In Sanskrit it is called kilaya or kila, and in Tibetan it is called phurba, phurpa. The phurba is also called 'the magic dagger'.
The three-sided style of the phurba comes from an ancient Vedic tool used to specify sacrifices. The phurba has three segments on its blade. The three segments represent the power of the phurba to transform negative energies. These energies are known as the "three poisons" and are attachment, ignorance and aversion. The three sides of the phurba also represent the three spiritual worlds, and the phurba itself represents the axis of the three spiritual worlds. The phurba brings together the three spiritual worlds. The handle of the phurba represents "wisdom", while the blade represents "method".