Did Shiva Give Vishnu the Sudarshan Chakra?
My wife showed me this painting and asked, ”What story is this?
This story is not from any Purāṇa, or any Upaṇiṣad or from any Veda. Some devotees of Śiva wrote a poem called Śrī Śiva Mahimna Stotra, in which they claim that Viṣṇu got the Sudarśan Cakra from Śiva.
Their idea is that Viṣṇu could not defeat the asuras to protect the devas, so he went to seek Śiva’s help.
Śiva was in trance, so Viṣṇu worshipped him for many, many days by offering 1,000 lotus flowers, and chanting Śiva’s name with each flower he offered. Finally Śiva came out of trance while Viṣṇu was gathering flowers. He stole one of the flowers Viṣṇu had already gathered and pretended to still be in trance. When Viṣṇu ran out of flowers at 999, instead of not completing the worship, he took out his eye and offered that as the 1000th lotus flower. (you can see this on top of the Lingam in the picture, it seems)
Then Śiva gave Viṣṇu the discus and Viṣṇu could then defeat the asuras.
The story is nice for those who are devotees of Śiva and don’t really care much how accurate their devotion is. But for those who value accuracy — it makes no sense (a) that Viṣṇu would be unable to defeat the asuras, since the Purāṇa’s have hundreds of stories showing how easily Viṣṇu defeats the asuras time after time. It also makes very little sense (b) that Śiva would be able to give Viṣṇu a weapon that is more powerful than he himself is (there is at least one Purāṇic account that not even Śiva and Brahmā could save someone from the Sudarśana chakra that was chasing him).
What does make sense is that this story is just a poem that some Śiva devotees wrote, which became very popular among them. It does not have any authoritative origin.
It also does make sense that Śiva and Viṣṇu would respect and worship one another, since they love each other immensely and are both expansions of Nārāyaṇa. It’s unfortunate, though, when their followers and devotees try to raise one to prominence at the expense of the other.