The Story of Narasimha and Sudarshana Chakra


Sudarshana Chakra

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The Sudarshana Chakra Story

Sage Narada was once visiting Vaikunta, the abode of Lord Vishnu. He extolled the Lord in very colorful terms. Vishnu's major weapon was the 'Chakra' (sharp-edged spinning wheel) known as 'Sudarshana Chakra'. So far none could face it and come out of the attack victorious. The Chakra had a deity associated with it and he used to boast that all the powers the Lord had were due to him and He couldn't kill the demons without his help. Narada's praising of Vishnu angered him; he was sore that Narada had ignored his prowess.

Learning of this, Vishnu called him and said 'Dear Sudarshana, it is true I defeated the Asuras with your help. Go to earth and be born a thousand-armed hero; I will come and appear as the son of a sage. Let us match our strength there!"

The Sudarshana Chakra could no longer remain in Vaikunta and came down to earth. Kritaveerya, belonging to the Lunar Race, was childless for a long time and later a son without arms was born to him. However, he acquired one thousand arms and invincibility by the grace of Lord Dattatreya.But this arrogant man, Kartaveeryarjuna, and faced Parashurama in battle and died.The Sudarshana Chakra was thus subdued.

And another perspective:

  • Origin and meaning:

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

  • Creation and history:
    There are various schools of thought regarding the creation of the discus, as given below.
  1. It was created by the combined energy of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.

  2. Bruhaspati, the Guru of the deities, gave the discus to Lord Vishnu.

  3. Sri Krishna procured it from the deities (devatamandal).

  4. Sri Krishna and Arjun assisted the fire deity (Agnidev) in burning the Khandav forest. In return He presented Krishna with a discus and a koumodaki mace.

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

  • Special features:
  1. Krishna usually holds the discus on His little finger while Vishnu on His index finger. However, when aiming it at something, Krishna, too, would do so with His index finger.

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

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

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

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

  6. It is soundless.

  • Composition of the discus:
  1. ‘It is said that the discus has six spokes and its center is composed of vajra (an unbreakable material). It is believed that the words, “Sahasrat hum phat” are inscribed on each of the spokes.’

  2. 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 calendar and also the twelve deities (Vij, Agni, Som, Mitra, Varun, Indra, Indragni, Vayu, Vishvadev, Prajapati, Dhanvantari, etc.). The six navels represent the six seasons.’
    - Bharatiya Sanskrutikosh.
  3. Parts of the discus and their implied meaning:
  1. The middle stable part: It is named bhruvi (equality), bhag (radiance), nirdesh (speed) and sampada (endowed with the nectar of nutrition).

  2. The spokes: It has twenty-seven spokes charged with the runa 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.

  3. Parigh (periphery): This is constituted by the eight masculine principles.

  4. Shape of the discus: It is so tiny that it can be kept on the tip of a leaf of the tulsi (sacred basil, occimum sanctum) plant. At the same time it is so vast that it can encompass the entire universe.

  • Illustrations of its use:
  1. When Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan mountain for support He held the discus below it.

  2. Lord Krishna used it to slay Shishupal.

  3. It was used to create an artificial sunset so that Jayadrath could be annihilated. However, Lord Krishna did not use it in the Bharatiya war (battle of Mahabharata) or in any other battle to slay anyone.

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

  5. When Lord Vishnu was enraged with Sage Durvas for needlessly placing a curse on His beloved devotee King Ambarish, He flung the discus onto the Sage. The petrified Sage ran to the deities, but no one could rescue Him from the discus. Finally when He went to Lord Vishnu, The Lord asked Him to beg the king for forgiveness. When the Sage complied, Lord Vishnu withdrew His discus.

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

Statue of Sri Krishna with the Sudarshan Chakra:

    ‘The statue of Sri Krishna sporting the discus is fearsome. It has sixteen arms adorned with the discus, a conch, a bow, an arrow, an axe, a sword, 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 the statue sporting a discus as that of Lord Vishnu’s.’


