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Samaya Gokorei (Five-Pronged Vajra Bell)

Asian Art

Objects intended for ritual use by priests of Esoteric Buddhism include the bell "to awaken the seeds of enlightenment" and the weapon "to destroy human lusts and desires." Characteristically, they are executed with stylized ornamentation of scrolling lotus petals, floral scroll patterns, and auspicious Sanskrit symbols. The proper ghanta and vajra forms and decoration, along with their role in the rituals, were a matter of secret knowledge passed down from generation to generation of teacher to follower.

MEDIUM Gilt, cast bronze
  • Place Made: Japan
  • DATES 11th–14th century
    PERIOD Late Heian Period to Kamakura Period
    DIMENSIONS 6 x 2 3/4 in. (15.2 x 7 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Bernice and Robert Dickes
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Samaya Gokorei (Five-Pronged Vajra Bell), 11th–14th century. Gilt, cast bronze, 6 x 2 3/4 in. (15.2 x 7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Bernice and Robert Dickes, 69.124.2. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 69.124.2_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 69.124.2_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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