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The Namchak Ter Phurba discovered by Nyang Ral Nyima Özer, which belonged to Gönpo Tseten Rinpoche

Phurba (Tib. ཕུར་པ་, Wyl. phur pa/phur bu; Skt. kīla/kīlaya) — a ritual dagger with a pointed three-edge blade, such as that held by the deity Vajrakilaya.


According to the tradition of Vajrakilaya, there are four phurbas.

One way to enumerate them is:[1]

  1. the kyérim, or generative phase, of the phurba of existence (Tib. བསྐྱེད་རིམ་སྲིད་པའི་ཕུར་པ་, kyérim sipé phurba)
  2. the actual material phurba (Tib. མཚན་མ་རྫས་ཀྱི་ཕུར་པ་, tsenma dzé kyi phurba)
  3. the dzogrim, or dissolution phase, of the phurba of bodhichitta (Tib. རྫོགས་རིམ་བྱང་སེམས་ཕུར་པ་, dzogrim changsem phurba)
  4. the absolute phurba of rigpa (Tib. རིག་པ་དོན་གྱི་ཕུར་པ་, rigpa dön gyi phurba)


  1. the wisdom awareness phurba (Wyl. rig pa ye shes kyi phur pa)
  2. the enlightened mind phurba (Wyl. byang chub sems kyi phur pa)
  3. the immeasurable compassion phurba (Wyl. tshad med snying rje’i phur pa)
  4. the substantial phurba (Wyl. ‘dus byas rdzas kyi phur pa or mtshan ma rdzas kyi phur pa)


  1. Source: oral teaching by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche in Prapoutel; Khyentse Rinpoche is said to have based this list on a quote from Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo.
  2. Khenpo Namdrol (1999), page 45.

Teachings given to the Rigpa Sangha

Further Reading

  • Khenpo Namdrol, Vajrakilaya (Dharmakosha, 1997 or Snow Lion: 1999), pages 45-48.