Skull cup

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Skull cup from a tangka of Tendrel Nyesel

The skull cup (Skt. kapala, Tib. ཐོད་པ།, Wyl. thod pa) is a symbolic implement that represents the ability to sustain the bliss of nonconceptual wisdom. [1] When the skull cup contains blood it represents the conquering of the four demons.[2]

References

  1. *bskyed pa'i rim pa cho ga dang sbyar ba'i gsal byed zung 'jug snye ma/ dge rtse ma h'a pandita tshe dbang mchog grub. Quoted in the glossary to Deity, Mantra and Wisdom, Dharmachakra Translation Committee.
  2. * bskyed rim gyi zin bris cho ga spyi 'gros ltar bkod pa man ngag kun btus/ kun mkhyen bstan pa'i nyi ma. Quoted in the glossary to Deity, Mantra and Wisdom, Dharmachakra Translation Committee.