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A chudi ritual knife

Number

7509

Origin

Tibet

Time

Technique

Casting, forging, chasing, engraving, gilding

Material

Bronze, iron

Dimensions

Length 395 mm

The ritual knife consists of a cast bronze handle and a forged iron blade. The handle is shaped as a monster with a wriggling scaly body and a large head holding a blade in its open mouth. The wavy blade is engraved on both sides along the spine by a wave-like ornament and partially gilded.

COMMENT. Chudi (Tibetan: chu gri; Sanskrit: churi, churika) is a ritual wavy knife used in Buddhist ceremonies. It is found as an attribute in the right hands of certain angry deities and many diverse spirits that are part of their retinue. The Tibetan term "chu gri" means "water knife." It really comes from the traditional Indian fisherman's knife, which is used to remove scales and fish cutting. In the coastal villages of India, can find until now many variations of this knife. The Buddhist water knife symbolizes the dissection of cyclic existence or sansara, since it cuts out the intestines (voidness of the internal nature), scales (visible manifestations), heads (circle of birth and rebirth) and tails (karmic propensities) of living beings. The chudi handle is most often shaped as a water monster called makara, which holds in its mouth a wavy blade. The handle ends with the head of the vajra (Tibetan: do rdje) or the symbol of "precious treasure" (Sanskrit: maniratna; Tibetan: nor bu rin po che), as in this case. The blade is traditionally made of meteoric iron.