Today, we have come up with the story behind Sudarshan Chakra.
Well, Sudarshan Chakra is a special weapon used by Lord Vishnu. It is a spinning, disc-like weapon and has 108 serrated edges.
The Sudarshan Chakra has the powers to destroy anything in its path.
In fact, the Sudarshan Chakra is the only divine weapon which is constantly in motion. It could perform millions of rotations every second and has the capability to travel several million yojanas (1 Yojana = 12 km) at the very blink of an eye. It is not thrown, but with willpower, it is sent against the enemy.
The literal meaning of Sudarshan Chakra is “one that has auspicious vision.”
In fact, the word Sudarshan Chakra is composed of two Sanskrit words, “Su” + “Darshan” meaning auspicious (Su) vision (Darshan). The word Chakra is derived from ‘chruhu’ meaning movement and ‘kruhu’ meaning to do. So, Chakra means that which is mobile.
Lord Vishnu is portrayed holding the Chakra in his right rear hand of the four hands. Lord Vishnu adorns the Sudarshan Chakra is his index finger like a ring. He also holds a Shankha (conch shell), a Gada (mace), and a Padma (lotus) in his other hands.
In the Vedic period, the Sudarshan Chakra was regarded as Lord Vishnu’s symbol of the wheel of time. However, by the late medieval period, Sudarshan Chakra emerged as “Ayudha Purush” representing a fierce form of Lord Vishnu and was regarded as the weapon of the destruction of the enemies.
In Tamil, the Sudarshan Chakra is called as the “Chakkrath Azhwar” meaning Ring or Circlet of God.
Table of Contents
The Composition of Sudarshan Chakra
The Sudarshan Chakra has twelve spokes and six navels.
Its center is composed of “Vajra.”
It is said that the words “Om Sahasrara hum phat” (सहस्रात् हुं फट्) are inscribed on each of its spokes.
The twelve spokes of Sudarshan Chakra are believed to represent the twelve months of the Hindu Lunar calendar as well as the twelve deities (Som, Indra, Varun, Vayu, Agni, Vij, Mitra, Indragni, Prajapati, etc.). The six navels represent the six seasons.
Various Parts of Sudarshan Chakra
The stable middle part: They are named as Bhruvi (equality), Bhag (radiance), Sampada (nectar of nutrition), and Nirdesh (speed).
The spokes: consists of twenty-seven feminine principles created from Prajapati. It contains yoginipanchak – the five cosmic elements. It is beyond all restrictions of direction and time.
These cosmic elements are described as:
The Parigh (periphery): It has eight masculine principles.
Size: It is so small that it can be kept on the tip of a leaf of Tulsi plant and at the same time it is so big that it can cover the entire universe.
Features of the Sudarshan Chakra
- Once it is released, the Sudarshan Chakra annihilates the enemy and returns back to the one who wielded it.
- Even after its release, the Sudarshan Chakra remains in complete control of the one who wielded it.
- The Chakra chooses the Shunyamarg (path of zero stress nature) for traveling and hence can reach anywhere within a moment.
- It increases its speed when posed with an obstacle. It is called as “Hansagati.”
- It is soundless/noiseless.
- It has tremendous power to destroy everything.
Story behind the origin of Sudarshan Chakra
There are various mythological stories narrating how the divine weapon – Sudarshan Chakra came into being. Some believe that it was created by the combined energies of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. Other scriptures state that it was given to Lord Vishnu by Guru Brihaspati.
There is one popular mythological story that describes the origin of Vishnu Sudarshan Chakra.
Once it so happened that the cosmic gods were suffering badly at the hands of the demons. They decided to seek the help of Lord Vishnu. So, they approached Lord Vishnu and requested Him to protect them from the demons or Asuras.
At this, Lord Vishnu told the Devtas (cosmic Gods) that He did not possess the necessary weapon that was required to defeat the demons. However, Lord Vishnu consoled them that He would seek help from Shiva and requests Him to give a special weapon that could overpower and defeat the demons.
So, Vishnu went to Lord Shiva.
He found Lord Shiva sitting in a state of meditation.
