We would like to thank you for your continued patronage over the last three years. Your support towards ‘Ticket to Tirumala’ - board game, posters and our audible series on TirukOLUr PeNPiLLai Rahasyam has been a great source of motivation for us. We, at Srishti Tales, are continuously striving to roll out meaningful and rich content that strikes a chord with every aspirant seeking to increase his/her knowledge about Sri Vaishnavism.
This blog post is another venture in our efforts to provide theoretical and practical content for children. While the blog will touch on the theoretical aspects or significance of the topic, the worksheets will be a fun way to assimilate the knowledge. Commemorating the auspicious day of Sudarshana Jayanthi (July 7th), we are going to learn about ChakarthALwAr - Sudarshana ChakrA.
Vishnu's Divine Will
Have you noticed the discus on Lord Vishnu’s right hand, in the rear? It is called the Sudarshana ChakrA. It is a manifestation of Lord Vishnu.
It is hailed as His ‘Sankalpa shakti'. - the weapon that carries the will and the might of the Lord. Many stories in mythology revolve around how Lord Vishnu used the mighty ChakrA to behead enemies and protect his devotees.
From the Mythology
One such story is that of ‘GajEndra MOksha’. Lord Vishnu used the Sudarshana ChakrA to kill a crocodile which had GajEndra, the elephant’s legs in its jaws.The elephant being an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu made one cry of help and the Lord rushed to action.
In Treta yuga, King Ambarisha was a steadfast devotee of Lord Vishnu. After observing the EkAdasi fast, on DwAdasi day he was going to break the fast when Sage Durvasa arrived. The King waited patiently for the Sage to get back from his morning ablutions. However, the Sage did not return for a long time. As per his priest's advice, the king drank water to break his fast before 12 noon. Sage Durvasa saw this and took offence at the lack of respect for a guest. He pulled out a strand of hair and brought it to life in the form of a demon. Lord Vishnu looking at Ambarisha’s helplessness wielded the Sudarshana ChakrA which chased Durvasa and finally made him plead forgiveness to King Ambarisha.
KrishnA used the ChakrA to mask the sun while Arjuna was fighting Jayadrata. He also used the ChakrA to kill SishupAlA. The ChakrA was supposed to have been used to kill ‘RAhu’ and ‘KEthu’ during the churning of the ocean.
To ward off evil
In medieval times, there was a rise in Tantrism in India and Sudarshana was invoked as a resolute way to ward off black magic and evil intentions. When faced with threats of invasion from North India, several rulers in the 13th to 15th century AD installed and worshipped Sudarshana ChakrA in temples. The Sudarshana ChakrA idols installed in temples are visible in the present form. On one side there is a flame rimmed circular shape and sixteen weapons held in a deity’s hands. On the other side the Lord Sri NarasihmA is depicted.
Compositions on ChakrathALwAr
In Sri Vaishnava tradition, Sri Koora NArAyaNa Jeeyar composed 'Sudarshana Shatakam' - 100 verses to pray for Thiruvaranga PerumAL Arayar’s recovery from a debilitating illness. Thiruvaranga PerumAL Arayar is said to have recovered after the Jeeyar prayed devoutly at ChakrathALwAr’s altar at Srirangam.
Swami Vedanta Desika composed 'Shodasha-ayudha stotram' - on 16 weapons of Sudarshana and 'Sudarshana-ashtakam' - a set of 8 powerful verses to ward off a deadly fever that had wiped Thiruputkuzhi, a village near KAnchipuram.
On this auspicious day of Sudarshana Jayanthi, let us pray to ChakrathALwAr to lead us on a righteous path and achieve purity of thought, word and deed.
"JAYA JAYA SRI SUDARSHANA"
Click below to download Sudarshana Jayanthi Workbook for children.