<em>Gokoshima (Five-Pronged Vajra)</em>, 12th-14th century. Gilt bronze, 1 3/4 × 1 3/4 × 7 5/8 in. (4.4 × 4.4 × 19.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Bernice and Robert Dickes, 71.165. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 71.165_SL1.jpg)

Gokoshima (Five-Pronged Vajra)

Medium: Gilt bronze

Geograhical Locations:

Dates:12th-14th century

Dimensions: 1 3/4 × 1 3/4 × 7 5/8 in. (4.4 × 4.4 × 19.4 cm)

Collections:

Museum Location: Brooklyn Museum, BMA, 5H31, 4E

Accession Number: 71.165

Image: 71.165_SL1.jpg,

Catalogue Description:
Vajra ritual object Double five-pronged vajra (go-ko) with three flames on each prong except central one. Central grip consists of two bands of bound lotus petals. Vajra is a Sanskrit term for a lightning bolt. It is carried as a weapon by various Hindu and Buddhist deities. In esoteric Buddhism, the vajra is a central emblem because the pure energy of lightning delivers a swift, powerful, and precise blow that shatters what it touches, much as enlightenment can deliver a swift, powerful, and precise blow that shatters ignorance and other forces of darkness. In ancient India, the vajra was depicted as a forked weapon. The more elaborate form shown here developed later in India and became the standard depiction of the vajra throughout Buddhist Asia. Condition: Good, except has been cleaned recently (patina removed)

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