Vajra is a Sanskrit word meaning both thunderbolt and diamond. It is a weapon which is used as a ritual object to symbolize both the properties of a diamond (indestructibility) and a thunderbolt (irresistible force). The five-pronged vajra is the most commonly seen vajra.
This Vajra is to be used during empowerments. Usually needs two Vajras, one for the Mandala which is tied to the Sung-Tak with five colored cord and the second one for the Vajra Master. Sanskrit word vajra or Dorje in tibetan is defined as "diamond" or "adamantine". As such, the word vajra sometimes signifies enlightenment, or the absolute reality of shunyata, emptiness. Dorje offers protection and envokes blessings.
An instrument symbolizing vajra is also extensively used in the rituals of the tantra. It consists of a spherical central section, with two symmetrical sets of five prongs, which arc out from lotus blooms on either side of the sphere and come to a point at two points equidistant from the centre, thus giving it the appearance of a "diamond sceptre", which is how the term is sometimes translated.
The vajra is made up of several parts. In the center is a sphere which represents Sunyata,the primordial nature of the universe, the underlying unity of all things. Emerging from the sphere are two eight petaled lotus flowers.One represents the phenomenal world (or in Buddhist terms Samsara), the other represents the noumenal world (Nirvana). This is one of the fundamental dichotomies which are perceived by the unenlightened. The physical manifestation of the vajra, also called dorje in this context, is the male organ.
Arranged equally around the mouth of the lotus are two, four, or eight creatures which are called makara. These are mythological half-fish, half-crocodile creatures made up of two or more imals, often representing the union of opposites, (or a harmonisation of qualities that transcend our usual experience). From the mouths of the makara come tongues which come together in a point.
The five-pronged vajra (with four makara, plus a central prong) is the most commonly seen vajra. There is an elaborate system of correspondences between the five elements of the noumenal side of the vajra, and the phenomenal side. One important correspondence is between the five "poisons" with the five wisdoms. The five poisons are the mental states that obscure the original purity of a being's mind, while the five wisdoms are the five most important aspects of the enlightened mind. Each of the five wisdoms is also associated with a Buddha figure. (see also Five Wisdom Buddhas)