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Khakkhara

Skt., khakkhara
Tib., mKhar-gSil

Often translated as "alarm staff" or "sounding staff", this symbol and object is carried by many a monk from India to Tibet to Japan, be they Buddhist or Hindu. The kakkhara is staff making rattling sounds by way of several metal rings attached to two loops at its top.

As an attribute of the Bodhisattva Kshitigrabha (known in Japan as Jizo), it is sometimes known as "Jizo's staff" and features six rings; signifying that this bodhisattva is prepared to help the beings of all six "realms of existence" (Skt., gati).

In other cases, the number of rings is four, reminding those who hear the staff's sound of the Buddhist "Four Truths".