The Sudarshan Chakra is a powerful weapon used in the celestial world. It is a divine wheel that has the potency to annihilate anything that comes in the path. The sacred disc is in whirling motion perpetually and sits on the right index finger of the Supreme Protector and Preserver, Vishnu. It is a very auspicious weapon.
The Sudarshan Chakra has 108 serrated edges and can travel several million yojanas (1 yojana = 8 kilometers). The Chakra is only sent against enemies and has immense powers of the occult and spiritualism. Once it leaves the finger and starts chasing the enemy, it will not return until the task is completed. Once the task is completed, it returns to the attacker. The only way to escape from this powerful weapon is to surrender to it. It is enough to surrender to Vishnu.
The Sudarshan Chakra finds mention in the ancient Hindu texts of the Rigveda, Yajurveda, as well as the Puranas. It is considered a weapon of law and is used to eliminate the enemy.
There are varying connotations and perceptions of the Sudarshan Chakra. During the Vedic period, the Sudarshan Chakra was perceived as Vishnu's symbol of the wheel of time. However, contrary to this perception, in the latter half of the medieval age, the sacred wheel was thought to be the Ayudha Purush, a weapon of destruction used by a more aggressive form of Vishnu. In the Tamil language, the Sudarshan Chakra is referred to as the Chakkrath Azhwar or the Ring of God.
Features of the Sudarshan Chakra:
The Sudarshan Chakra has twelve spokes that represent the twelve months on the Hindu Lunar calendar, and the twelve deities – Som Indra, Varun, Vayu, Agni, Vij, Mitra, Indragni, Prajapati, Vishvadev, Dhanvantari, etcetera. The divine wheel has six navels that represent the six seasons.
The middle part of the Sudarshan Chakra is stable, and each element represents a quality. Bhruvi represents equality, Bhag represents radiance, Sampada represents the nectar of nutrition, and Nirdesh represents speed.
The Chakra has twenty- seven spokes charged with the energy of twenty- seven feminine principles that are created from Prajapati. It contains the Yoginipanchak – the five cosmic elements that have no boundaries of time or direction.
The cosmic elements are:
Yogini is the who bestows one with energy that is unobtainable.
Lakshmi is the one who bestows one with the achievement of the target (lakshyam).
Narayani is the all-pervading.
Murdhini - That which flows through the Murdha, the linear part in the section running lengthwise between the center of eyebrows and spinal column. Murdhini refers to frequencies that directly intersect the head.
Randhra – is the energy or speed that transforms into the most subtle.
The Parigh (perimeter) has eight masculine principles:
Aditya is the radiance that came into being and continues to persist.
Varuni is the deity of water that controls the dikbhavas, the main center of directions.
Juhu is the most subtle speed that has radiance derived from the lunar clusters.
Indra – Frequencies that display greatness.
Narayan- One who is endowed with the energy of the movement of the Navanarayanas (nine serpents).
Navadha – The concept of Navanarayana, Navanaga, and Navavidha combined to form the Navadha.
Gandhi is the one who travels on earth.
Mahisha is the blissful principle in Mahesha.
The Sudarshan Chakra is so tiny in size that it can be kept on the tip of the Tulsi plant. Conversely, it is so big that it can cover the entire universe.
Power of the Sudarshan Chakra
The Sudarshan Chakra is powered by the mind of the one who wields this divine disc. Once it is released, it travels at tremendous speed behind the enemy and annihilates. The sacred wheel is still under the control of the one who wields it even after it is released. It returns only when the task is accomplished.
The Chakra travels the Shunyamarg (path of zero stress) and can reach anywhere within a moment. It can reach the enemy within the blink of an eye. When the Chakra faces an obstacle, it increases its speed, which is called Hansagati. The divine wheel makes no sound and is noiseless. The sacred disc is the ultimate weapon that can destroy anything.
Mythology Associated with Sudarshan Chakra
There are many mythologies associated with the origin of the Sudarshan Chakra. While some believe that the combined forces of the Trinity- Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, and Lord Shiva formed the Sudarshan Chakra, some say the divine wheel was given to Vishnu by his Guru, Brihaspati.
