KAPALA:
SACRED HUMAN SKULL CAP #11


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NEPAL:
KAPALA SACRED HUMAN SKULL CAP #11
HUMAN SKULL CAP AND METAL


A Kapala ( Sanskrit for "skull") is a cup made
from a human skull used as a ritual implement (a bowl) in
both Hindu Tantra and Buddhist Tantra (Vajrayana).
Many of the deities of Vajrayana, including Mahasiddhas,
Dakinis and Dharmapalas are depicted carrying a Kapala,
usually in their left hand. Some deities such as the
Hindu Chinnamasta and the related Buddhist
Vajrayogini are depicted drinking blood
from a Kapala.

The skull cup (Kapala or Thod-pa) is used in tantric ritual
practices to represent the transformation of delusion
into perfect wisdom. The skull also symbolises Great Bliss
and is a potent symbol of impermanence. Traditionally
crafted from the human cranium it is one
of the principal practice supports
of the Vajrayana yogin.

KAPALA:
SACRED HUMAN SKULLS AND SKULL CAPS
ARE USED IN TANTRIC RITUALS TO HOLD
CEREMONIAL OFFERTORY LIQUIDS!

In monasteries the kapala is used symbolically to hold
bread or dough cakes, torma, and wine instead of blood
andflesh as offerings to wrathful deities, such as the
ferocious Dharmapāla ("defender of the faith").
The dough cakes are shaped to resemble human
eyes, ears and tongues. The kapala is made in
the form of a skull specially collected and prepared.
It is elaborately anointed and consecrated before use.
The cup is also elaborately decorated and sometimes
kept in a triangular pedestal.

Kapalas are used in both Hindu and Buddhist rituals.
Among the rituals using kapalas are: higher tantric
meditation to achieve a transcendental state of thought
and mind within the shortest possible time; libation to
gods and deities to win their favor; by Lamas as an
offering bowl on the altar, filled with wine or
blood as a gift to the Yidam Deity or all the Deities;
and the Vajrayana empowerment ceremony.


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