This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2014)
|Place of origin||South Asia|
In Nepal and Thailand, the term also often refers to a short-handled weapon which may be mounted on a daṇḍa "staff". Unlike the Okinawan sai, the trishula is often bladed. In Indonesian, trisula usually refers specifically to a long-handled trident, while the diminutive version is more commonly known as a cabang or tekpi.
The name trishula ultimately derives from the Sanskrit word त्रिशूल (triśūla), from त्रि (trí), meaning "three", and शूल (śū́la), meaning "a sharp iron pin or stake", referring in this case to the weapon's three prongs.
The trishula symbolism is polyvalent and rich. It is wielded by the god Shiva and is said to have been used to sever the original head of Ganesha. Durga also holds a trishula, as one of her many weapons. The three points have various meanings and significance, and, common to Hinduism, have many stories behind them. They are commonly said to represent various trinities—creation, maintenance, and destruction; past, present, and future; body, mind and atman; dharma or dhamma (law and order), bliss/mutual enjoyment and emanation/created bodies; compassion, joy and love; spiritual, psychic and relative; happiness, comfort and boredom; pride, repute and egotism; clarity, knowledge and wisdom; heaven, mind and earth; soul, fire and earth; soul, passion and embodied-soul; logic, passion and faith; prayer, manifestation and sublime; insight, serenity and bodhisattvahood or arhatship (anti-conceit); practice, understanding and wisdom; death, ascension and resurrection; creation, order and destruction; the three gunas: satva, rajas and tamas.
According to the Shiva Purana, Shiva is swayambhu, self-created, born of his volitions. He emerges as a direct incarnation of Sadashiv and has a trishula from the very beginning. According to the Vishnu Purana, Surya married Sanjana, the daughter of Vishvakarma. However, Sanjana soon became unhappy with her married life, owing to the unbearable heat emanating from Surya. She complained to Vishvakarma, who agreed to solve the problem and came to an arrangement with Surya to reduce his heat. The solar matter fell to the earth, reducing 1/8th of his original power. This material was later used by Vishvakarma to create the Trishula for Shiva, Sudarshana Chakra for Vishnu, and the Pushpaka Vimana for Brahma. The goddess Durga holds a trishula among other weapons and attributes in her hands and amongst her accouterment, having received celestial weapons from both Shiva and Vishnu.
A seven-pronged trishula on top of Wat Arun, also known as the "trident of Shiva"<ref>Wat Arun The trident of Shiv extends from the top of each tower.
Cham carved sandstone sculpture of Shiva carrying a trishula in Southeast Asia
Sendan Kendatsuba (or Candana Gandharva) is depicted using his trishula to kill evil animals and demons in the set of five paintings Extermination of Evil.
- Rysdyk, Evelyn C. (2019-02-20). The Nepalese Shamanic Path: Practices for Negotiating the Spirit World. Schuster. ISBN 978-1-62055-795-2.
- Monier–Williams, M. A. (1872). A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged. London: MacMillan and Co., Publishers to the University, and W. H. Allen and Co.
- Media related to Trishula at Wikimedia Commons