Dharma chakra is a wheel of law of Buddhism which has eight spokes, each of which represents the different Buddhists beliefs. The word dharma means to support and hold in Sanskrit. The round circle tells the completeness (fullness) of Dharma and the eight spoke represents the various path which leads to awakening (enlightenment). Each path represents something: Right faith, Right action, Right livelihood, Right Mindfulness, Right endeavour, Right intention, Right speech and Right meditation.
It is taken from Indian symbol but instead of representing the endless rebirth it represents the future coming problems or obstacles. Dharma wheel is the favourable symbol of Tibetan Buddhism. The wheel is covered by deer and which refers to the park of deer in which the Lord Buddha gave his first expatiation. There are 3 main basic parts of symbol namely:
- Hub- moral discipline which gives stability to mind
- The spokes dignify the wisdom which defeats the bullhead.
- The rim which tells the level of concentration which helps in holding everything.
The art of dharma wheel in Buddhism
Dharma wheel is the common symbol for Buddhism, even before the origin of Buddha images. In ancient period dharma wheel not only represents the Buddha’s teachings but the Buddha himself. The pillars which are made by Emperor Asoka the great, the four lion and the four wheel face the four directions on which the Buddhist dharma spread all over India.
In modern time the dharma chakra appeared in all Buddhist culture. The images of Buddha also have dharma wheel on his palm and sole on his feet. The wheel is situated in centre of mandalas which represents the Buddhist universe. Some Tibetan say dharma wheel is a weapon to kill evil things and ignorance. This theme is also related to the Chakra of Lord Vishnu which is a sacred weapon to kill demon and evil things and it also represents to conqueror desire and passion.
The Buddha explained the 24 qualities of Buddhist followers which are represented by 24 spokes of Asoka Chakra which also represent 24 qualities:
Love, Courage, Patience, Peace, Goodness, Faith, Gentleness, Selflessness, Self- Sacrifice, Self-control, Justice, Mercy, Gracefulness, Humility, Loyalty, Righteousness, Magnanimity, Honesty, Eternity, Forgiveness, Hope, Spiritual, knowledge, Truthfulness and Sympathy
The others symbols related to Dharma Wheel
Dharma wheel is also shown by table, supported by lotus with 2 deer’s, a buck or doe, on both sides.The first sermon said by Buddha is given to five medicaments in Sarnath, which is located in U.P (Uttar Pradesh ) in India. Some Buddhist legend Say Park is the home for herd of deer’s and the deer came there to listen to the sermon. The deer which we see in Dharma Wheel tells us to protect and save all the living beings, not only humans. In some stories, deer symbolizes the Bodhisattvas. The dharma wheel represented by deer, the wheel must be twice the size of deer. The deer is shown as leg folded and grazing with lifted nose.