Valerie J Roebuck vjroebuck at APPLEONLINE.NET
Sat Oct 28 18:17:08 UTC 2000

At a dayschool on planetary science today, I had the opportunity to handle
some meteorites. There were several distinct kinds, some made of iron, some
of stone, and some of a mixture of the two, depending on their planetary or
other origins.  The iron meteorites were *extremely* heavy.  (One of them
had quite distinct "edges".)  We were told that "thunderbolt iron" from
meteorites has a high nickel content, similar to that of stainless steel,
and was prized in some ancient civilizations (e.g. among the Celts) as
being tougher than any other kind of iron.

Which set me to thinking about Dante Rosati's enquiry....

Valerie J. Roebuck
Manchester, UK

Dante Rosati writes:

>As a student of Buddhist Tantra, I am interested in how Indra's Vajra came
>to have connotations like "adamantine" "diamond" "indestructible". I have
>been looking at the occurrences in the Rigveda, and notice that it is
>sometimes described as made or iron or metal and with edges (sounding much
>like the Tibetan rdo rje). Macdonell mentions that it is "sometimes spoken
>of as a stone or rock." Does anyone know what he is referring to, or of any
>works or monographs on this interesting word?

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