One popular mythology has it that the Devas (cosmic Gods) were being tortured by the Asuras(demons) almost every day. Unable to bear the suffering, they approached Vishnu and sought his help to defeat the demons permanently. As Vishnu was not powerful enough to defeat the demons, he asked Shiva for help. Shiva was, however, in a trance, and Vishnu, not wishing to disturb him, started praying to Shiva, hoping to be heard by him one day. Thousands of years passed, yet Vishnu did not give up. He continued to chant Shiva's name every day. He offered one thousand lotus blossoms to Shiva each day. Meanwhile, the Gods were continued to be tortured by the demons. One day, Shiva finally came out of his trance.
Vishnu joyfully went to gather one thousand lotus blossoms for Shiva, who had already decided to grant Vishnu whatever he asked. But he wanted to play a trick on him first. He secretly went to the site where Vishnu had placed the lotus flowers and quietly took one of them away. While offering prayers to Shiva, Vishnu noticed the absence of one lotus blossom. He immediately plucked out one eye and placed it before Shiva. Deeply touched by Vishnu's devotion, Shiva agreed to grant Vishnu whatever he asked for. Vishnu asked for a weapon to destroy the demons, and Shiva gave him the sacred disc, staying that it would help him conquer all his enemies.
Another story states that the Sudarshan Chakra was made by the God of Architecture, Vishwakarma. His daughter Sanjana was married to the Sun God Surya, and she was unable to go near him because of his brilliance and blazing heat. Sanjana complained to her father, and Vishwakarma took the Sun and reduced his brilliance so that his daughter could lead a normal married life with him. Vishwakarma took the leftover Sun dust and created three divine things from it -the famed aerial vehicle, the Pushpaka Vimana, the Trishul (trident) of Shiva, and the Sudarshan Chakra of Vishnu.
Significance of the Sudarshan Chakra
The mighty Sudarshan Chakra was used by Shri Krishna in the epic Mahabharat, where the Sudarshan Chakra beheads Shishupal for his avaricious behavior. Sri Krishna used the divine disc to create an artificial sunset to destroy Jayadrath in the Kurukshetra war. When Sri Krishna held up the Govardhan mountain, he held the Sudarshan Chakra below it for support. The Chakra was again used to cut the celestial mountain Mandrachal Parvat for churning the ocean of milk.
The Chakra was used to cut the body of Sati into 51 parts after she immolated herself by throwing herself into the Yagna fire held at her father's place. Shiva was carrying her lifeless body and was so deep in grief he was inconsolable. The divine disc cut Sati’s body into 51 parts which were then thrown in different parts of Bharat and became the Shakti Peeths. Shiva was angered and is believed to have swallowed the Sudarshan Chakra. He then went into Samadhi Sthithi. This emboldened the Asuras, who started attacking the Devas, and finally, Vishnu had to approach Shiva through severe penance. Ultimately, Shiva granted him the Sudarshan Chakra as a boon to defeat the Asuras.
The Sudarshan Chakra is an embodiment of truth and infinity. It occupies a significant place in Indian mythology. The Sudarshan Chakra is always in motion and turns or revolves unceasingly. The sacred wheel is regarded as a deity of energy and power.
It was believed that the Sudarshan Chakra was also used to find lost things. The divine disc is used only on the rarest of occasions, and Vishnu with the Sudarshan Chakra is an indication that he is the owner and keeper of the celestial heavens and celestial bodies.
The Sudarshan Mantra
ॐ सुदर्शन महाज्वाल कोटीसूर्य समप्रभ ।
अज्ञानं तस्यमे देव विष्णोर्मार्गम् प्रदर्शय॥
Sudarśana mahājvāla koṭi sūrya Samaprabha |
Ajñānāndhasye me deva viṣṇor mārgaṃ pradarśaya |
Benefits of Chanting Sudarshan Mantra
Regular chanting of the Sudarshan Mantra gives peace and keeps away negative energy and evil influences from one's life. People having health issues and mental stress can chant the Mantra and get relief.
The Sudarshan Chakra is the mightiest of the weapons ever wielded. However, it also carries a lot of spiritual significance. One central aspect that comes into focus is that although the Sudarshan Chakra is a relentless weapon that chases down and annihilates the evil, it also does not harm if the target (individual) has a realization of oneself and turns around and surrenders completely. The upholder of the law and path of righteousness also is merciful and compassionate in that God punishes the evil and negative forces. Yet, if one is willing to realize and surrender, Vishnu comes to the rescue and saves the evildoer from destruction.