The gri-gug is a symbol often associated with the khandromas (mKha’ ’gro ma), the sky-dancing sources of inspiration – but it is also held by male forms such as Ögyen Khyungpo (o rGyen Khyung po – Udiyana Garuda) who holds a gri-gug in the talons of each foot. The gri-gug is held by many important yidams such as Tröma Nakmo – the Black Wrathful Mother (khro ma nak mo – Vajra Khroda Kali) and Seng-gé Dongma the Lion Headed Dakini (seng ge gDong ma – Simha Mukha or Simha Vaktra).
The thunderbolt flaying knife is one of an assemblage of many kinds of vajra weapons which are employed as powerful symbolic means. These weapons all perform some visionary task with regard to the slaying of duality. The gri-gug flays away the thick hide of indifference.
Ngak’chang Rinpoche said:
The foul horny hide of indifference is flayed away with the gri-gug by the Dakinis in order to expose the beautiful raw tissue of Bodhicitta. This bleeding flesh is sensitive to the atomic structure of every nuance of pain in the universe and renders us incapable of neglecting other beings.