(2,718 words)

The cakra, significant in the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions, may refer to a weapon, a chariot wheel, the wheel of dharma , the wheel of time, or occasionally, the orb of the sun. In devotional Hindu traditions, the cakra is primarily a discus, a weapon of Viṣṇu, and in this capacity, is eventually personified as Sudarśana (“Beautiful to Behold”). Sometimes the goddesses Durgā and Vaiṣṇavī are also depicted with a cakra in hand. Sudarśana,…

Cite this page
Vasudha Narayanan, “Cakra”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 20 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2012

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