why turn the wheel?

Exploring modern Theravāda interpretations of the Buddha's teaching.
SarathW
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by SarathW » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:30 am

I see what you say.
There are many Buddha's before Gotama Buddha.
So the wheel started rolling many eons ago.
:)
Perhaps the Buddha set the wheel rolling, and what slows it down is our collective ignorance and obstructive tendencies.
I think it is just natural phenomena.
Even Buddha Gotama's teaching also subject to impermanence.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Sam Vara
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:39 pm

SarathW wrote: I think it is just natural phenomena.
Even Buddha Gotama's teaching also subject to impermanence.
Agreed, SarathW. Perhaps that is the difference between the Dhamma and sasana?

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Dhammanando
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:54 pm

form wrote:Why is it called turn the wheel? What has a wheel got to do with dhamma?
From the Paṭisambhidāmagga:

‘Dhammacakkan’ ti kenaṭṭhena dhammacakkaṃ? Dhammañca pavatteti cakkañcāti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Wheel of the Dhamma: in what sense ‘Wheel of the Dhamma’? [The Blessed One] sets rolling the Dhamma and that itself is the Wheel, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Cakkañca pavatteti dhammañcāti: dhammacakkaṃ.
He sets rolling both the Wheel and the Dhamma, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhammena pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
He sets rolling by means of the Dhamma, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhammacariyāya pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
He sets rolling by means of the habit of the Dhamma, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhamme ṭhito pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Standing in the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhamme patiṭṭhito pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Established in the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhamme patiṭṭhāpento pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Establishing others in the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhamme vasippatto pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Attained to mastery in the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhamme vasiṃ pāpento pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Making others attain to mastery in the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhamme pāramippatto pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Attained to perfection in the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhamme pāramiṃ pāpento pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Making others attain perfection in the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhamme vesārajjappatto pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Attained to assurance in the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhamme vesārajjaṃ pāpento pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Making others attain assurance in the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhammaṃ sakkaronto pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Honouring the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhammaṃ garuṃ karonto pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Respecting the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhammaṃ mānento pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Revering the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhammaṃ pūjento pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Venerating the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhammaṃ apacāyamāno pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
Reverencing the Dhamma, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhammaddhajo pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
With the Dhamma as his flag, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhammaketu pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
With the Dhamma as his banner, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Dhammādhipateyyo pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
With Dhamma dominant, he sets rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Taṃ kho pana dhammacakkaṃ appaṭivattiyaṃ samaṇena vā brāhmaṇena vā devena vā mārena vā brahmunā vā kenaci vā lokasminti: dhammacakkaṃ.
And that Wheel of the Dhamma is not to be stopped by any samaṇa or brahmin or deva or Māra or Brahmā or by anyone in the world, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

Saddhindriyaṃ dhammo. Taṃ dhammaṃ pavattetīti: dhammacakkaṃ.
The faith faculty is a dhamma and he sets that dhamma rolling, thus it is the Wheel of the Dhamma.

(Repeat for the faculties of energy, mindfulness, concentration and understanding; five powers, seven enlightenment factors, and eightfold path).

(Paṭisam. pp. 159-60)


From the commentaries:

Dhammacakkan ti: desanāñāṇassapi paṭivedhañāṇassapi etaṃ nāmaṃ. Tesu desanāñāṇaṃ lokiyaṃ, paṭivedhañāṇaṃ lokuttaraṃ.

“Wheel of the Dhamma: this is a term for teaching knowledge and realization knowledge. Of these, teaching knowledge is mundane, realization knowledge is supramundane.”

SarathW
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by SarathW » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:10 pm

:goodpost: Bhante.

It appears to me that wheel means the same as engine in modern terms.
Buddha's time the did not have the engine. The best invention was the wheel.
In modern terms we may say turn the engine.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Dhammanando
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by Dhammanando » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:09 pm

SarathW wrote:The best invention was the wheel.
By the time of the Buddha the invention of the wheel in India would have been old hat. The potter's wheel, for example, had been around since the late-Neolithic era and wheeled carts from the Bronze Age. The flush toilet would more likely have been the invention that got everyone excited. :)
The ancient Indus Valley Civilisation of South Asia, including current day Pakistan and Northwest India, was prominent in hydraulic engineering, and had many water supply and sanitation devices that were the first of their kind.

