By Swami Harshananda
Sudarśana literally means ‘that which has a nice appearance'. Sudarśana is the name of the cakra or discus of Lord Viṣṇu. In his incarnation as Kṛṣṇa he used this weapon quite often. According to certain Śaiva puraṇas, Śiva is said to have gifted it to Viṣṇu who had worshiped him with great devotion at Kāśī.
In iconography, Sudarśana is treated as āyudhapuruṣa and also as an independent deity. He is shown as a figure similar to Viṣṇu, but with six arms or hands. Behind him there is a hexagonal frame enclosed in a flaming circle.
- Āyudhapuruṣa means personified deity of the weapon.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore