What is the Trishul or the Trident of Shiva?
This widely recognized and most powerful symbol of Shiva is frequently misunderstood.
There is a vast amount of information and mis-information about this symbol and its true meaning. To fully understand and appreciate the depth of this divine symbol perhaps it is best to start with its etymology. The proper name of this symbol is the Trishul so we shall look at the etymology of the proper name. (The word trident is merely the English reference for this symbol.)
Tri means three.
Shul means problems or suffering.
When unified, the Trishul means that which destroys the three-fold suffering.
Therefore the Trishul is a symbol that offers relief from the three types of pain that
arise in our human life experience:
1. Aadibhautik (physical)
2. Aadhyaatmik (spiritual), and
3. Aadidaivik (ethereal)
As the Trident or Trishul is held upright in the hand of the Divine Lord Shiva, it is held as the one who COMMANDS this healing energy of the divine.
Commonly referred to as a “weapon of Shiva”, the Trishul carries the power to destroy three worlds of illusion: the physical world, the world of past lives, (Karma) and the world of the mind, (ego). It indeed bestows divine protection through its presence.
When these three worlds are “destroyed”, one enters into the Divine non-dual space of enlightenment or pure bliss. Hence the destruction becomes the transformation!
The Trident also represents the Nadis, (energy within the subtle body). The Ida (feminine/passive) and the Pingala (male/active) spiral upwards like a double helix, crossing for the last time at the Vishuddha or throat chakra.
The central channels or Sushumna Nadi goes straight up the spine, continuing up through the crown chakra where the other two channels terminate.
The channels in this area form a trishul-like shape and activates similar energy to the Ascended Ankh posture of the body. Through this recognition we call forward the energy of “eternal life” presence and ignite or unify all of our life experiences into the enlightened state.
Once understood, the Trishul becomes a powerful ally and offers protection energy as it sustains our ascended presence. Through this connection we free ourselves from pain, limiting beliefs and negative energy.