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Trishul: The Most Powerful Weapon in Hindu Mythology

Trishul: The Hindu Mythological Weapon of Destruction

Trishul: The Most Powerful Weapon in Hindu Mythology

Trishul is a trident used as one of the major symbols in Hinduism. One of the most powerful weapons mentioned in Hindu texts and epics, it is wielded by Lord Shiva, one of the members of the Holy Trinity. The goddess Durga also holds the Trishul amongst other weapons and attributes in her hands and is said to have received these celestial weapons from both Shiva and Vishnu. Unlike Greek God Poseidon's Trident which can only control the oceans, the Trishul of Lord Shiva is much more powerful. It is said that once attacked with the Trishul, the opponent has no chance of surviving.

The three-point edges or prongs have various meanings and significance. They are commonly known to represent the trinity Bramha, Vishnu, and Mahesh or sometimes the Tridevi - Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Shakti. It is also considered to represent other elements like the three modes of nature which are,

(1) Creation,

(2) Maintenance,

(3) Destruction,

, or the three kaals which means time -

(1) Past,

(2) Present,

(3) Future.


The three Gunas -

(1) Satv Guna which means Goodness, and harmony,

(2) Rajo Guna which means passion,

(3) Tamo Guna which means destruction, and darkness.


And the three Lokas -

(1) Swarg-Lok (Heaven),

(2) Bhu-Lok (Earth),

(3) Paatal-Lok (Underworld).


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Birth story of Trishul | How the Trishul Became the Symbol of Shiva

According to Vishnu Purana, Vishwakarma created the Trishul by using the matter from the sun. When Suryadev or Sun married Sanjana, the daughter of Vishwakarma, his wife soon became unhappy with married life due to the unbearable heat of her husband Surya. She complained to her father Vishwakarma, so he agreed to solve the problem. Vishwakarma came to an arrangement by which Surya agreed to reduce his heat to accommodate Sanjana. The solar matter fell to the earth, reducing his heat by 1/8, that material was then used to make Trishul. Vishwakarma gifted this deadly weapon to Lord Shiva, which seems obvious because Shiva is known to be the destroyer among the trinity.


How powerful was the Trishul (trident)

As a primary weapon of Lord Shiva, the Trishul is said to be capable of destroying the three worlds that are Swarg-Lok (Heaven), Bhu-Lok (Earth), and Paatal-Lok (Underworld). As per the Hindu epics, Shiva had used his Trishul to destroy many demons as well as some of the most powerful Gods, like Bramha, Surya, and also his son Lord Ganesha.


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How Lord Shiva shattered Brahma's pride with his Trishul (trident):

As the tales go, Bramha and Vishnu once were arguing as to which one of the two was more powerful. At that point, a great blazing pillar like a burning Jyotirlinga shot out of nowhere. It extended from the ground soaring up to the sky. It was said to be tall that Bramha and Vishnu were unable to find the ends of the pillar. They could not even comprehend what it was and how it had appeared. They decided to make use of the situation to find who was more powerful between the two. Bramha took the form of a swan and flew towards the sky while Vishnu took the form of Varaha (Boar) and went down to the ground trying to find the limits of the blazing pillar. But no matter how high Bramha flew or how low Vishnu went, the pillar seemed not to have any limits.

As Bramha flew upwards when he reached Satya-Lok, he met Ketaki flower whom Bramha convinced to lie on his behalf to Vishnu that he found the end. Lord Vishnu on the other hand went down till Pataal-Lok but was unable to find the end of the column of light. When they returned, Vishnu confessed the truth that he was unable to find the end. But Bramha lied that he found the end and Ketaki became his witness.

Therefore Vishnu acknowledged Bramha as the Supreme one and did offerings to Bramha. When Vishnu was about to touch the feet of Bramha, a fierce body shot out of the Jyotirlinga. It was Bhairava, a mighty and furious form of Lord Shiva. Shiva was infuriated at Bramha's lie and cut the fifth head of Bramha which was looking upwards with his Trishul. This is a symbolic representation of how Shiva liberated Bramha from his fifth head which represented his ego. Bramha and Vishnu immediately recognized his power and acknowledged him as the superior of the trinity.


Why Lord Shiva beheaded his son Ganesha with his Trishul (trident):

Another story of Lord Shiva beheading his son Ganesha with his Trishul is also very popular in the Puranas. After several years of penance when Goddess Parvati was taking a bath with her friends, Lord Shiva arrived at her palace without any notice. Parvati was unhappy with this behavior and decided to create a child of her own. She scraped some dirt from her body and shaped it into a beautiful boy. Bringing life into the boy, she instructed him not to allow anyone inside the palace when she was bathing.

After a while when Lord Shiva tried to enter again, he was stopped at the entrance by the boy, Lord Shiva was enraged beyond control and they broke into a fight. Despite being aware of the might of Lord Shiva and the repercussions that followed, Ganesha refused to disobey his mother even if it cost him his life. In a fit of rage, Shiva severed the head of the child with his Trishul. When Mata Parvati came to the door her eyes fell on her beheaded son, she took the infuriated form of Kali and threatened to destroy the world. All the gods and goddesses trembled with fear upon seeing such a fierce form of Mata Parvati, after that Lord Shiva transplanted the head of the first creature he saw which was an elephant, thus giving Ganesha back to life.



It is not just the gods but demons like Jalandhar, Sankhachooda, etc. also have been a victim of an angry Shiva's deadly Trishul. But as history goes, every time used, the Trishul only has restored peace and established divinity in the universe. If you like the article then shares it on social media platforms and spread the knowledge of Hinduism. Subscribe Million-$-Knowledge for more interesting and informative articles.


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