In the Vajrayana context, practitioners utilize the bell and dorje as important symbolic ritual items. In this video, Tulku Migmar explains just some of the significance of this pair of implements. We hold the dorje, or vajra, always in the right hand, while we ring the bell with the left hand. At the outer level, these two implements represent the indivisibility of means (vajra) and the wisdom recognizing emptiness (bell). At the same time, we can understand that the dorje represents compassion, while the bell signifies Prajñāpāramitā, the perfection of wisdom.
Understanding the Symbols
The following diagrams indicate the location of each symbol described in the video. You may want to compare your implements, and as Tulku Migmar notes, some instruments may not have every detail. As the drawing indicates, sometimes the numbers (for example of vajras o the bell) do not accurately reflect the numerical symbolism, but are merely representative.
Selecting a Bell and Dorje Set
Our partners at Akara Collection offer a selection of bells and dorjes that have been carefully selected for their quality craftsmanship and sound. Please follow this link to shop the site and hear the sound of the bells.