The Sudarshan Chakra is believed to be the weapon of Lord Vishnu, the Preserver among the Trinity. He is depicted holding the chakra on the index finger of His right rear hand. The chakra is said to have been designed by Vishwakarma, the architect of the gods, from Sun dust and given to Vishnu by none other than Lord Shiva. The Mahabharata features various citations of the lord’s avatar also using the Sudarshan Chakra.
Read on to know some interesting facts and fables associated with the Sudarshan Chakra.
Facts about Sudarshan Chakra
- The Sudarshan Chakra is said to have 108 serrated edges with ten million spikes across two rows that move in opposite directions.
- The Sudarshan Chakra is mentioned in the Rig Veda as the wheel of time. Hence, it is also known as Kaal Chakra.
- The Sudarshan Chakra is the only weapon of the Gods that is always in motion. The chakra keeps spinning non-stop on the tip of Lord Vishnu’s finger.
- The Sudarshan Chakra features twelve rays and six centres. The dozen rays depict the twelve months of the year and the six centres symbolise the six seasons.
- Lord Vishnu is said to have the Sudarshan Chakra on His index finger while Lord Krishna has the same chakra on his little finger.
Sudarshan Chakra Fables
There are several fables pertaining to the Sudarshan Chakra. Some of them are associated with Lord Vishnu while others are related to Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna Kills Sisupala
Sisupala was the king of Chedi and Lord Krishna’s cousin. He was born with an extra eye and an extra pair of hands. There was an omen that the extra pair of organs would disappear when someone took him in his lap. He was also destined to die at the hands of the same person. It so happened that the extra hands and eye disappeared when Lord Krishna took him in his lap. Sisupala’s mother begged Krishna to spare him. Krishna said that He would pardon Sisupala for a hundred offences.
Years later, Sisupala crossed his limit and hurled several abuses at Krishna in Yudhishtir’s court when he was organising the Rajasuya Yagna. The lord tried warning him but to no avail. As soon as he hurled his hundredth abuse, Krishna hurled the Sudarshan Chakra at Sisupala and beheaded him.
Lord Vishnu Cuts Sati’s Body
Sati was the consort of Lord Shiva and the youngest daughter of Daksha. She married Shiva against the wishes of her father who felt that the lord was not worthy of being the partner of a person who belonged to a royal family. So, he did not invite the couple to a yagna that he held in the palace. Sati wanted to go but Lord Shiva refused to go with her. When she went, Daksha humiliated her and Shiva. Unable to bear the humiliation, Sati jumped into the holy fire and immolated herself.
When Shiva heard the news, He was beyond grief. He appeared before Daksha as Virabhadra and beheaded him. Inconsolable by Sati’s departure, He roamed about carrying her corpse on His shoulders. Finally, Lord Vishnu used His Sudarshan Chakra to cut her body into 51 pieces. He tossed the 51 pieces of the corpse on to different parts of the earth. Today, these 51 places are home to various Devi temples, known as Shakthi Peethas.
Lord Krishna Hides the Sun
During the Mahabharata war, Jayadrata killed Abhimanyu, the son of the Pandava prince Arjuna against the ethics of the war. This enraged Arjuna who vowed that he would kill Jayadrata before sunset the next day. When Drona came to know of this, he created a triple layer of protection for Jayadrata. It was impossible for Arjuna to make his way through the three layers before sunset and kill Jayadrata.
Lord Krishna immediately aimed His Sudarshan Chakra towards the sun and blocked it. The Kauravas rejoiced at the fact that the sun had set and Jayadrata was safe. He came forward to mock at Arjuna and celebrate his defeat. Krishna withdrew the chakra at exactly this moment and revealed the sun. He asked Arjuna to kill Jayadrata who in turn immediately does what he is told.
Lord Vishnu Saves Ambarisha
King Ambarisha was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. Once, he decided to take a fast on Ekadasi for a year and break the fast the next day. On the last month, Sage Durvasa arrived in the king’s court along with his devotees just as the king was getting ready to end his fast. The sage was known for his anger. The king gave him a warm welcome and invited him to be his royal guest.
The sage agreed and told the king to wait for him until he returned after a bath in the Yamuna. The auspicious moment for Ambarisha to break his fast came but there was no sign of Durvasa. The priest in the court told the king to end his fast by eating a tulsi leaf. The sage appeared just as the king did so with hesitation. He felt that he was not given the respect for a guest and directed a demoness to kill Ambarisha. Lord Vishnu immediately sent His Sudarshan Chakra that killed the demoness and started chasing the sage.
Durvasa appealed to Lord Vishnu to save him. However, the lord said that he was helpless and that the sage could be saved only if Ambarisha forgave him. The sage sought pardon from the king who immediately requested the lord to withdraw the chakra.
Hindus worship the Sudarshan Chakra in the form of the Maha Sudarshan Yantra. The yantra holds a special place in the pooja room of any devout Hindus. There are several beej mantras inscribed in different parts of the yantra that help the devotee get rid of negative emotions in his/her life.Its energised patterns have many healing properties that help the worshipper recover from illness.