The trident represents the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. It is also said to represent the threefold qualities of nature: creation, preservation and destruction. He holds a cobra symbolizing the power he has over the most deadly of creatures. Snakes are also used to symbolize the Hindu dogma of reincarnation. The drum represents the rhythmic sound to which Shiva dances and ceaselessly recreates the universe.