Objects

The Bhutanese use certain ritual objects  which are associated with particular deities during religious ceremonies.

1. Dorje/ Vajrayana – The “diamond-thunderbolt” looks like a small dumb-bell with four or eight prongs branching off from the middle of the central axis and joining again at the extremities. Diamond and thunderbolt both represent purity and indestructibility i.e the Buddha-Spirit. The Dorje represents the knowledge required for attaining Enlightement therefore the male element.

2. Drilbu – It is a small bell which stands for wisdom and therefore the female element.

3. Phurpa/Kila – The ritual dagger which was used for Tantric rituals in India embodies the deity Phurpa. It is also used for purification and protection of places.

4. Tormas – Sacrificial cakes made of rice or wheat dough and butter, and moulded in different shapes and colours. Each deity and ritual has its own special torma. Tormas replace the human and animal offerings that were made in the pre-Buddhist era.

5. Doe – Constructions of coloured threads that are placed on roads or crossroads to serve as palaces for harmful spirits. This prevents the spirits from harming a human spirit or body.

6. Seven bowls of water: They are placed upon altars and filled with water each morning. They represent the seven offerings which must be made  to Buddha and the deities: food, drink, water for washing, flowers and incense to please the senses, a butter-lamp for light and perfume.

Need Help?

(+975) 1711-2338


[email protected]