Kapala is a Sanskrit word meaning “skull cup” which, ideally, is made from the upper portion of the human cranium. In Tibetan Buddhist thangkas, the skull-cup often appears as a libation container clutched in the hand of a wrathful tantric deity. The skull-cup carries a great deal of symbolism. In particular, it serves as a constant reminder of impermanence and death, the fate all living beings, however, on a secret level, it is also associated with the bliss of supreme accomplishment, or enlightenment.
In Vajrayana practices, the kapala is regarded as an essential tantric support to authenticate and energize one’s shrine. However, because ritual items composed of human bone can no longer be easily exported from the Himalayas, most Vajrayana practitioners acquire a pair of kapalas composed of a metal alloy. The matching set is carefully arranged upon one’s personal shrine, along with specific empowering substances, in accordance with the particular sadhana practice undertaken.
Composed of heavy beaten copper, the kapala is mounted upon its accompanying triangular base. Its lid is adorned with a 5-pronged half-vajra, a stylized double-dorje motif, and carved with a floral pattern. The base is fully adorned with a matching carved floral motif including three smiling skull face etchings and a letter from the Rajana (Lantsa) script.
When assembled, each kapala measures 17.5cm high, and 9cm at the widest part.
Note: These are sold as a pair. If you need a single kapala, please contact us.