Charudutta Panigrahi & Shallu Jindal

Vaikuntha is the seat of Lord Vishnu and Sudarshan is the energy that propels us to Vaikuntha, Puri

sudarshana maha-jvala koti-surya-samaprabha ajnana-timirandhananam vaikunthadva-paradipah

“O Sudarshana! The fiery radiance, possessing power of millions of Suns, please pull me out of my ignorance and lead me to Vaikuntha.” (Skanda Purana)

Vaikuntha is the seat of Lord Vishnu and Sudarshan is the energy that propels us to Vaikuntha, Puri. Sudarshan is placed on Chakra yantra at Ratnasinghasan of the Vaikuntha, Puri. He is worshiped with the Pavamana sukta (Chakrasukta). Pavamana Sukta are the hymns or mantras meant for purification.

The world is nothing but name and form, which is falsehood from an absolute point of view. The reality is the Atma, the supreme Brahman which pervades the name and form or the world. The whole idea is to move from ‘Asat ‘to ‘Sat’- from name and form to reality. So, life’s purpose is to move from the names and forms to the substratum which is reality. To do this, we need to discover the Atma which is covered by impurities such as Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, Matsarya, Bhaya, etc.

These impurities should be removed through Karma, Bhakti, Gyan yoga, and thus, one frees oneself from these impurities ( Darkness) and move to the light within. Once the person reaches the light ( pure consciousness) within, the body /mind/ intellect complex which is mortal and unreal is absolutely negated and identified with the immortal reality – the Atma and attains enlightenment.

Sri Chakra Yantra or the Sri Yantra which is Lorded by Sudarshan is the key to prosperity and happiness in life. It radiates energy for the mortal world. There are nine interlocked triangles in the Yantra which surround and spin-out from the centre point (the moola), the point of convergence between the physical universe and its divine source. Similarly, this is manifested in the human body which has seven energy centres, Chakras, that steer life.

Chakras are the energy centres in our body also called the ‘whirlpool of energy’ and are the embodiment of Sudarshan. Sudarshan has laid the blueprint for Kundalini awakening and is believed to be Jupa shakti (the “staff of power”), associated with the lightning or thunderbolt, and is representative of the divine power or the shakti of the purusha. The Stambha or Jupa shakti or Sudarshan is usually installed at the yajna salas where rituals are conducted. He symbolizes the cycle of birth and death and is always attached to Subhadra.

Many also believe that (majorly under Vaishnavism) Sudarshan is also Radha. His position is always to the left of Lord Jagannath and during Radhashtami, Sudarshan goes on nagara-parikrama (city visit). The four letters ja. ga, na, tha of Jagannath encompasses all – Sri Jagannath, Sri Balabhadra, Maa Subhadra and Sri Sudarshan.

This four-fold image is Chaturdha murti. Sudarshan stands for energy, agility, and hence during Rath Yatra, Sudarshan is carried to the Rath by running Daitapatis/Servitors and is never ushered slowly into Rath, as is the case for the other Lords. In the Chaturdha Murti, Sudarshan also symbolizes the amalgamation of both Purusha and Prakriti and so His vertical shape indicates the holistic dimension of life by enriching Prana through a straight spine. During disasters like COVID, maintaining a straight back will reduce stress considerably.

Skanda Purana refers to Sudarshan as the personification of the pranava omkara bright and all pervading. In Puri Rath yatra, When He is seated beside Subhadra in Debadalan Chariot, Sudarshan embodies the Adya Sakti of Lord Jagannath. Concurrently he is the also conductor of energy, the Brahma Purusha in the shaft form known to all of us as Chakraraj Sudarshan. He ushers in life force as an integral part of Chaturdha murti (the four-fold idol). Lifeforce is our life.

With the blessings of Pranava Omkara, let us straighten our backs, generate positive energy, and fight COVID in everyday life.

(Charudutta Panigrahi is an author & futurist. Shallu Jindal is a Kuchipudi exponent and an ardent Jagannath devotee)