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Chakrataazhwar

rjm_at_ulysses.att.com
Date: Thu Jul 13 1995 - 13:41:30 PDT

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From: "V. Sadagopan" <75041.3037@compuserve.com>
To: "INTERNET:rjm@ulysses.att.com" <rjm@ulysses.att.com>
Subject: Chakrataazhwar
Message-Id: <950713013104_75041.3037_GHJ164-1@CompuServe.COM>
Status: R

Sriram: Here are some points on the Back to back iconography of Narasimha and
Sudarsana . Up to the seventh century AD, the narasimha Icons had two hands
only.Afterthat Period of Pallavas, the Iconography of Narasimha became complex
with his Form having 16 and even 32 hands. The two-in-one icon came into vogue
by daring sculptors. Narasimha-Sudarsana and Subrahmanya-Lakshmi Narasimha are
two such creations. The latter is a very rare one seen  in  atemple 30 miles ot
the Norht of Bangalore and is known as Ghati Subrahmanya. According to the
iconographic traditions, Subrahmanya faces  east and Natrasimha faces
West. 

Now , Coming back to Sudarsana -Narasimha vigraha followa the Vighanasa and
Pancharatra Agama stipulations on  Narasimha Iconography. According to Vaikanasa
Agama, Narasimhan has to be worshipped in 4 Places , namely, below the  earth,
in pillars, on hills and in Sudarsana. Presence of Narasimha inside the
Sudarsana wheel is pointed out by Padma Samhita(31 and 257) .Narasimha is
considered  as residing in the heart of Sudarsana.THe Sudarsana disc(wheel )
itself  is recognized as a form of  Vishnu (ie) he being present as Chakra rupi.
Thus in worshipping Sudarsana chakra, we not only worship Narasimha , but also
Vishnu in all other forms.

The Puranas(Agni, Narada, Vishnu Dharmottara ) also provide some clues in this
matter.Narada purana in particular elaborates on the worship of Narasimha in the
Ugra form with 16 arms. Narasimha is presented a shaving the lustre of the
deadly fire (Kaalanala). Sudarsana has been recognized as the wheel of
time(Kaala)  in Mahabharatha . Sudarsana is also the Maha Jyothi of a Mighty
Jwaala , similar to the one seen around the head of Jwaala Narasimhan, with his
shrine on the upper reaches of the Ahobila Hills. Jwaala Narasimhan is one of
the Nava Narasimhas and the tradition has it that it is this form of Narasimhan,
who destroyed Hiranyakasipu. We have to piece the fact of Jwaala and the time
aspects of that Jwaala , which is represented by Sudharsana, the mighty weapon
of the Lord.

Some people have also speculated on the Time  aspect of the Sudharsana thru its
revolving motion (dynamics) and the Space  aspects of the Form denoted by
Sankam(Panchajanyam) . Here again the revolving mighty flame associated with
Sudharsana reminds one of the Kaalagni alluded to earlier. Swami Desikan"s
reference in his Shodasaayudha Stotram makes reference to Kaala chakram  and
Jagat chakram (Time and space) being incorporated in the Lord (CHAKRINA:) , who
is of the form of the divine  disc(CHAKRA RUPASYA)> Verse 2<.

Hope this provides some input for additional reflections,

Sadagopan