The Phurba is probably the most exotically evocative of Vajrayana Buddhist symbols. The Bell and Vajra are sacred and special — but ubiquitous; the Phurba is iconic of the mysteries of higher practices in Vajrayana Buddhism. One of its esoteric names is “Diamantine Dagger of Emptiness.”
“The tantric use of the Phurba encompasses the curing of disease, exorcism, killing demons, meditation, consecrations (puja), and weather-making,” according to Tantra in the Himalayas. “The blade of the Phurba is used for the destruction of demonic powers. The top end of the Phurba is used by the Tantrikas for blessings.”
The most perfect and wrathful of Phurbas contain meteoric iron, significant on many levels: sky iron comes from the heavens, touched by the divine; meteoric iron is considered wrathful because of the awesome “destructive” power of meteors that crash into the planet (one such collision destroyed the dinosaurs); and iron itself is considered the nemisis of spirits, ghosts and demons (and faeries in Western lore).
Meteoric iron or sky iron is very precious, rare and expensive. For this reason, most Phurbas are made of more “earthly” elements, then blessed and visualised as alive with deity presence. Meteoric iron (sky metal) Phurba is highly prized in all of Asia, particularly Tibet, Nepal and Mongolia — usually for more wrathful implements.