Among other things, they contain the world's earliest known system of flush toilets. With a number of courtyard houses having both a washing platform and a dedicated toilet / waste disposal hole. The toilet holes would be flushed by emptying a jar of water, drawn from the house's central well, through a clay brick pipe and into a shared brick drain, that would feed into an adjacent soakpit (cesspit). The soakpits would be periodically emptied of their solid matter, possibly to be used as fertiliser. Most houses also had private wells. City walls functioned as a barrier against floods.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanitatio ... vilisation

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mikenz66
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:32 pm

Good point Bhante,

Old hat or not, an old-style potter's wheel like this one would be hard to stop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=588Mh7yzqVQ
And when the Wheel of the Dhamma had been set in motion by the Blessed One, the earth-dwelling devas raised a cry: “At Baraṇasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, this unsurpassed Wheel of the Dhamma has been set in motion by the Blessed One, which cannot be stopped by any ascetic or brahmin or deva or Mara or Brahma or by anyone in the world.”
That image seems to fit the description in the Sutta much better than a cart wheel...

Hmm, looks like about 12 spokes in there...

:heart:
Mike

SarathW
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by SarathW » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:09 am

had many water supply and sanitation devices that were the first of their kind.
Sigiriya in Sri Lanka (477CE) they had in house toilets and water fountains. It appeared that they use the water tank on the rock to create these water features.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigiriya
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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mikenz66
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:13 am

I can't help but think of this clip from Life of Brian: "What have the Romans ever done for us?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso

The somewhat serious message here is that people 2000 or so years ago actually had some rather impressive technology for sanitation, road building, and so on, and a well-organised society...

[Disclaimer: The Video is not necessarily an historically accurate rendition of Palestine in Jesus' time... ]

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Sam Vara
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:48 am

Dhammanando wrote:
SarathW wrote:The best invention was the wheel.
By the time of the Buddha the invention of the wheel in India would have been old hat. The potter's wheel, for example, had been around since the late-Neolithic era and wheeled carts from the Bronze Age. The flush toilet would more likely have been the invention that got everyone excited. :)
The ancient Indus Valley Civilisation of South Asia, including current day Pakistan and Northwest India, was prominent in hydraulic engineering, and had many water supply and sanitation devices that were the first of their kind.

Among other things, they contain the world's earliest known system of flush toilets. With a number of courtyard houses having both a washing platform and a dedicated toilet / waste disposal hole. The toilet holes would be flushed by emptying a jar of water, drawn from the house's central well, through a clay brick pipe and into a shared brick drain, that would feed into an adjacent soakpit (cesspit). The soakpits would be periodically emptied of their solid matter, possibly to be used as fertiliser. Most houses also had private wells. City walls functioned as a barrier against floods.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanitatio ... vilisation
Bhante, I read in Stephen Batchelor's Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist that in the time of the Buddha, the art of firing bricks had been lost. Even the palaces mentioned by the Buddha would have been wood and sun-baked mud brick. I don't have access to the book at the moment to check it, but have you heard anything similar?

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Dhammanando
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by Dhammanando » Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:49 pm

Sam Vara wrote:Bhante, I read in Stephen Batchelor's Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist that in the time of the Buddha, the art of firing bricks had been lost. Even the palaces mentioned by the Buddha would have been wood and sun-baked mud brick. I don't have access to the book at the moment to check it, but have you heard anything similar?
No, I haven't, but then I'm not very well-versed in Indian archaeology. There are a few mentions of kilns (kumbhakārapāka) in the suttas, but in connection with pot-making rather than brick-making. The Parivīmaṃsana Sutta, for example.

https://suttacentral.net/en/sn12.51

James Tan
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by James Tan » Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:36 am

:namaste:



:anjali:
Last edited by James Tan on Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
If you take the Middle Path
You will miss out the path !

binocular
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by binocular » Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:49 pm

form wrote:Why is it called turn the wheel? What has a wheel got to do with dhamma?
Image

Steering wheel.
Operating the steering wheel.
Being behind the wheel.


Just because the steering wheel is a relatively recent invention, doesn't mean that there's no subtle meaning to it.

form
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by form » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:49 pm

binocular wrote:
form wrote:Why is it called turn the wheel? What has a wheel got to do with dhamma?
Image

Steering wheel.
Operating the steering wheel.
Being behind the wheel.


Just because the steering wheel is a relatively recent invention, doesn't mean that there's no subtle meaning to it.
I want know its subtle meaning.... whether it is a metaphorical or logical meaning.

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