Dharmachakra (Wheel of the Law)

What is Dharmachakra?

The Wheel of the Law (dharmachakra) is Buddhism's most prominent emblem, representing the Buddha's First Sermon in the forest of Sarnath, when he established Buddhist Law (dharma). The Dharma Wheel, also known as the Dharmachakra or Wheel of Dharma, is one of the many holy teachings found in Buddhism and other Indian faiths such as Hinduism and Jainism. As it reflects Buddha's teachings, it is one of the most significant and sacred symbols in the Buddhist faith.


The Dharmachakra is derived from the Dharma, which is the road to enlightenment and Nirvana ,the highest state of being a person can achieve.

dharma chakra dharma wheel meaning

The Dharmachakra definition typically refers to a standard Dharma Wheel with eight spokes - symbolizing the Eightfold Path - and is Buddhism's oldest and most ubiquitous emblem. Because the Dharma Wheel may be interpreted in a variety of ways, there are several interpretations associated with the symbol. The Dharma Wheel is made up of three distinct parts: the spokes, the hub, and the rim.

While there are numerous variants of the Dharma Wheel, they are often portrayed with eight spokes and in gold. Within the center of the wheel, three forms are portrayed, often a Yin Yang shape, a wheel, or a circle.

Significance of Dharmachakra

Moral discipline is represented as the hub in the middle of the Dharma Wheel. The three whirling patterns on the hub, which are frequently portrayed in blue, yellow, and red, represent Dharma, Buddha, and Sangha, in that order. They are also referred to as the "Three Treasures" or "Jewels."

The Dharma Wheel's rim also represents the capacity to hold all of the teachings together through meditating and concentrating. The wheel's round form represents the perfection of Buddha's teachings.

The Four Noble Truths are represented by a Dharma Wheel with four spokes. The Eightfold Path and Buddhism are represented by the wheel having eight spokes. The 10 directions are represented by ten spokes on a Dharma Wheel, while the twelve links of dependent origination are represented by twelve spokes.

History and Usage of Dharmachakra

The Buddha is said to have put the "wheel of dharma" in motion when he delivered his first sermon, which is described in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. This "turning of the wheel" signifies a profound and revolutionary transformation with worldwide ramifications, brought about by an exceptional human being.

Buddhism adopted the wheel as a symbol from the Indian tale of the perfect king, known as a chakravartin ("wheel-turner" or "universal monarch"), who was said to possess several mythological objects, including the ratana cakka (the ideal wheel).

The Mah Sudassana Sutta of the Digha Nikaya characterizes this wheel as having a nave (nbhi), thousand spokes (sahasrni), and a felly (nemi), all of which are faultless in every way.
The phrase "spinning the wheel of Dharma" refers to the "wheel" that the Buddha turned, and it may be translated as wisdom, knowledge, and insight. This knowledge is split into two parts: paivedha-a, or the wisdom of self-realization of the Truth, and desan-a, or the wisdom of Truth proclamation.

The Buddha spun the dharma wheel three times, according to Mahayana Buddhism.

Sarnath in India where Budhdha was enlightened

The sermon in the deer park was the first turning point after the Buddha's enlightenment. The Four Noble Truths were taught by the Buddha here. The second turning point was the introduction of the perfection of wisdom teachings on the nature of sunyata (emptiness). As the third turning point, the concept of Buddha Nature was presented.


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