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Vajra or Thunderbolt – Symbolism in Hinduism


Vajra or Thunderbolt is a symbol of selflessness in Hinduism.

The Vajra according to ancient tradition denotes honor and sanctity, strength and sacrifice, purity and power, wisdom and energy, and above all, absolute selflessness.

Indra killed the demon Vritasura with the Vajra

Sister Nivedita Writes about the Symbolism of Vajra or Thunderbolt

The gods were looking for a divine weapon, par excellence — and they were told that only if they could find a man willing to give his own bones for the substance of it, could the Invincible Sword be forged.


Whereupon they trooped up to the ashram of Rishi Dadhichi and asked for his bones for the purpose. The request sounded like mockery. A man would give all but his own life-breath, assuredly, for a great end, but who, even to furnish forth a weapon for Indra, would hand over his body itself?

To Rishi Dadhichi, however, this was no insuperable height of sacrifice. Smilingly he listened, smilingly he answered, and in that very moment laid himself down to die yielding at a word the very utmost demanded of humanity.

‘Here, then we have the significance of the Vajra. THE SELFLESS MAN IS THE THUNDERBOLT.

Let us strive only for selflessness, and we become the weapon in the hands of the gods. Not for us to ask how. Not for us to plan methods. For us, it is only to lay ourselves down at the altar-foot. The gods do the rest. The Divine carries us. It is not the thunderbolt that is invincible, but the hand that hurls it. Mother! Mother! Take away from us this self! Let not fame or gain or pleasure have dominion over us! Be Thou the sunlight, we the dew dissolving in its heat.’