February 21, 2020
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VHP's Custom-Designed Trishul

VHP's Custom-Designed Trishul
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Zeus' Trident Neptune's Shiva's Buddhist Art
  • Trident popular in Greece since Homer’s time 3,000 years ago

     
  • The Greek sea god Poseidon is depicted carrying a trident 2,400 years ago, predating any known Indian representation

  • The trishul first begins to appear in Buddhist and Jain temple art (100BC-401AD)

  • The trishul surfaces in Mahabharata for the first time but historians can’t say for certain when it was inserted
     
  • It becomes part and parcel of Shiva’s world in Shiv Purana in 11th or 12th century AD, around the time trishul-wielding temple militia is created

  • The trishul appears in South Indian temple art in the 16th and 17th centuries

  • Calendar art in late 19th century makes trishuls popular

  • 2003: VHP borrows trishul diksha concept from Hindu Mahasabha

The Legal Angle

Under the Arms Act, the government can regulate or ban any article that can be adapted as a weapon, including knives and spears and anything sharp-edged with blades longer than 9" or wider than 2". On April 8, the Rajasthan government issued an order regulating the "distribution, acquisition, possession or carrying of double or multi-bladed sharp or pointed weapons...except in religious institutions...functions and processions where such weapon is customarily used".

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