The Purpha a very wellknown ritual object / Deity, in Dorje Thekpa and Bon.
Here below does follow a brief explanation about the Bon Phurpa, done by Geshela Chapur and Jean Luc Achard.
Phurpa is in fact a deity. There are five aspects or manifestations of Tonpa Shenrab for body, speech, mind, superior quality and superior deed. Each of these elements is represented by a deity. Phurpa is the superior deed manifestation of Tonpa Shenrab. The superior deed is now used as a symbol that is held in the hand.
The top of the Phurpa has intricate knot, that is the divine palace of wrathful father deities and the mid section of a Phurpa has flame symbolizing wisdom and intricate knot that is the divine palace of wrathful mother deities. The center of the Phurpa has eight sides and is hollow inside symbolizing unification of emptiness and clear light. To completely subdue the negative emotions, it has very sharp point. The figure under the sharp point of the Phurpa is representation of our negative emotions that the Phurpa destroys.
Materials used for making Phurpa: Phurpas can be made from different materials. Iron, kyerwa, ( a plant from which a kind of yellow dye is made in Tibet.) Glass, Seng ding, (an acacia tree with very hard wood used for the point of ploughshares.) and Chu shing (Banana or plantain trees.)etc
Jean Luc Achard:
The following is a quick rendering of an article that appeared in french in the Dzogchen Bulletin with the following references :
Jean-Luc Achard, “La Naissance de Takla Mebar ou l'origine de la pratique de Phurpa dans la Tradition du Bön Eternel", Dzogchen Bulletin, no. 14, Avril 1998, pp. 7-8.
The Birth of Takla Mebar or the Origin of the Phurpa Practice in the Tradition of Eternal Bön
There was once in the country of Takzig the king Yanggyel Lhai Gyelpo and the queen Takza Heting who reigned over the region of Gung-nam Denö, in their Castle of Mangpa Taktse. There, they had a malicious servant whom the king used to beat without reason and whom the queen openly despised.
At the end of his life, the servant cursed the royal couple because of their behavior towards him and then passed away. [Note : according to a version of the story, he prophecized that he would take rebirth as one of their sons.] The king and queen were grieved and saddened by their attitude towards him and straight away started to practice virtues continuously.
Some time later, the queen dreamt that she gave birth to a repulsive being and upon waking up the next morning, she felt rather unwell. In order to improve her condition, she went to pick up flowers on the island of a nearby lake and at that time, an emanation from the Blissful Ones appeared to her while letting the neighing of his horses resonnate in the ten directions, as a sign indicating the subjugation of demons. This divine apparition totally overjoyed the queen.
The very same night, she dreamt that she conceived a child having the stripes of a tiger and, upon waking up, she was totally exalted. Thereafter, a brahman from the court told her that she was to have two sons : a divine one and a demonic one. The first one, Takla Mebar was to be attracted by the "three whites" (dkar gsum, i.e., mik, butter and cheese), whereas the second Dhashagriva was to be attracted by flesh and blood. Both would hate each other like fire and water.
One day, a long time after the birth of the two sons, the queen reprimanded the conduct of the youngest son and the latter, instead of listening to his mother, beat her up in return. He also transgressed the laws of his father and, during a dramatic familial argument, he beheaded his father with a single strike of his sword. However, realizing the tragic nature of the situation, he fled to the south-western regions of Takzig where he hid in the cave known as the cave of the "Wrathful Black Hog" (phag nag khros pa). There he reveled in eating human flesh and jeopardized the tranquility of the kingdom itself. He was from then on called Dhashagriva, the King od Demons.
One day, Takla Mebar was kidnapped by the demons and brought as a captive to the cave of the Black Hog. There he trained in the invocation of Welphur (Phurpa) which he had received from the Buddha Chime Tsukphü, in order to subjugate all these demons with Compassion but he did not succeed in doing so.
So after a while, the Goddess of Compassion, Thukje Jamma, appeared to him and informed him that he would never reach any result as long as he'd showed compassion for his brother. Therefore, in order to reach success in his practice of liberating the demons (and his brother) out of compassion, he would have to generate a divine rage, an unweavering wrath and an invincible 'divine' arrogance.
Following the instructions of the Goddess Thukje Jamma, Takla Mebar practiced with a wrathful zeal and, upon completing his practice, killed Dhashagriva with a phurpa. It is actually on this occassion that Takla Mebar received the name with which we know him (his complete name is Welbön Takla Mebar), because he wears tiger (stag) stripes on (la) which blazes ('bar) fire (me). This was the first time the practice of Phurpa was performed among the lineages of men. Since this time, the practice of Phurpa spread throughout Tazik, Zhangzhung and Tibet, and Welphur Nakpo (Wrathful Black Phurpa) has become one of the most powerful Protector of Eternal Bön.
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD