A pen and ink drawing intended to illustrate this part of my upcoming book. It shows three ceremonial blades:
A ritual dagger used in Tibetian Buddhism, the phurpa consists of a triple edged blade set into a handle, which with the addition of a large pommel, creates a three sectioned tool. The phurpa's design originates with a tent stake, and it is used for the destroying of obstacles or the pinning of spirits.
The kris knife originates in the islands of southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, Malasia, and the Philipines. It is recognizable by it's distinctive wavy blade and nearly pistol-gripped hilt. The making of a proper kris is a specialized form of metalworking which involves a good deal of ritual and magick.
The kris is considered a cultural icon, and is the center of many folk tales, traditions, and superstitions. A well made kris is believed to have it's own spirit, and whether good or evil, is often considered to be alive. Accordingly, several owners of kris knives are known to make offerings or communicate with the spirit of the blade. The kris must be cleaned in ritualistic fashion annually.
All those baptized as Sikhs are expected to carry the kirpan. The curved blade ranges from a small knife to a three foot sword and distantly resembles a scimitar. It represents nonviolence in that as a last resort, it serves the cause of prevention, rather than pure pacifism. Some sources also credit the kirpan with being representative of truth or faith.