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Sudarshana Chakra
Sudarshana Chakra
Vishnu with Sudarshana Chakra in his right rear hand
Devanagari सुदर्शन चक्र
Affiliation Weapon of Vishnu
Texts Vishnu Purana

The Sudarshana Chakra is a spinning, disk-like weapon with 108 serrated edges used by the Hindu god Vishnu. The Sudarshana Chakra is generally portrayed on the right rear hand of the four hands of Vishnu, who also holds a shankha (conch shell), a Gada (mace) and a padma (lotus).[1]

The Sudarshana Chakra may be depicted as an ayudhapurusha (anthropomorphic form). He is depicted as a fierce form of Vishnu. While the Sudarshana Chakra is depicted as a subordinate figure with Vishnu, in many South Indian Vishnu temples, the Chakra as an ayudhapurusha is worshipped in its own shrine attached to the central temple.

According to the Puranas, Sudarshana Chakra is used for the ultimate destruction of an enemy. The depiction of Vishnu with Sudarshana Chakra also means that Vishnu is the keeper-owner of the celestial bodies and heavens.

Etymology[edit]

The word Sudarshana is derived from two Sanskrit words – Su(सु) meaning "good/auspicious" and Darshana (दर्शन) meaning "vision". Hence, the word Sudarshana collectively means "vision of which is auspicious". Sudarshana is generally worshiped during Homas to ward off negative powers or vibrations.[2]

The word chakra is derived from the word Chruhu (चृ:) meaning movement and kruhu(कृ:) meaning to do. Hence, chakra collectively means the one which is mobile. Among all the Vedic weapons, Sudarshana Chakra is the only mobile weapon.[3]

Legends[edit]

There are various legends related to the origins of the Sudarshana Chakra.

As per Valmiki, Ramayana, Purushottama (Vishnu) killed a Danava named Hayagreeva on top of mountain named Chakravan constructed by Vishvakarma and took away Chakra i.e. Sudarshana Chakra from him.

The Sudarshana Chakra was made by the architect of gods, Vishvakarma. Vishvakarma's daughter Sanjana was married to Surya, the Sun God. Due to the Sun's blazing light and heat, she was unable to go near the Sun. She complained to her father about this. Vishvakarma took the Sun and made him shine less so that his daughter would be able to hug the Sun. The left over Sun "dust" was collected by Vishvakarma and made into three divine objects. The first one was the aerial vehicle Pushpaka Vimana, the second being the Trishula (Trident) of the god Shiva, and the third was the Sudarshana Chakra of Vishnu. The Chakra is described to have 10 million spikes in two rows moving in opposite directions to give it a serrated edge.

Sudarshana Chakra is considered to be one of the most powerful weapon in Hindu mythology.[4]

Sudarshana Chakra was used to cut the corpse of Sati, the consort of Shiva into 51 pieces after she gave up her life by throwing herself in a yagna (fire sacrifice) of her father Daksha. It is said that Shiva, in grief, carried around her lifeless body and was inconsolable. The 51 parts of the goddess' body were then tossed about in different parts of the Indian subcontinent and came to be known as "Shakti Peethas".

In scripture[edit]

The use of the Sudarshan Chakra is occasionally mentioned in the Hindu texts of Rigveda, Yajurveda and Puranas, as an ultimate weapon of law, order and preservation to eliminate the enemy . Such enemies are enumerated variously as rakshasas, asura, and vikrutatma.

In one such instance, as scribed in the stanzas of the Mahabharat, Lord Shri Krishna, the Avatar of Lord Vishnu, beheads Shishupala with the use of the Sudarshan Chakra, for his rapacious behaviour (committing 100 mistakes each worthy of death) at the Rajsuya yagna celebration of Emperor Yudhishthira. It was also used to cut the celestial mountain Mandrachal Parvat for churning the ocean of milk (Samudra Manthan).

Other names[edit]

In Tamil, the Sudarshan Chakra is also known as Chakkrath Azhwar (translated as Ring/Circlet of God).

