The Trishula

Trishula hindu symbol, the ancient symbol

The Trishula –  Trishula or the Trident is a prominent Hindu symbol that is associated with Lord Shiva. Though this three-pronged symbol is usually viewed as a weapon used by the Lord for the protection and restoration of Dharma, it actually carries deeper meanings. It is representative of the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh and stands for the balance between the forces of creation, preservation, and destruction. It is also considered symbolic of the three Gunas – Rajas, Tamas and Sattva. Another symbolic representation of the Trishula is that of the three facets of consciousness, namely, cognition, affection, and conation.

When looked upon as a weapon of Shiva, the Trishula is said to destroy the three worlds: the physical world, the world of the forefathers (representing culture drawn from the past) and the world of the mind (representing the processes of sensing and acting). The three worlds are supposed to be destroyed by Shiva into a single non-dual plane of existence, that is bliss alone.