Reasons Behind The Things Lord Shiva Carries

Shiva is one of the most significant and worshipped Gods in Hinduism. He is part of the trinity ‘Tridev’. Where ‘Brahma’ is the creator, ‘Vishnu’ is the preserver or protector, and ‘Mahesh’ is the destroyer. Lord Shiva is denoted by several names based on his characteristics and qualities, one of them is ‘Mahesh’. Shiva or ‘Siva’ in Sanskrit means ‘The Auspicious One. Lord Shiva is referred to as the master of all arts & crafts. He’s the supreme meditator, the master of dance & art ‘Nataraja’. He is also referred to as ‘Adiyogi’, the first Yogi, he’s also considered the originator of Yoga. It is believed that Shiva is beyond time and knowledge which can be attained or understood by humans. Now let’s talk about things carried by Lord Shiva and the symbolism & reason behind them.

Reasons Behind The Things Lord Shiva Carries

Trishul (Trident)

‘The Trishul’ or trident is the most prominent thing visible in all depictions of Lord Shiva. It’s not just a weapon of destruction but also symbolizes a lot of important aspects. The three blades of the trident represent the Tri-deva of Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara and their unification as one. It also depicts the 3 Gunas(Qualities) which are, Sattva (knowledge), Rajas (vigor), and Tamas (desire), and suggests that we should maintain the balance among the 3. It’s a representation of the 3 goals which are Sat(truth), Chit(consciousness), and Anand (bliss).

Vasuki(Snake)

Lord Shiva has a snake around his neck. The snake is said to be ‘Vasuki’. Vasuki is a cobra snake that is coiled around the neck of Lord Shiva. There are many stories and symbols behind the reason Lord Shiva carries a snake around his neck. The first of them is the spiritual energy found in humans which arises from the base chakra to the 7th chakra. In the yogi form, the snake around the neck denotes that the Kundalini has risen along the throat chakra. The 2nd representation is about the 3 layer coils of the cobra. These 3 coils represent the past, present, and future. It’s a representation that a Yogi is free from all aspects of time and death. This is the reason Lord Shiva is also called ‘Nageshwar’ which means the Lord of snakes.

Damru (rattle drum)

The Damru is an important instrument that is always carried by Lord Shiva. Don’t misunderstand this object, just as a musical instrument. The Damru has a lot of significance to it. The Damru represents the cosmic sound. It is also believed the sound of damru is a reminder of staying awake and not to be subdued in the night of Adharma (unrighteousness). It also signifies the unification of Shiva and Shakti.

Shankha (conch shell)

Shankha is one of the objects that came out by the churning of the ocean by the Gods. It’s a symbol of cosmic space. And produces the vibrations of ‘Om’ or ‘Aum’ when blown. ‘Om’ or ‘Aum’ in the Hindu religion is defined as the primordial sound of creation and is considered the original vibration of the universe. It’s believed that from this first vibration, all other vibrations are able to manifest. Shankha is considered auspicious in the Hindu religion and it’s believed that its sound has positive energy and vibes that transforms the overall environment around us.

Kamandalu 

Kamandalu is a water pot that is made from a dry pumpkin. It contains ‘Amrit’, a liquid that signifies immortality. It has a deeper meaning which states, like how the rice pumpkin is plucked from a plant, its fruit removed, and then the shell is cleaned which carries the Amrit. The same goes for any individual. An individual must give up the materialistic world and remove egoism, and only then do they find the purely spiritual form.

Kundalas

Lord Shiva is depicted, wearing two earrings or kundals. One is ‘Alakshya’ and the other is ‘Niranjan’. Akshaya means which cannot be shown by any sign, and Niranjan, which cannot be seen by mortal eyes. Which somewhat refers to the supreme truth which is ‘Shiva’. The earring on Shiva’s left ear is one that is worn by women and the right one is that which is worn by men. The two earrings symbolize Shiva and Shakti – The Ardhanarishvara(Half Female) form of Lord Shiva. This also signifies that Shiva is even beyond any gender.

The Rudraksha Necklace

The Rudraksha were made from the tears of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Shiva opened his eyes after several years of meditation and saw human suffering which led to the rolling of tears from Shiva’s eyes. Wherever the tears fell it budded a Rudraksha tree. It’s also believed that these tears were due to the grief of ‘Sati’, Shiva’s beloved consort, who was consumed in the ceremonial fire. The Rudraksha necklace has 108 beads which refer to the elements of the world. Lord Shiva’s Rudraksha necklace depicts that even he follows the cosmic laws.

Body smeared with ashes  

Lord Shiva’s whole body is smeared with ashes. This is a representation that he’s above all the show-off and worldly fake glories. But it also has a deeper meaning that everything comes to an end. In Hindu, Religion people are burnt after death. The ashes signify that rich or poor, powerful or weak, everyone will turn into ashes. It will be held by Lord Shiva, he accepts every creature. Their ashes are smeared on his body. Shiva the destroyer burns everything at the end for the start of a new beginning.  

The Ganga 

Ganga is considered the Holy river in the Hindu religion. Its water is divine and is believed to wash off all the sins of a person. After death also, the ashes of a person are submerged in the river. According to Hindu scriptures when Goddess Ganga came to earth there was no place that could handle the river’s power and force. So Shiva allowed the river to flow from his matted hairs. This is the reason Lord Shiva is also called ‘Gangadhara’, which means “Bearer of the river Ganga”.

Also Read: Ganesha | God of Beginnings in Hindu Mythology