How did Lord Krushna acquire Sudarshan Chakra ?

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1. Origin and meaning

The word sudarshan chakra (सुदर्शन चक्र) is derived from two words, su (सु) and darshan (दर्शन). It means the vision (darshan) of which is auspicious (su). The word chakra is derived from chruhu (चृ:)which means movement and kruhu (कृ:) which means to do. Thus chakra means that which is mobile. Of all weapons this is the only one which is constantly in motion.

2. Creation and history

There are various schools of thought regarding its creation as given below.

A. It was created by the combined energy of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.

B. This was given by Bruhaspati, the Guru of the deities to Vishnu.

C. Krushna procured it from the deities (devatamandal).

D. Krushna and Arjun assisted the fire deity (Agni) in burning the Khandav forest. In return He presented Krushna with a discus and a koumodaki mace.

E. Female deities like Narayani, Vaishnodevi, etc. also wield discuses in Their hands

3. Special features

A. Krushna usually holds the discus on His little finger while Vishnu on His index finger. However when aiming it at something Krushna too would do so with His index finger.

B. After its release the enemy is annihilated and it returns to the attacker.

C. Even after releasing it, it remains within the control of the attacker.

D. It travels along the path of zero stress nature and can reach anywhere within a moment.

E. When an obstruction is posed by the enemy the speed of the discus is augmented. This is called the rhansa speed.

F. It is soundless.

4. Composition

Information with regard to its composition is as given below.

A. ‘It is said that it has six spokes and its centre is composed of vajra. It is believed that the words “Sahasrat hum phat (सहस्रात्‌ हुं फट्‍)” are inscribed on each of the spokes.

B. A novel description of the discus has been made in the Vaman Puran (82.23-26). Mr. Vasudevsharan Agraval expresses it as: The discus has been described as the discus of time (kalachakra). It consists of twelve spokes (Dvadashar, Rugveda 1.164.11) and six navels. The twelve spokes represent the twelve months of the Hindu lunar calender and also the twelve deities (Vij, Agni, Som, Mitra, Varun, Indra, Indragni, Vayu, Vishvedev, Prajapati, Dhanvantari, etc.). The six navels represent the six seasons.’

C. Parts of the discus and the implied meaning

  • The middle stable part: It is named bhruvi (equality), bhag (radiance), nirdesh (speed) and sampada (endowed with the nectar of nutrition).

  • The spokes: It has twenty-seven spokes charged with the run energy of the twenty-seven feminine principles created from Prajapati. These spokes contain the yoginipanchak, that is the basic components of the five cosmic elements. The energy in all feminine principles is beyond the restrictions of direction and time.

    • Yogini: ‘योगं नियते इति’ means the one who bestows the energy which is unattainable.

    • Lakshmi: The one who bestows one with the achievement of the target (lakshyam) or the absolute truth.

    • Narayani: All pervading

    • Murdhini: Murdha is the linear part included in the longitudinal section between the centre of the eyebrows and the vertebral column. It is referred to as the line of the head (mastakresha). Murdhini refers to the frequencies which intersect the head directly. These frequencies are present in rudrakshas too. Murdhini or Murdhivahini refers to that which flows through the murdha.

    • Randhra: The speed or energy which transforms into the subtlemost.

  • Parigh: This is constituted by the following eight masculine principles.
    • Aditya: ‘आदि: अत:’ means the radiance which first came into existence and is still persisting.

    • Varuni: Varun is the deity of water. Varun exercises control over the dikbhavs, that is those created from the directions. The dikbhavs are the main centres of the directions. Hence no matter in which direction the discus travels, it is never obstructed.

    • Juhu: The subtlemost speed which is enriched with the radiance (jyoti) derived from the lunar asterisms.

    • Indra: Frequencies displaying greatness.

    • Narayan: The one endowed with the energy of movement of the Navanarayans, the nine serpents [from the universal spiritual energy flow system (kundalini)]

    • Navadha: The Navanarayan, navanag and navavidh concept combined together mean navadha.

    • Gandhi: Those who can travel on the earth.

    • Mahish: The Blissful principle in Mahesh.

  • Size of the discus: It is so tiny that it can be kept on the tip of a leaf of the tulsi plant and at the same time is so vast that it can encompass the entire universe.

5. Illustrations of its use

A. When Shri Krushna lifted the Govardhan mountain for support He held the discus below it.

B. Krushna used it to slay Shishupal.

C. It was used to create an artificial sunset so that Jayadrath could be annihilated. However it was not used by Krushna in the Bharatiya war or in any other battle to slay anyone.

D. When Arjun said that Maruti would not be able to break the bridge of arrows created by him, although Maruti jumped on it, it did not break. This was because to help His friend Arjun, Krushna had supported the bridge placing His discus below it.

E. When Shri Vishnu was enraged with Sage Durvas for having needlessly cursed His beloved devotee King Ambarish, He flung the discus onto Him. The petrified sage ran to the deities, but no one could rescue Him. Finally when He went to Shri Vishnu, The Shri asked Him to beg the king for forgiveness. When the sage complied Vishnu withdrew His discus.

F. It is quoted in a holy text of the Nath sect that once Gorakshanath had stopped the discus.

6. Science behind the idol

‘The idol sporting the discus is fearsome. It has sixteen arms adorned with a conch, a discus, a bow, an axe, a sword, an arrow, a pike, a noose, a goad, fire, a horn of a rhinoceros, a shield, a plough, a pestle, a mace and a spear as weapons. In some places it is customary to consider an idol sporting a discus as that of Shri Vishnu’s.’

Reference : 'Vishnu and His forms', Published by Sanatan Sanstha

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