[Note: To be clear, I am not asking why Ravana wouldn't be harmed or killed by the Sudarshana Chakra; that's obvious. I'm asking why and under what circumstances Vishnu launched the Sudarshana Chakra at Ravana.]

In the Sundara Kanda of the Valmiki Ramayana, Hanuman sneaks into Ravana's palace and sees Ravana sleeping. And in particular he sees Ravana' arms:

That Hanuman also saw the wealthy Ravana's arms tied with golden armlets thrown apart, resembling flag staffs raised in honor of Indra. Those arms had wounds made by stabbing from the pointed edges of tusks of Iraavata and fleshy shoulders smeared with diamond and hit by Vishnu chakra.

My question is, what is the story of Vishnu hitting Ravana with his Sudarshana Chakra (discus weapon)? This excerpt from the Uttara Kanda of the Ramayana describes how when Ravana was attacking Devaloka, Indra asked Vishnu for help in fighting Ravana. But Vishnu refused, saying that Ravana had a boon that he couldn't be killed by any god, but that he would soon incarnate on the Earth as Rama to defeat him:

Do not fear, hear what I have to say. He is invincible by virtue of the boon, and that vicious-souled one is incapable of being vanquished even by the celestials and Asuras. Irrepressible by virtue of his prowess, that Rakshasa, with his son, shall accomplish a mighty object. O lord of celestials, even if I am requested by thee, I shall not withstand the Rakshasa, Ravana in the conflict. Without slaying the enemies in the encounter Vishnu doth never go back — but it is hard to fulfill my desire from Ravana, well protected by the boon. However I do promise before thee, O lord of the Devas, O performer of hundred sacrifices, I shall, soon become the cause of this Rakshasa's death. I shall soon destroy Ravana with his family in due time and afford delight unto the Devas. I speak the truth unto thee, O king of the Devas, O lord of Sachi; do thou divested of fear, fight, O thou gifted with great strength, along with the Devas.

So if Vishnu didn't fight Ravana during the battle of Devaloka, when did he hit Ravana's shoulder with the Sudarshana Chakra?

  • 2
    Your 'gdurl.com/bvwY' link resulted in a pdf download. Please do not link to something other then a webpage, specially that results in a download or at least mention it is a download!
    – X10
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 8:27
  • @108ium It shouldn't cause a download. It's just supposed to make the PDF appear in the browser. Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 15:26
  • Sudarshan chakra was pure & not at all interested to be wet by ravna blood
    – user957
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 14:42
  • My question isn't about why the Sudarshana Chakra did not harm Ravana, it's about what the story is of Vishnu hitting Ravana with the Sudarshana chakra. Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 15:05
  • For this to answer, i would like to know, what have understood based on Sri Valmiki Ramayanam. I mean to ask / understand, if you do understand moral that possibly your questions does get answers automatically when you are following the same in living life. To understand inner things of Sri Valmiki Ramayanam, we should also keep in mind of Garuda Puranam, Skaandha Puranam, Varaha Puranam and etc. Ramayanam has not come to make you statement, it has given a Rama+Ayanam (the way of Rama living life) details to understand change ourselves where ever required by inspiring the same.
    – Vijay
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 7:06

5 Answers 5


Ravana was hit with Sudarshana Chakra in his war with Gods.

विष्णु चक्र निपातैः च शतशो देव संयुगे |
अन्यैः शस्त्रैः प्रहारैः च महायुद्धेषु ताडितम् || ३-३२-१०

His body bears hundreds of welts caused when assaulted with Vishnu-disc for hundreds of times in wars with gods, and when assaulted for hundreds of times with the other assaults-missiles in other gruesome wars as well, and Shuurpanakha saw at such a Ravana. [3-32-10]

Agni gave Sudarshana to Krishna. It is silly to assume that Ravana fought with Vishnu.Malyawat scared Ravana that Rama could be Vishnu. The conversation confirms that Vishnu was enough to scare Ravana.Trishula is the infallible weapon but Lord Rama destroyed Lord Shiva Trishula is his war with Makraksha.

दुरवापं महच्छूलं रुद्रदत्तं भयंकरम् |
जाज्वल्यमानमाकाशे संहारास्त्रमिवापरम् || ६-७९-३२.
यं दृष्ट्वा देवताः सर्वा भयार्ता विद्रुता दिशः |

  1. mahat shuulam = (He took) that great spike; yam dR^iShTvaa = by seeing which; sarvaaH devataaH = all the godheads; bhayaartaaH = were afflicted with fear; vidrutaah = and fled; dishaH = to different directions; duravaapam = which was difficult to be obtained; rudradattam = which was gifted by Rudra; one of the eight forms of Shiva the lord of dissolution; bhayamkaram = which was terrible; jaajvalyamaanam = which flamed violently; aakaasho = in the sky; aparam samhaaraastram iva = like another weapon of destruction.

