Bronze Vajra @ National Museum of Cambodia


(sanskr. vájra “lightning; diamond”)

in Hindu mythology lightning club, thunder arrow, terrifying weapon of ➚ Indra (and sometimes also of ➚ Marutas, ➚ Rudhra, ➚ Manyu, see also THUNDERER), thus his epithets: vajrín “master of vajra”, vajradhara “keeper of vajra”, vajarapāṇi “wielding vajra” and vajrabhrt “carrying vajra”. The weapon was constructed by ➚ Tvastar. Primarily it was made of stone [1], later of copper (gold) or iron [2,3]. According to other version it was made of bones of ➚ Dadhyancha. The weapon was sometimes depicted in the shape of disc or cross and had four or hundred edges and thousands blades. It was also a symbol of fertility; it is assumed that its naturalistic model was a bull’s phallus.

Degraded variant of the weapon was known to Iranians: in [4] there was an element of the charioteer equipment named thrityo vazro.


[1] RV, IV, 22, 1; [2] RV, I, 52, 8; [3] RV, I, 56, 3;  [4] Videvdat, 14, 9.

S c h l e r a t h, Vedisch vajra- “die Keule Indras”, “Orbis” 24, 1975; T. K. D a s, Der Vajra, eine vedische Waffe, Wiesbaden 1975.