What Do the Adornments of Lord Shiva Signify?

Pradosham, the Thrayodashi thithi of Shukla Paksha in the month of Vaikasi, falls on June 6, 2017.


During Pradosham, we worship Shiva with his adornments like Damaru on one hand, the Ganges on the head, Trisul on the other hand, snake around the neck and Moon on the forehead. (Of course, we do abhishekam to Linga and offer our prayers).


We will worship the Lord more ardently if we know the specific qualities of these adornments of Lord Shiva.




Trisul, as we know, is the weapon of the Lord and it symbolises the three worlds a man has-his inner world, the outer world around him and the broader world which is a harmony of the two. It also represents the three Gunas- Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.


Damaru signifies the Pranava mantra ‘Om’ which is the origin of all languages.


Snake around the neck signifies our endless cycle of birth and the need for liberation from it. It also signifies our ego which should be brought under control and used as an ornament by us.


The Crescent Moon on the forehead reminds of the fact that Shiva and the Moon have been worshipped together right from the Vedic Age (Rudra and Soma have been worshipped together over centuries).  We immediately remember this fact also that Lord Shiva has the name ‘Chandrasekhar’.


The river Ganges adorning the head of Shiva has a story of hers. Bhagiratha wanted to bring the holy river Ganges to the earth to wash away the ashes of his ancestors. The Ganges in her playful mood wanted to sweep Shiva off His feet. Knowing her motive, Shiva locked her in his locks of hair and released her on the plea of Bhagiratha. We know that Lord Shiva has the name Gangadhar.


Lord Shiva is known as Nataraja. He is the Thandavamurthi who destroyed Apasmara, the demon of ignorance under his feet.


Let us pray to this all potent Deity on Pradosham and fulfil our religious wishes so as to enter eternity with a sinless soul.


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