If gods are all powerful, why do they need weapons? Traditionally, Gods and Goddess have always been known for their unique weapons. Some are personal to older such as Shiva’s Trishul or Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra. These weapons symbolize a message or purport. Most of them have special characteristics. Indeed, weapons may change in accordance to divine manifestation of gods and goddesses.
Every aspect of divine attributes is a symbolic representation of a inner meaning towards self-realization. Their holding is representative their negative and positive use. If the weapons are terrifying, it is a call to fight fear. Negative energy does not reach one who has overcome fear.
Goddess Parvati has many forms and the most popular ones include Durga and Kali. Both these Goddess are always represented through the weapons that they hold in their hands. Kali’s terrible weapons is a call to kill ego. The weapons are held in the ten arms of Goddess Parvati and are known to depict the various directions of the universe.
Some people consider it to be a symbolic representation that the Goddess protects all those who turn to her in prayer from any direction. It also symbolizes Parvati’s all-pervasiveness. As universal Mother, far beyond these weapons, is Parvati’s motherliness.
Goddess Parvati is the wife of Lord Shiva and she has various weapons gifted to her by the Gods to destroy evil.
These weapons were given to Goddess Durga who is one of the forms of Goddess Parvati to destroy evil. They include Sword - Khadga, Trident - Trishula, Thunderdisc -Chakra, Arrow -Tir, Javelin - Bharji, Club -Khitaka, Bow -Dhanush, Noose -Pasha, Goad -Ankush, Shield -Sipar and Axe -Parashu.
CONCH: (Ankusha) – Not a weapon as such. It symbolizes the Pranava Om which indicates her holding on to God in the form of nada or sabta – sound.
SWORD: (Khadga) – The sword in the hands of Goddess Parvati symbolizes not just strength but also wisdom. It is the weapon that is also used to destroy ignorance. The shine that is found on the sword is known to represent knowledge that is free from all illusions.
BOW: (Dhanush) and Arrow (Tir) – These weapons represent energy and when both the bow and the arrow are held in one hand it is known to symbolize the twin aspects of energy. The Bow (Dhanush) was given to the Goddess by Vayu and Arrow (Tir) was gifted by Surya. The bow and arrow symbolize that the Goddess is indicating her control over both aspects of energy – potential and kinetic.
THUNDERDISC: (Chakra) – The chakra spins on the index finger of the Goddess. It spins on the finger without touching it and this is known to destroy all evil. The chakra is also known to represent life and death and was given to her by Lord Vishnu. This signifies firmness, It can break anything it strikes. This is an indication that a bhakta needs to attack a challenge without losing his or her confidence. It signifies that the entire world is subservient to the will of Parvati and is at her command.
GOAD: (Ankush) – This weapon is known to represent the action and power of Goddess Parvati.
TRISHULA: Trident (Trishula) – The trishul is known to symbolize three qualities. These include Satwa (inactivity), Rajas (activity) and Tamas (non-activity). Physical, mental and spiritual are the three miseries of life and the trident (trishula) is used to remove all these miseries by the Goddess.
AXE: Axe (Parashu) – This weapon is known to destroy ignorance and evil. An axe is sharpened to give a clean cut. On in the spiritual path has to sharpen his knowledge. One needs strength to give a single blow and bring about severance. All forms of yoga prepare one to severe maya from Consciousness.
LOTUS: Although many would not consider lotus as a weapon, it symbolizes success and its certainty. The flower does not fully bloom in the hands of the Goddess and this is known to represent spiritual evolution. It can also mean certainty of success but not finality. ‘Pankaja’ means born of mud, The lotus stands for the continuous evolution of spiritual quality of bhaktas and worldly mud of lust and greed.
These weapons have been used by the Goddesses to destroy evil and kill demons. Demons are themselves symbolic of karma, krodha and lobha. They stand for ego that has to be destroyed with weapon called knowledge. Different weapons are used for different purposes.
There are many weapons that are known to be magical as they have been gifted by the Gods themselves. Depending on the form that Goddess Parvati embraces the weapons will change. The lion that Goddess Parvati rides is also considered one of her weapons. Weapons are part and parcel of Shakti’s feminine power.
Hara Hara Mahadeva
by Yogi Ananda Saraswathi..