SLOKA/PRAYER for Sri Sudarsana

Prathibhata Shrevi Bhishana
Varaguna Sthoma Bhusana
Janibhaya Sthana Karana
Jagadavasthana Karana
Nikhila Dushkarna Karshana
Nigavana Saddhama Darshana
Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarshana
Jaya Jaya Sri Sudarshana


Each sloka/prayer has significant meanings conveying the following:

a) Shatru Parajanga (defeat of enemies)
b) Khayathi Prapti (attaining honor)
c) Papa Karma Vimochana (relieving Papa and Karma)
d) Sampath Prapti (prosperity)
e) Manorathi Siddhi (fulfillment of ambitions)
f) Vyadhi nivarana (relief from diseases)
g) Jaya Prapti (conquering)
h) Sakala Siddhi Prapti (achieving all ambitions)

Story of Lord Narasimha

Hiranyakashipu (the brother of Hiranyaksha who was killed by the Varaha Avtar) wanted to take revenge on the Devatas and in particular on Lord Vishnu. He wanted to become the master of all the three worlds - Heaven, Earth & Pathala. He went to Mount Mandarachala and began penance which continued for years. Due to the intensity of Penance, Lord Brahma appeared before Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyakashipu asked for immortality as boon. Brahma, however, declined, saying "All living beings must face death Hiranyakashipu. You can, however, choose your death wish."

Hiranyakashipu then asked for three conditions, as his death wish, "'O Brahma, let not death come to me either by man or beast, nor devil, nor god shall cause my death by day or by night with steel or stone or wood, indoors or outdoors, or earth or in sky. Grant me undisputed lordship over the world". Brahma agreed and Hiranyakashipu got his death wishes granted. Thus he became practically immortal.

After securing such a boon Hiranyakashipu conquered  the worlds and became a tyrant. He banned all poojas on Vishnu and declared himself as God. The Devtas approached Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu asked them to be patient and said, "Hiranyakashipu' s son Prahlad is a devotee of me. When Hiranyakashipu seeks to kill my devotee I will slay him." Hiranyakashipu's wife Kayadhu gave birth to Prahlad in the Ashrama of Narada who told Prahlad about the glory of Lord Vishnu. Prahlad grew up and became an ardent devotee of Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu, however, wanted his son to be the king of the Asuras, strong and ruthless. Realising that Prahlad always prayed to Lord Vishnu, Hiranyakashipu took his son to Shanku and Amarka, the sons of Shukracharya, for schooling. All their efforts to inflence Prahlad failed.

Hiranyakashipu ordered his servents to kill Prahlad if he refused to accept the supremacy of his father. They tried to kill him by throwing down a mountain, drowning, poisoning, burning etc. and failed in all attempts since Lord Vishnu saved him from all the attempts. The king got angry on hearing the reports about Prahlad.

One day the king challenged his son in the open court:

"Prahlad! Is my enemy, whom you worship, present anywhere here?".

Prahlad replied, "Vishnu is omnipresent. There's not a single place where he's not found."

Hiranyakashipu's fury was at its climax. He got an iron pillar heated and asked Prahlad, "Can you embrace this pillar if your Vishnu is in it also?"

Prahlad did not hesitate even for a moment but rushed towards the pillar and embraced it. The heated iron did not burn him. The king got up from his throne in fury and hit the pillar with his mace.

And to his surprise! The pillar cracked with a thundering sound and Vishnu appeared there in the form of Narasimha.

One half of his body was of a lion and the other half of a man. He had matted hair on his head, large moustaches on the face and terrible teeth in the mouth. His paws had terrible nails on them.

Hiranyakashipu remembered his first death wish, "To be killed by some one who is neither human nor beast." It was also the twilight hour, neither day nor night, the second death wish.

The demon king hit Narasimha with his mace but Narasimha brushed it aside swiftly. It was twilight and Narasimha caught hold of the demon Hiranyakashipu.

He sat on the threshold of the court room, placed the body of the demon on his thighs, and pierced his nails into the body of the demon and broke open his stomach. The demon was killed on the spot in a moment. The place was neither inside nor outside. This was Hiranyakashipu’s third death wish.

Lord Narasimha was furious and roared. However, he was passified when Prahlad touched his feet and goddess Lakshmi also tried to cool him. Lord Narasimha then made Prahlad the King.

SLOKA/PRAYER for Sri Yoga Narasimha

Om Namo Narasimhya
Hiranyakashipu Vaksha Sthala Vidaranaya
Thri Bhuvana Vyapakaya
Bootha Preta Pishachi Shakini Dakini
Keelanon Moolanaya
Sthabidbhave Samasta Sishan
Hana Hana Sara Sara Chhala Chhala
Kampa Kampa Matha Matha Hoom Patt Hoom Patt
Tantaha Narasimhaya Namaha ||


One Who has pierced and Killed Hiranyakashipu
And one who is all pervading and
Omnipotent On Narasimha
You destroy all evil forces and throw away
The Powers of devil and demons by appearing
Instantally form the pillar making great thunderous sounds
I offer my Namaskarams to You ||




















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