The Chakri Dynasty, the current ruling house of Thailand, is named after this weapon.

Sudarshan Homam[edit]

This homam is performed by invoking Lord Sudarshan along with his consort Vijayavalli into the sacrificial fire. This homam is very popular in South India.

Temples of Sudarshan[edit]

Sudarshana Chakra depicted as an ayudhapurusha and fierce aspect of his owner Vishnu.
  • Sri Sudarshana Bhagavan Temple, Nagamangala
  • Sri Sudarshana Sannidhi at Sriranganatha temple, Srirangapattana
  • Chakrapani Temple, Kumbakonam
  • Thirumogur Temple, Madurai
  • Chakkarathalwar at Srirangam, temple
  • Chakkarathalwar at Sri Devaraja Swamy Temple (Kanchi Varadhar Temple), Kancheepuram
  • Anjumoorthy (Five Deities) Temple, at Anjumoorthy Mangalam, in Palakkad district (The main deity of this temple is Sudarshan).
  • Sree Vallabha Temple, Thiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district
  • Thuravoor temple,Allapuzha district. where Narasimha and Sudarshana are the main deities.
  • Jagannath Temple, Puri, where Jagannatha, Subhadra, Balabhadra and Sudarshana are the main deities.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 80. 
  2. ^ "Sudarshan Homa" (PDF). Durvasala. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  3. ^ HJS. "Origin and Meaning of Sudarshan Chakra". Retrieved 2012-03-11. 
  4. ^ http://www.vedicyagyacenter.com/articles/Bhakta-Ambarisha.html

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudarshana_Chakra — Please support Wikipedia.
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121 news items

The Hindu

The Hindu
Fri, 01 Apr 2016 02:56:15 -0700

AISHWARYA K.P.. Student, 21. What is your most prized possession? My family and friends. If you were granted a wish, what would it be? To see my late grandfather and Roger (my late pet dog) once again. Your biggest fear? The fear of losing people from ...

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Tue, 26 Apr 2016 18:18:45 -0700

An important feature is the Sudarshana Chakra in Vaikuntha Perumal's hand is in the prayoga posture with the rim facing outward as though ready to hurl at enemies. Another special feature of this idol is the lower right hand in which Perumal holds a ...

The Hans India

The Hans India
Tue, 26 Apr 2016 16:37:30 -0700

The Panchaloha idol weighing about 70 kilograms consists of Sudarshana Chakra embedded with a figurine of Lord Krishna was stolen from the famous Mallur Laxminarasimha Swamy temple of Mangapet mandal in the district during midnight hours of ...

Hindustan Times

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Sat, 16 Apr 2016 08:05:54 -0700

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All India Roundup

All India Roundup
Mon, 25 Apr 2016 06:59:11 -0700

After a long verbal battle, Vishnu finally severed her head with his Sudarshana Chakra. On returning Bhrigu saw his wife lying in his ashram without a head. He then cursed that Vishnu to be born on earth several times and suffer the pains of worldly ...

The New Indian Express

The New Indian Express
Thu, 24 Sep 2015 16:26:15 -0700

TIRUMALA:Curtains have come down on the nine-day mega religious annual Brahmotsavams of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala with Chakrasnana Mahotsavam on Thursday morning. The temple priests performed 'Snapana Tirumanjanam' to 'Utsavarulu' ...
 
The Hindu
Mon, 21 Mar 2016 09:18:45 -0700

Many seek God for wealth or happiness or for relief from distress in life. But in the eyes of the Lord, a true devotee or the jnani seeks God for His sake. When Durvasa seeks the Lord's protection from the life-threatening chase of the Sudarshana ...
 
Jakarta Post
Thu, 17 Mar 2016 19:15:59 -0700

After a recent rise in cases concerning freedom of expression throughout the country, the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) has called on the government to guarantee the protection of citizens who express their thoughts publicly.
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