Early 19th century, used by monks during prayers and rituals. The bell and vajra, commonly also known be;l as tillu and the vajra as dorjey.
Vajra and bell
The vajra, a double ended pronged object is a powerful Buddhist emblem. In Tibetan it is called Dorjey “lord of stones, or diamond”. It symbolizes indestructibility and stability. During monastic rituals, the vajra and a bell are held in the hands while making symbolic gestures. The bell recalls the Buddha’s voice and also represents wisdom, in company with the vajra, which represents compassion.
The vajra, is the quintessential symbol of the Vajrayana, or “Adamantine Vehicle,” of tantric Buddhism, the term is often translated as “thunderbolt”. It is the chief weapon of the sky god Indra. It also represents the male aspect of method or skill full means, as it is held in the right hand, and the bell the female aspect of wisdom or discriminating awareness, held in the left hand. Together they embody the perfect union of compassion and wisdom.
The bell or ghanta
The ritual hand bell is always held in the left hand as a symbol of the feminine principle of discriminating awareness- the “perfection of wisdom” that directly realizes emptiness. The bells ring “proclaim the sound of emptiness” and embodies in symbolic form the meditational deity’s mandala.