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A genuine tantric Buddhist ritual instrument known as a kangling. Made from a human femur, this one is a rare traditional form with a flat metal "bell" on the end of the bone. The metal is copper and has an etched floral pattern. The other end is fit with a brass mouth piece. The Kangling was part of the ritual kit of a Lama in a Himalayan village.

Some people mistakenly believe that Tibetan Buddhism is a macabre religion with ghoulish deities and a strange obsession with bones, blood and gore. This is a complete misunderstanding of the symbolism involved in the tantric rituals. The fact is that there is an emphasis on each of our own impending deaths, but this is not a morbid fixation, but rather an impetus to make the most of life while we have the opportunity. The belief is that since death is inevitable, one should be mindful of the important things in life - cultivating kindness and compassion for all sentient beings, and practicing virtue and meditation - techniques to discipline the mind and elevate consciousness.

Many people have an aversion to bones and blood and such because, when it comes down to it, this makes them think of their own mortality, and they don't want to think about that for a second. So among worldly people there is a certain degree of repulsion for such things. On the other hand, the tantric Buddhist approach is to view them, contemplate them, even handle them and use them - its all about using the symbols of death as a means for understanding what life is really about. Utilizing death to come to terms with life is "skillful means" - a very important concept in Buddhism as many of you are no doubt very aware.


ITEM NAME:   Tibetan Kingling
PRICE:   Email 
STATUS:   Available
PEOPLE/REGION:   Tibet / Northern Nepal


Bone with copper 


Early 20th C.



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