Vishnu started praying to Lord Shiva hoping that He would soon come out of His state of trance.
Shiva remained in this state of trance for several years. However, Vishnu continued His penance and prayed Him chanting Lord Shiva’s name and offering him lotus flowers.
Finally, after many years, Shiva came out of the state of trance.
Lord Vishnu’s joy knew no bounds.
He ran and gathered one thousand lotus blossoms so that He could worship Lord Shiva and ask for a special boon.
Shiva was immensely pleased with the prayers of Lord Vishnu.
However, he decided to test Lord Vishnu’s devotion towards him.
So, Lord Shiva secretly stole one of the lotus flowers.
Now, there were only 999 lotus flowers.
Lord Vishnu started to worship Shiva and offered Him the lotus flowers while chanting Lord Shiva’s name.
At last, Vishnu found that one lotus flower was missing.
He had only counted 999 lotus flowers.
It meant that Vishnu had to go and search for yet another lotus flower. However, instead of doing so, Lord Vishnu plucked one of his eyes and placed it in front of Lord Shiva.
Seeing such immense devotion of Lord Vishnu, Shiva exclaimed, “I am extremely pleased with your devotion. I will grant anything that you want”.
Hearing these words, Vishnu requested Lord Shiva to give him a powerful weapon that can easily overpower all the demons.
Lord Shiva then gave Vishnu the Sudarshan Chakra that would help Vishnu to conquer all his enemies.
There is yet another very popular legend behind the origin of Sudarshan Chakra. According to this theory, the Sudarshan Chakra was created from the Sun’s rays.
Vishwakarma, the architect of the cosmic Gods, had married his daughter Sanjana to Surya Deva.
However, due to the intense heat and light of Surya, Sanjana was unable to look at him and was neither able to approach him. Sanjana told this misery to her father, Vishwakarma.
On hearing this request, Vishwakarma decided to lessen Surya’s shine. He collected Sun dust and made three objects. One was Lord Shiva’s Trishul, the next was Pushpaka Vamana, and the third one was the Sudarshan Chakra.
According to another popular belief, during the Dwapara Yuga, Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, is said to have acquired the Sudarshan Chakra from the fire God, Agni. When Sage Parashurama came to know this, he taught Krishna everything about the mastery of the weapon.
According to one popular belief, Lord Krishna procured the Sudarshan Chakra from the deities, the Devatamandal.
Some Illustrations about the use of Sudarshan Chakra
Many prestigious Hindu Scriptures such as the Vedas and even the Puranas have descriptions relating to the use of the Sudarshan Chakra. It is mainly described as a vital weapon for protecting law and order in the Universe and for abolishing the evil forces.
The Sudarshan Chakra was used many times by Lord Vishnu and even by Krishna.
It was used to cut the spiritual mountain of Mandrachal Parvat at the time of Samudra Manthan.
The Sudarshan Chakra was used by Lord Vishnu to separate the body of Sati into pieces and make it fall on the earth. Lord Shiva was carrying the body of Sati who had given her life by casting herself in a Yagna organized by her father, Daksha.
Lord Shiva was in immense sorrow and was not willing to leave the body of Sati for cremation. Lord Vishnu used the Sudarshan Chakra and cut the body parts of Goddess Sati. The places where these 51 body parts of Sati fell came to be recognized as “Shakti Peethas.”
There were instances when Lord Krishna used the Sudarshan Chakra. Lord Krishna used the Sudarshan Chakra to kill Shishupal after he had committed a hundred sins.
Lord Krishna also used the Sudarshan Chakra to create an illusion of sunset at Kurukshetra that helped Arjun to kill Jaydrath. It is also believed that when Lord Krishna raised the Govardhan Mountain, he held the Sudarshan Chakra below it.
ॐ सुदर्शन महाज्वाल कोटीसूर्य समप्रभ ।
अज्ञानं तस्यमे देव विष्णोर्मार्गम् प्रदर्शय॥
Sudarśana mahājvāla koṭi sūrya Samaprabha |
Ajñānāndhasye me deva viṣṇor mārgaṃ pradarśaya ||