Why did Lord Krishna lift the Sudarshan Chakra?

Krishna Lifts Sudarshana Chakra

We all have heard that Shree Krishna lifted the Sudarshan Chakra during the War of Kurukshetra , even though he had promised not to use any weapon during the battle . So why did he break his bow?

On the third day of the war of Kurukshetra , Bhisma vowed that he would make Krishna lift weapon in the war .

Krishna’a Furious form

On the third day, Bhishma fights aggressively, but Arjuna fights half heartedly, for he is reluctant to fight Bhishma. The description of the entire scene during this event is as follows:

Kṛṣṇa threw down the reins and leapt from the chariot. Taking up a nearby chariot wheel, He raised it above His head as if it were His own favorite weapon, the Sudarśana chakra. He ran toward Bhīṣma as a lion might run at an elephant. The end of His yellow silk garment fluttered in the dusty air, resembling lightning dancing in a dark cloud. The wheel in His hand seemed to glow with His own effulgence, and it looked as beautiful as the primeval lotus from which Brahmā was born. Kṛṣṇa’s dark arm appeared like the stalk of the lotus, and His charming face, covered with beads of perspiration, was its filament.

Seeing Kṛṣṇa intent on Bhīṣma’s destruction, the Kurus felt their end was near. Kṛṣṇa looked like the all-destroying Samvartaka cloud, which appears at the end of the millenium.


Bhīṣma’s limbs trembled and his eyes flooded with tears. Here was the Lord of the universe, breaking His own promise to protect His devotee. The Kuru hero threw down his weapons and stretched out his arms. As Kṛṣṇa approached him he called out, “Come, come, my Lord. O Supreme Deity, Lord of all the gods, I bow to You. Seeing You forsake Your vow to save Your friend, and thus fulfilling my own desire, I am satisfied. Fell me from this chariot, O Keśava. Killed by You, O Janārdana, I will obtain great good fortune. My fame and dignity will be celebrated throughout the worlds.”


Arjuna was mortified to see Kṛṣṇa breaking His promise not to fight. It was his fault. If he had exerted himself against Bhīṣma, this would not have been necessary. Of course, Kṛṣṇa’s promise had been that He would not wield weapons in the war, and a wheel was hardly a weapon, but still, He would be condemned by foolish men for His apparent dishonesty.

Arjuna put down his bow and jumped from the chariot. His armor flashing in the late afternoon sun, he ran after Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa had covered almost half the distance to Bhīṣma. As He ran with the upraised wheel, His upper garment fell from His body into the mud. Gazing at Bhīṣma with eyes red with anger, He shouted, “You are the root of this great slaughter. A wise minister who treads the path of virtue should restrain a wicked king by any means. If that is not possible, then such a wretched monarch should be abandoned.”

Arjuna succeeding in reaching Kṛṣṇa. Hurling himself forward, he caught hold of Kṛṣṇa’s legs. But even with Arjuna hanging onto His thighs, Kṛṣṇa continued to run at Bhīṣma.

Bhīṣma bowed his head and replied to Kṛṣṇa as He came near. “You forever speak the truth, my Lord. I told Dhṛtarāṣṭra to abandon Duryodhana, even as the Bhojas abandoned Kaṁsa, but he did not listen. Surely destiny is all-powerful.”

Dragged by Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna dug his feet into the ground. After taking ten steps with the Pāṇḍava gripping Him tightly, Kṛṣṇa was at last brought to a stop. Arjuna released His legs and fell at His feet. “Quell Your anger, O Keśava. You are the Pāṇḍavas’ refuge, without doubt, but please do not violate Your promise. These were Your words, O Lord: ‘I will not take up arms.’ Do not falsify Your vow. I swear by my sons and brothers that I will make good my promise. You will see me fight as never before. O Kṛṣṇa, at Your command, I shall surely annihilate the Kurus, headed by Bhīṣma.”


Hearing Arjuna’s promise, Kṛṣṇa was pacified. He lowered the chariot wheel. As Bhīṣma looked on in wonder, both Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna turned and walked back to their chariot. Even as they were returning, the sun set and the day’s hostilities ended. Conches were blown on both sides and the two armies withdrew. The battle-weary warriors made their way to their camps, speaking of the wonderful incident between Kṛṣṇa and Bhīṣma. The Kuru chief himself thought only of Kṛṣṇa as he led his forces away for the night. The image of the Yādava hero running toward him with the upraised wheel would stay forever in his heart.

This amazing description of the scene truly fills the heart with a feeling of admiration for the almighty Dwarikadhish Krishna.

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