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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]

Multiarmed form of Sudarshanchakra

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

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 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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65 news items

 
DailyO
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 03:30:00 -0700

Rakhi even features in the Mahabharata - legend has it that Krishna once cut his finger while whirling his Sudarshana Chakra and Draupadi immediately tore a strip from her silk sari and wrapped it around his finger to stop it from bleeding. Krishna ...
 
Times of India
Sat, 08 Aug 2015 17:10:19 -0700

Regarding the concept of Sudarshana Chakra and how it influenced Dr Kalam's thinking, Pillai said the former President was an ardent reader of the Bhagavad Gita and was deeply influenced by it. "He also took credible fancy to the concept of the ...
 
Merinews
Sun, 30 Aug 2015 19:48:45 -0700

... Narasimhan, Mahalakshmi, Nagadevatha, Navagrahas, Radha Krishna with Gomatha, Raja Mathangi, Saneeswara, Sarva Dosha Nivarana, Shiva Nataraja & Soma Sundara Linga, Subrahmanya, Sudarshana Chakra, Vaarahi Ambika and Venkateswara.

The Hindu

The Hindu
Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:48:45 -0700

The King of Chedi appeared to be craving for divine punishment, which he finally receives when Krishna beheads him with the Sudarshana chakra. Balasubrahmanian's presentation was reminiscent of his great preceptor, Kalamandalam Ramankutti Nair, ...

Yahoo India News

Yahoo India News
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 06:18:45 -0700

The rakhi also features in the epic Mahabharata. Once Krishna cut his finger while using the Sudarshana Chakra. On seeing the blood spurting out, Draupadi immediately tore a strip from her silk sari and wrapped it around the Lord's finger to stop the ...
 
Jakarta Post
Fri, 31 Jul 2015 02:34:13 -0700

Sudarshana Chakra 5ptsFeatured Aug 1, 2015. I'm missing some information; how comes that we have a case in Singapore court? Did Bentleman & Tjong filed a case there? And how is it possible that a Singapore court makes decision about a case that ...
 
Jakarta Post
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:13:25 -0700

Sudarshana Chakra Jakarta. Sadly Indonesia can't even get its own house in order, either politically, financially or socially, and so what does it really have to offer the rest of the world in terms socioeconomic development, infrastructure and welfare ...
 
Business Standard
Fri, 24 Jul 2015 11:45:00 -0700

The architecture is inspired by the Sudarshana Chakra, a spinning, discus-like weapon that gods Vishnu and Krishna are often portrayed as holding. The lotus on which the Ramanuja statue will rest will measure 27 feet in diametre. The dimensions are ...
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