Trishula Symbol

Trishula Symbol – History and Meaning

Trishula is a spear or trident, a divine symbol used as one of the primary symbols in Hinduism. 

This symbol is associated with Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction. Shiva’s trishula is the three-pointed spear or trident that he carries.

In India and Thailand, the term “trishula” is also used to refer to a short-handled weapon mounted on a staff or danda. The trishula often comes bladed.

Trishula Symbol – History and Meaning

If you want to learn more about the Trishula symbol, read on to find out the meaning, history, and significance of this Hindu and Buddhist symbol.

History of Trishula Symbol

Trishula Symbol

The story goes that the sun god Surya married Samjna, daughter of the divine architect Vishwakarma. Samjna soon became unhappy with married life because of Surya’s unbearable heat.

When she complained to her father, Vishwakarma mediated between the couple and Surya agreed to reduce his heat to accommodate his wife.

The said discarded solar matter fell to the earth, lessening his heat by ​1⁄8. That matter from the sun was then used to create the trishula.

In the Shiva Puran, the god Shiva has had trishula from the very beginning. He used it to cut off the original head of Ganesha. Shiva is Shambu or Swayambhu, the eternal soul created by no one.

He was born of his own volitions, coming out as a direct incarnation of Sadashiva, who is considered by some as Shiva’s highest form.

The goddess Durga also bears a trishula among other weapons, having received celestial weaponry from both Vishnu and Shiva.

The Trishula Symbol

Trishula Symbol
Trishula Symbol

In Hinduism, the trishula symbol represents the destruction of old ways in order to create new ones. It is also a symbol of the nadis or energy currents within the subtle body.

The three prongs or points of the trishula are representative of the acts of creation, preservation, and destruction. These are all attributed to the god Shiva. In weaponry, the trishula is symbolic of Shiva’s ability to destroy evil.

The three prongs have more various symbolic meanings and significance in Hinduism. They symbolize will, action, and wisdom; past, present, and future; body, mind, and inner self; as well as soul, fire, and earth; and soul, passion, and embodied soul.

They are also representative of law and order, bliss/mutual enjoyment, and emanation/created bodies; compassion, joy, and love; prayer, manifestation, and sublime.

Practice, understanding, and wisdom are also said to be represented by these prongs; as well as death, ascension, and resurrection.

The three prongs of a trishula also symbolically means happiness, comfort, and boredom; pride, repute, and egotism; clarity, knowledge, and wisdom. They are as well representative of heaven, mind, and earth; insight, serenity, and anti-conceit; and logic, passion, and faith.

The two side prongs of a trishula go up to a person’s brow, while the prong in the middle rises higher. This middle prong symbolizes the “all-seeing eye,” the eye of knowledge and spiritual wisdom.

In Buddhism, a trishula symbol is usually found on top of the dharmachakra or the wheel of the law. This particular trishula is symbolic of wisdom, purity, and compassion.

Trishula Symbol Meaning

The name “trishula” is derived from the Sanskrit words tri, meaning “three,” and sula, meaning “a sharp stake” or “iron pin.” This refers to the trishula’s three prongs.

A similar word, “trishel,” means “cross” in Romani.

Trishula may sometimes also denote the Buddhist symbol of the triratna.

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