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The Dharmachakra (Sanskrit: धधधधधधधध; Pāli: Dhammacakka; Tibetan: འཀོར་ལོ། (chos kyi 'khor

lo); Burmese: ဓမ္မစက ြာ (IPA: [dəməseʔ tɕà]);Chinese: 法輪; pinyin: fălún), lit. "Wheel of Dharma" or "Wheel of Life", is a symbol

that has represented dharma, the Buddha's teaching of the path toenlightenment, since the early period of Indian Buddhism.[1] A
similar symbol is also in use in Jainism. It is one of the Ashtamangala symbols.

The Dharmachakra symbol is represented as a chariot wheel (Sanskrit cakram) with eight or more spokes. It is one of the oldest
known Buddhist symbols found in Indian art, appearing with the first surviving post-Harappan Indian iconography in the time of the
Buddhist king Aśoka.[2] The Dharmacakra has been used by all Buddhist nations as a symbol ever since. In its simplest form, the
Dharmachakra is recognized globally as a symbol for Buddhism. [3]


In Buddhism—according to the Pali Canon, Vinayapitaka, Khandhaka, Mahavagga, Dhammacakkappavattanasutta—number of

spokes of the Dharmacakra represent various meanings:

 8 spokes representing the Noble Eightfold Path (Ariya magga).

 12 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination (Paticcasamuppāda) or the twelve permutations

of the four noble truths.[4]

 24 spokes representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination and the Twelve Laws of Dependent

Termination (Paticcasamuppāda).

 31 spokes representing 31 realms of existence (11 realms of desire, 16 realms of form and 4 realms of


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 samādhi which holds everything together

 Each spoke represents the Noble Eightfold Path including

• Right beliefs • Right aspirations • Right speech • Right conduct • Right livelihood • Right effort • Right mindfulness •
Right meditational attainment

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

The Dharmachakra 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.
[edit]Multiple turnings of the Wheel

Main article: 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 inSarnath. 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 theAgamas 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 andTathāgatagarbha sutras.

[edit]Other uses

 In Ananda Marga, Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiji, the Spiritual Master of the modern Tantra Yoga emphasizes the
practice of Dharmacakra on his teachings representing a collective Kiirtan and Meditation by the Sadhakas
(Spiritual Aspirants) To create and vibrate a very positive energy that enhances the Physical Sphere, Mental Sphere
and Spiritual Sphere of a the Sadhakas (Spritual Aspirants). Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiji offers the path of Sadhana to
Sadhakas. He describes sadhana as "the transformation of fearful love into fearless love".[5] This meditation
(sadhana) for complete merger, for unification, starts with fearful love. He recommends to his disciples the practice
of collective meditation at least once a week. These meetings called Dharma Chakras are preceded by the singing
of few Prabhat Samgiita (or "Songs of the New Dawn", composed by Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiji himself) followed
by [[:Media:|Baba Nam Kevalam]] (help·[[:Image:|info]]) kiirtan, then
the mantra called Samgacchadvam (help·info). At the end of the collective meditation the mantra Nityam
Shuddham (help·info), then the spiritual gathering will end with the Guru Puja (help·info) mantra.

 In the Unicode computer standard, the Dharmacakra is called the "Wheel of Dharma" and found in the eight-spoked
form. It is represented as U+2638 (☸).
 The coat of arms of Mongolia includes a dharmacakra together with some other Buddhist attributes such as
the lotus, cintamani, blue khata and Soyombo.
 Following the suggestion of Bhimrao Ambedkar, the Buddhist dharmachakra was used on the new Flag of India.[6]
 The national flag of the former Kingdom of Sikkim in the Himalayas featured a version of the Dharmacakra.
 Thai people also use a yellow flag with a red Dharmacakra as their buddhist flag.
 The Dharmacakra is also the U.S. Armed Forces military chaplain insignia for Buddhist chaplains.
 In Jainism, the Dharmacakra is worshipped as a symbol of the dharma.
 Other "cakras" appear in other Indian traditions, e.g. Vishnu's Sudarśanacakra, which is, however, a wheel-shaped
weapon and not a representation of a teaching.

The Coat of arms of Mongolia includes Dharmacakra, Cintamani,Lotus, blue khata andSoyombo

The Coat of arms of Sri Lanka, featuring a blue Dharmacakra as the crest

The National Flag of Indiahas the Ashoka Chakra at its center

The flag of the former Kingdom of Sikkimfeatured a version of the Dharmacakra

The Dharmacakra flag, symbol of Buddhism in Thailand

Thammachak (Dharmacakra) Seal, seal of Thammasat Universityin Thailand, consisting of aConstitution on Phan or container with the

12-spoked Dharmacakra behind

Dharmacakra for the U.S. Armed Forces militarychaplain

[edit]Dharmacakra in Falun Gong

Dharmacakra is translated as Falun in Chinese, and is therefore the most important thing in Falun Gong practice. In "The
Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa", Li Hongzhi explains, "The rotating Law Wheel has the same nature as the
universe and is its miniature. The Buddhist Law Wheel, the Daoist yin-yang, and everything in the Ten-Directional World
are reflected in the Law Wheel. The Law Wheel provides salvation to the cultivator when it rotates inward (clockwise),
since it absorbs a great amount of energy from the universe and transforms it. The Law Wheel provides salvation to
others when rotating outward (counter-clockwise), for it releases energy that can save any being and rectify any
abnormal condition; people near the cultivator benefit."

The Noble Eightfold Path is sometimes divided into three basic divisions, as follows:[7][8]

Division Eightfold Path factors Acquired factors

1. Right view 9. Superior right knowledge

Wisdom (Sanskrit: prajñā, Pāli: paññā)

2. Right intention 10. Superior right liberation

3. Right speech

Ethical conduct (Sanskrit: śīla, Pāli: sīla)

4. Right action
5. Right livelihood

6. Right effort

Concentration (Sanskrit and Pāli: samādhi) 7. Right mindfulness

8. Right concentration

The twelve nidanas and their causal relationships can be expressed as follows:

English Terms Sanskrit Terms

With Ignorance as condition, Mental Formations arise With Avidyā as condition, Saṃskāra arises

With Mental Formations as condition, Consciousness arises With Saṃskāra as condition, Vijñāna arises

With Consciousness as condition, Mind and Matter arise With Vijñāna as condition, Nāmarūpa arises

With Mind and Matter as condition, Sense Gates arise With Nāmarūpa as condition, Ṣaḍāyatana arises

With Sense Gates as condition, Contact arises With Ṣaḍāyatana as condition, Sparśa arises

With Contact as condition, Feeling arises With Sparśa as condition, Vedanā arises

With Feeling as condition, Craving arises With Vedanā as condition, Tṛṣṇā arises

With Craving as condition, Clinging arises With Tṛṣṇā as condition, Upādāna arises

With Clinging as condition, Becoming arises With Upādāna as condition, Bhava arises

With Becoming as a condition, Birth arises With Bhava as condition, Jāti arises
With Birth as condition, Aging and Dying arise

In Buddhism, the three worlds refer the following karmic rebirth destinations:

 Kāmaloka:
world of desire, typified by base desires, populated by hell beings, preta, animals, ghosts, humans and lower demi-gods.
 Rūpaloka:
world of form, predominately free of baser desires, populated by jhana-dwelling gods, possible rebirth destination for those well
practiced in jhanic absorption.
 Arūpaloka:
world of formlessness, noncorporal realm populated with four heavens, possible rebirth destination for practitioners of the four
formlessness stages.[3]