Lord Shiva is a principal deity of Hinduism. He played an integral part in many significant events like Samudra Manthana and Ramayana etc. And so did his many weapons. Let us get to know the weapons of Shiva.
Trishula is one of the most powerful weapons in Hinduism. Trishula, as the name suggests, is a trident. Many gods like Durga held the trident. But only Shiva had the strength to carry Trishula.
One interesting anecdote about Trishula is that Shiva killed a demon named Andhaka and severed Ganesha’s head in a duel with this weapon. Ironically both, Ganesha and Andhaka, were Parvati’s creations.
Trishula is said to be a symbol of the holy trinity Shiva, Vishnu, and Mahesh. Hindu devotees around the world pray to this symbol.
Pashupatastra is the most lethal weapon in Hindu Mythology. The Astra (weapon) was of Pashupati, an avatar (form) of Shiva. It could be released by the mind, the eyes, words, or a bow. According to Mahabharata, once Pashupatastra is hurled, it could gobble up the entire universe in the blink of an eye.
Among other weapons of Shiva, Pashupatastra was used to destroy the triple city of Asuras, Tripura. Only gods like Brahma, Vishnu, and Goddesses like Lakshmi, Parvati, and Saraswati had protection from this weapon.
In different yugas (ages), Arjuna, sage Vishvamitra and Ravana’s son, Meghnad possessed it.
3. Pinaka or Shiva Dhanush
Pinaka is the bow of Lord Shiva. Before Trishula, this was the weapon Shiva used for Pralaya (mass destruction). Vishwakarma created Pinaka along with many other weapons.
We find mentions of Pinaka in Ramayana. Gods wanted to see who had more strength between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. So they encouraged both for a fight. Shiva and Vishnu began to battle with all their might. Gods couldn’t predict anything. In a crucial moment, Vishnu released a battle cry as ‘hum’ which paralyzed everyone including Shiva.
Pinaka fell out of Shiva’s hand onto the earth. Later, King Devratha, ancestor of Sita, found it.
4. Chandrahasa Sword
Lord Shiva gifted Chandrahasa to Ravana. The name of the sword stands for the laughter of the moon. It is a reference to the shape of the crescent moon, resembling a smile. Ravana won many battles using this sword. The sword became synonymous with winning. Ravana’s son Indrajit used Chandrahasa in some wars as well.
Parashu means a battle-axe. Goddess Durga and Lord Ganesha wielded the axe. Shiva had a Parashu named Vidyudabhi which had supernatural powers. The Parashu had four cutting edges, one on each end of the blade head and one on each end of the shaft. Shiva gave the axe to Parashurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu.
Parshurama was waging war against Kshatriyas (Warrior Clan), who had gone rogue with power. He also sought revenge as they had killed his father, Jamadagni. With Shiva’s Parashu, he came out victorious from the wars.
According to Brahmanda Purana, Parshurama later returned the axe to Ganesha.
The weapons of Shiva also include Khatvanga. It is a long studded club or staff with a skull on it. Vajrayana Buddhism and Shaivism use this weapon as a religious symbol.
These are some of the weapons of Shiva. They give us insight into many important events of Hindu Mythology.