The Origin of Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra

This is the story of how Vishnu’s Sudarshana Chakra came into existence. The asuras, or demons, were extremely bad. They always tortured the cosmic gods. At one time, the cosmic gods were suffering so much from the attacks of the demons that they went to see Lord Vishnu. They wanted to seek his help in defeating the demons.

Vishnu said to them, “I do not have enough power to defeat or destroy the demons. I must seek help from Shiva. I will ask him to give me a special weapon that will help me defeat the demons.”

When Vishnu went to Shiva, he found Lord Shiva in trance. Vishnu did not want to disturb Shiva’s meditation, so he started praying and praying to Shiva with the hope that one day he would come out of his trance.

Every day, for years and years, Vishnu prayed to Shiva, meditated on Shiva and chanted Shiva’s name very devotedly. He offered one thousand lotus blossoms to Shiva every day. Each time he offered Shiva a lotus blossom, he would chant Shiva’s name.

This went on for such a long time and still Shiva remained rapt in trance. Poor Vishnu was helpless! The gods were being mercilessly tortured by the demons and he was unable to save them.

Finally, after many long years, Shiva came out of his trance. Vishnu’s joy knew no bounds. He ran to gather one thousand lotus blossoms so that he could worship Lord Shiva and ask for a special boon.

Shiva had already decided that he would grant Vishnu the boon, but first he wanted to play a trick on Vishnu. He secretly went to the spot where Vishnu had placed the lotus flowers and stole one flower. Now there were only 999 flowers.

After making all his preparations, Vishnu began to worship Shiva most devotedly. One by one, he offered the lotus flowers and chanted Shiva’s name. When he came to the end, he realised that one flower was missing. He had only counted 999. That meant he had to go and find one more lotus. Instead of doing that, he immediately plucked out one of his eyes and placed it before Shiva.

When Shiva saw that Vishnu had such devotion for him, he said, “I will grant you anything that you ask for.”

“Please give me something that will help me to conquer the asuras,” said Vishnu.

Shiva replied, “I give you this round disc. It will help you to conquer all your enemies. No matter how many demons come to attack you and the other gods, you will be able to defeat them all with this disc.”

The name of the disc was the Sudarshana Chakra. When Lord Krishna took incarnation, Vishnu gave him this chakra, because Krishna was the embodiment of Vishnu. Krishna could immediately use the chakra at any time; it was his own property. Sri Chaitanya also used the Sudarshana Chakra a few times. He was able to invoke it and it would come to him. When he wanted to kill Jagai and Madhai, for example, he invoked it. These two ruffians saw it coming from Heaven and became extremely frightened. Before it reached them, they surrendered to Sri Chaitanya.

The Sudarshana Chakra is not thrown. With will-power it is sent against the enemy. It rotates very, very fast after leaving the finger and chases the enemy. The chakra itself is round and has something like the points of arrows all around its edge. It has tremendous occult and spiritual power to destroy everything. Nobody can stand against the Sudarshana Chakra.

Sri Chinmoy