An intricately carved skull was found in an antique shop of Vienna, which caught the attention of numerous researchers from various organisations. The skull that is said to be around 300 years old, seems to hold some religious significance as it is carved with figures and symbols all over. Researchers have just got some clues but no one is able to solve the mystery till yet.
Who Is The Owner Of This Intricately Carved Skull?
While the owner of this skull is unknown, the shop from which this was found claimed that a man sold it to him. He added that the man, got this skull from his ancestor, who was essentially a doctor, travelling throughout Asia. He once treated an abbot in a Buddhist Monastery in Tibet, and in return, he gave him that skull along with numerous other things.
In August 2011, the new owner of the skull posted photos of it on the website forum ‘Asian Arts.’ He wrote:
“I got this skull in March 2011 from an antique shop in Vienna, Austria. Showed it to several experts and organizations, such as the Institute for Tibetan and Buddhistic Studies in Vienna, the Museum of Natural History Vienna, and the Völkerkunde Museum. The Tibetan letters and most of the symbols got deciphered, but no one ever heard of a skull like that. Except one Tibetan Khenpo (Monk-Professor), who said such skulls were carved a long time ago to take a curse off a family or to guide the soul of a mislead human being on the right path.” (Klemens, 2011) – as found in ancient-origins.net.
Letters Carved On The Skull
Researchers claimed that the letters carved on the skull could possibly be Devanagari Script, reading “Om, Ma, Sa, Ma, Ta, Sa, Om, Da, Ma, Ta.” Some claimed that the script was an ancient Indian script called Ranja.
Figures Carved On The Skull
The two figures prominently carved on the skull are the Citipati, the Buddhist tradition deities in which, one is male and the other is female. Klemens, in the Asian Art Forum, added that the deities depicted in a bow and arrow position are of the highest grade.
Another figure was a bird like figure, which is believed to be Garuda, a deity that is half eagle and half man, in Hindu and Buddhist culture. There are also serpent like structures one of which seems to be clutched by the bird-like structure, Garuda.
On the opposite side of this bird like carving on the skull, is the carving of Vajrapani. Vajrapani represents the ultimate power of the Buddha and is believed to be an ancient protector, worked with the Gautam Buddha. He is actually a part of a trio, the other two being Avalokitesvara, representing the infinite compassion of all the buddhas, and the Manjusri, who represents the infinite wisdom of all the buddhas. The other two are not a part of this carving though.
Other than these figures, there are OM symbols and apparently other animal figures such as squirrels, elephant heads, etc. Because of the very limited amount of information, the ownership of this skull is not yet identified. But, these kind of sculptures are rare, which is why, they are worth to be treasured.