Kelzang Wangchuk

Eleven ritual daggers (phurpa) are on display for the first time to the public at the National Museum in Paro.

The treasure discoverers revealed these daggers between the 8th century and the 17th century.

The ritual daggers on display include the three-faced, six-armed, winged, and single-faced daggers.

Of the 11 ritual daggers, the daggers revealed by Ngadag Nyangrel Nyima Yoezer in the 12th century, Guru Choewang in the 13th century, and Pema Lingpa in the 15th century were also displayed to the public.

Other daggers were used by Buddhist tantric practitioners such as Tenzin Rabgay and Jamtsho Namdrug in the 16th and 17th centuries. These daggers are made of copper, bronze and iron.

The ritual daggers are the essential tools of Vajrayana Buddhism, used to drive away the delusions that act as impediments to enlightenment.

Most of the daggers were designed with three faces, which symbolise the triple poisons of ignorance, greed, and delusion that impede spiritual progress.

The daggers are the embodiment of the Vajrakila Buddha, who is empowered to suppress evil in the world.

More than 100 people come to seek the blessings from these ritual daggers every day.

The National Museum’s director, Phendey Lekshey Wangchuk, said that about 178 rituals daggers were studied and seperated into the eight categories such as Damchen Dorji Legpa, Ratna Lingpa, Nyangral Nyima Yoedzer, Pema Lingpa, Tenzin Rabgay and Gyamtsho Namdrug, among others.

He said the daggers were displayed so that people could come and seek blessings from these terphurs (treasures) and also change the mindset of the people as they think the museum is mainly for the tourists and not for the public.

The director also said that these daggers were housed in the National Museum since the establishment of the museum in 1968.

“We would also exhibit the other sacred relics in the National Museum to the public in future,” Phendey Lekshey Wangchuk said.

The month-long exhibition, which started on September 6, will end on October 6.