"Silver Kartika And Semi-precious Stones, Tibetan Hand Ritual, XIXth Century"A kartika (Sanskrit: kartari; Tibetan: གྲི་ གུག་, or gri-gug, or kartrika in Nepal, is a small ritual hand-skinning knife, in the shape of a crescent, used in tantric ceremonies of Vajrayana Buddhism.
The kartari is said to be one of the quintessential attributes of wrathful tantric deities.
It is commonly known as the "dakini knife." Its shape is similar to the Inuit ulu or woman's knife, which is used for many things, including the cleaning of the skins.
While the kartari is normally held in the right hand of a dakini in the iconography and spiritual practice of Vajrayana, it can sometimes be held by male esoteric deities, like certain forms of Yamantaka.
also frequently in the iconography of the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual practice of Chöd.
The dakini knife has a sharp blue iron blade with a curved hook at its end external moth, which allows the skinning activities of cutting, scraping and traction. Its faceted or eight-sided handle is attached to the upper edge of the blade by a gold leaf-shaped mount or the wide-open mouth of a golden makara, and the top of the handle is sealed with a half-vajra. In the same way that the bell and the vajra are generally ritual elements paired in the spiritual practice and the iconography of Vajrayana, one is held in the right hand and the other simultaneously in the left, the kartika generally appears in as a pair with the kapala or "skull" - cup.
The shape of the kartika, or trigug, with its crescent shape and its hook at the end, is derived from the shape of a traditional shape of the Indian butcher knife Vajrayogini's representations generally contain kartika as one of its attributes.
In the iconography of enlightened dakinis and tantric female yidams, it is common to find the kartika knife hanging in his right hand and the cut of the skull in his left, representing “the inseparable union of wisdom and skillful means.”
Its meaning is the symbol of the shattering of all negative and materialistic actions, using the soul of the wisdom, the Kartika, eliminates the six fundamental failings: ignorance, hatred, pride, envy, doubt and bad judgment.
Dimensions: Length: 23.3 cm width: 6.7 cm Height: 11.8 cm Composition: Silver and semi-precious stones: lapis lazuli, red coral, turquoise, sulphide eyes Piece of extraordinary quality and finishes delicate, Nepal of the XIXth century.
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