"the kapāla (skull-cup) and the khaṭvānga (trident) are considered to be two of the greatest substances in the Vajrayana" ~Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche~"
The form of the Buddhist Khatvanga is derived from the early Indian Shaivite yogins. The khatvanga or trishula is wielded by Shiva and is said to have been used to sever the original head of Ganesha. Within the Hindu tradition, the three points are said to have a number of meanings and significance. They are commonly said to represent the various trinities -- creation, maintenance and destruction, past, present and future, the three Gunas. When looked upon as a weapon of Shiva, the trishula is said to destroy the three worlds.
Padmasambhava, the second Buddha, who is considered the superme subduer of rakshas (demons) is usually portrayed with a khatvanga or trishula. It leans in the crook of his left arm resting against his shoulder and therefore represents the inseparable connection between himself and his enlightened consort, the Dakini Mandarava.
According to the biography of Padmasambhava (attributed to Yeshe Tsogyal), his trident was an important symbol of his realisation, the points standing for victory over the three poisons -- attraction, aversion, confusion/ignorance. In Dza Patrul Rinpoche's instructions for visualizing Guru Rinpoche, the three points represent essence, nature and compassionate energy, but they also stand for his mastery over the three times: past, present, and future.
This unique piece has been hand crafted by a Tibetan family who have been making ritual items for more than 50 years. It is based on a 15th C trident from East Tibet that is now housed in a museum collection. The base of the iron shaft has a five-prong iron vajra. The three points at the apex are engulfed with lively flames crafted from brass. The shaft itself is decorated with brass inlay in the damascened style made famous in Derge, East Tibet.
Material: Iron with Brass Flames and Shaft inlaid with brass in the Derge style.
approx 20 inches x 6.5 inches
Tip: If rust appears on any of your ritual objects made from iron then gently apply olive oil with a toothbrush (used only for this purpose) and dry with a soft dry cloth. For more stubborn areas you can use wire wool.