That great spike, which was difficult to be obtained, was gifted to him by Rudra, one of the eight forms of Shiva the Lord of Dissolution. That terrible spike, which flamed violently in the sky, looked like another new weapon of destruction of the world. On seeing it, all the godheads were afflicted with fear and fled to different quarters.

Yuddha Kanda Sarga 79


No answer can be found to above questions in Srimad Ramayana.

The answer lies elsewhere.

Till Mahabharata period, i.e, around 3102 B.C., the Gods from Vedic Pantheon were worshiped.

Lord Brahma is the Ruler of of all Worlds. - ब्रह्मा लोकाधिपो यथा (Srimad Ramayana, Bala Kanda). Indra's status was held next to him.

In Vedic Era, Vishnu was next to Indra and he is the younger brother of Indra.

The Vishnu Chakra was one among many weapons available to anybody, who performs austerities. In Bala Kanda, even Sage Viswamitra used Vishnu Chakra against Sage Vasistha.

धर्म चक्रम् काल चक्रम् विष्णु चक्रम् तथैव च | वायव्यम् मथनम् चैव अस्त्रम् हय शिरः तथा ||

"And he launched discs called the Discs of Virtue, Time and Vishnu and he also launched other missiles like the Blower, Stirrer and like that the missile with Horse-head. "

The Who is Who of Kings of Mahabharata Era, except a few, fought and got eliminated in the Mahabharata war. After the Rule of Pandavas that lasted for 36 years, no strong administration, directing the people in General in adhering to Vedic Way of life, in the entire country was in place.

This lead to decadence in Human values and grouping among various petty rulers. As a result, Vishnu, who was one among 33 Gods, had been elevated to the status of God of Gods.

So it was in Puranas that Vishnu and his Chakra were described as SUPREME.

Sage Valmiki, who existed in Vedic Era, duly followed Vedic Pantheon only. Hence, Ravana survived Vishnu Chakra's attack.

  • 1
    (1/2) "Vishnu was next to Indra and he is the younger brother of Indra" - the one who was Upendra or Indranuja was not Vishnu himself but his incarnation as Vamana..
    – YDS
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 18:35
  • 1
    (2/2) And who says that Vishnu is not shown as supreme in Ramayana..This is what Brahma himself says: "Seetha is no other than Goddess Lakshmi (the divine consort of Lord Vishnu), while you are Lord Vishnu. O Rama! I (Brahma) am your heart. Saraswathi, the goddess (of learning) is your tongue. O lord! The gods created by Brahma are the hair on all your limbs. You (Vishnu) are the origin and the dissolution of all." -valmikiramayan.net/utf8/yuddha/sarga117/yuddha_117_frame.htm
    – YDS
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 18:35
  • 1
    Is their a difference between Srimad Ramayana and Valmiki Ramayana? Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 4:44

This is what I infer from the below story quoted from here. Since Ravana was defeated by Kartavirya Arjuna an Incarnation of Vishnu's Sudharshana Chakra, scars could be battle wounds inflicted by him. It is only my guess and I'm not certain about it.

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.

Kartavirya's power is popularly told in the Ramayana. He was the contemporary of Ravana.Kartavirya became so powerful that he was even able to defeat and imprison the demon king Ravana at the Godavari.

  • Thanks for your answer, but first of all, you should add a link to the webpage that you quoted that story from: puja.net/Pages/Yagyas/Journal/05Events/05Dec/NaraSudarshana.htm Second of all, it's an interesting thought, but I don't see how Kartavirya Arjuna being an incarnation of the Sudarshana Chakra would make the wounds he inflicted look like the marks of the Sudarshana Chakra. Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 16:43

The story in the article below might answer your question. I'm not able to find a citation for this story from the original text.


Once Ravan attacked vaikunth lok. Garuda, the chariot of Vishnu, ran away being terrified. Then Vishnu attacked Ravan with his Sudharshan Chakra. Ravan was so powerful that he made Sudharshan of Vishnu powerless.

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    Thanks for your answer, but a forum post isn't a very reliable source of information. So you should try to find a more reliable source to back up your answer. Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 17:22

The chakra mentioned in Sundara Kanda is not Sudarshana Chakra. So many other devatas and asuras were using chakra as a weapon. It is like any ordinary mace compared to kaumodaki.

As regards the other story of Sudarshana chakra was powerless infront of Raavana... Can't be true. And is Garuda ever scared of anything? He is THE MIGHTIEST of all.

  • 2
    Welcome to Hinduism SE. You should cite some sources to support your answer
    – Vedantism
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 15:54

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