This blackened iron phurba with li-sérpo (an alloy similar to brass, but containing gold) faces of Dorje Phurba, was given to Ngak’chang Rinpoche by Könchog Rinpoche in 1981. It is the phurba which has been used for every ngak’phang ordination ceremony within the Confederate Sanghas of Aro since Ngak’chang Rinpoche and Khandro Déchen first gave ordination into the gö kar chang-lo’i dé (gos dKar lCang lo’i de).
This photograph was taken at a time when the silk robe of the phurba had disintegrated with time and use. The silk robe had been given to Ngak’chang Rinpoche by Könchog Rinpoche along with the phurba and was part of a silk shirt worn by Könchog Rinpoche in one of his year retreats.
During the ngak’phang ordination ceremony the pre-ordained disciple’s old clothes are stabbed with the phurba. These are the clothes worn during the first part of the ordination. They are wrapped up into a square package which is stabbed by the officiating Lama and consequently burnt as a symbol of having left behind the world in which vows need not be taken to heart in every moment. This phurba is unusual in that it has a sharp point and sharpened edges – so that when the package of old clothes are stabbed they are actually pierced by the blade.