Himalayan Art Resources

Buddhist Deity: Vajrakila (Mount Meru)

Vajrakila (Iconographic Forms)

There are some Vajrakila ritual texts that describe the kila peg (purba), held and rolled between the first pair of hands, as being as large as Mount Meru. This description has led some artists to believe that the upper 'shaft' portion of the peg, above the three blades, should be drawn in the shape of mount Meru, or something similar.

Video: Kila Peg & Mount Meru

The examples below are not the necessarily the best but they each show a tiered shaft of the kila representing the levels of Mount Meru.

Mount Sumeru as explained in the Buddhist Abhidharma literature is at the center of a Buddhist world system, also known as One Small Universe. Many of these small universes make a medium universe and many medium universes make a great universe. The Abhidharmakosha is a text of the 4th-5th century composed by the scholar Vasubandhu. Detailed explanations of Buddhist cosmology serve as the basic components for the paintings with subjects such as the Wheel of Life, Mount Meru Offering (mandala) and the game of Rebirth (created by Sakya Pandita for his ailing mother).

Jeff Watt 8-2021

གཡས་གཉིས་རྩེ་དགུ་རྩེ་ལྔ་དང༌། །
And six hands—the two on the right holding nine- and five- pronged vajras,
གཡོན་གཉིས་མེ་དཔུང་ཁ་ཊྭཱྃ་བསྣམས། །
The two on the left wielding a blazing fireball and khaṭvāṅga,
ཐ་མས་རི་རབ་ཕུར་བུ་འདྲིལ། །
And the last two rolling a kīla-dagger the size of Mount Meru.

(Lotsawa House. Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö. 1893–1959).