^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ SYMBOLS OF TWELVE MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^




FOR HINDUISM SYMBOL:  [click here]

The Dharmacakra symbol is represented as a chariot wheel with eight or more spokes. It is one of the oldest known Buddhist symbols found in Indian art. In its simplest form, the Dharmacakra is recognized globally as a symbol for Buddhism.

In Buddhism—according to the number of spokes of the Dharmacakra represent various meanings:

  • 8 spokes representing the Noble Eightfold Path
  • 12 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination
  • 24 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination and the Twelve Laws of Dependent Termination.
  • 31 spokes representing 31 (11 realms of desire, 16 realms of form and 4 realms of formlessness).
In Buddhism, Parts of the Dharmacakra also representing:
  • Its overall shape is that of a circle (cakra), representing the perfection of the dharma teaching
  • The hub stands for discipline, which is the essential core of meditation practice.
  • The rim, which holds the spokes, refers to mindfulness or samadhi which holds everything together.

The corresponding mudrā, or symbolic hand gesture, is known as the Dharmacakra Mudrā.

The Dharmacakra is one of the eight auspicious symbols* of Tibetan Buddhism.

The dharma wheel can refer to the dissemination of the dharma teaching from country to country. In this sense the dharma wheel began rolling in India, carried on to Central Asia, and then arrived in South East Asia and East Asia.

Three Turnings of the Wheel of Dharma

Mahayana schools classify Buddhist teachings in turns of a sequential scheme of development. These phases are called "turnings" of the Dharmacakra (Sanskrit:dharmacakra-pravartana).

All Buddhists agree that the original turning of the wheel occurred when the Buddha taught the five ascetics who became his first disciples at the Deer Park in Sarnath. In memory of this, the Dharmacakra is sometimes represented with a deer on each side.

In Theravāda Buddhism, this was the only "turning of the wheel", and later developments of the Buddhist doctrine which do not appear in the Pali Canon or the Agamas are not accepted as teachings of the historical Buddha.
Other schools of Buddhism, such as the Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna distinguish later "turnings".

Specific accounts of them vary:-

In one, the first turning of the Dharmacakra is Gautama Buddha's original teaching, in particular the Four Noble Truths which describes the mechanics of attachment, desire, suffering, and liberation via the Eightfold Path; the second turning is the teaching of the Perfection of Wisdom sutra, a foundational text of Mahayana Buddhism; and the third is the teaching of the Mahavairocana Sutra, a foundational text of Tantric Buddhism.

In another scheme, the second turning of the Dharmacakra is the Abhidharma, the third is the Mahāyāna Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, and the fourth includes both the Yogacara sutras and Tathāgatagarbha sutras.

*The Eight Auspicious Symbols

The Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism, or the Ashtamangala, are related to the physical form of the Buddha. 

They include:
  • A Conch Shell
  • A Lotus
  • A Wheel
  • A Parasol (Umbrella)
  • An Endless Knot
  • A Pair of Golden Fishes
  • A Banner Proclaiming Victory
  • A Treasure Vase


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for the info.
any more explanation about the red, gold, & black swirl (yin/yang looking thing)?