why turn the wheel?

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why turn the wheel?

Post by form » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:43 am

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

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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by DNS » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:20 am

The Dhamma Wheel has 8 spokes, representing the 8-fold Path, which one uses to progress on the Path. I think it is just a saying for going on the Path and turning the wheel has also come to mean the spread of Dhamma. Wheels are used in transportation and connect people from faraway places. See also my post here on the evolution of the wheel:

https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f ... el#p197699

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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:29 am

It's interesting that the Dhamma Wheel the Buddha spoke ( :) ) of in the First Discourse has 12 spokes:
“So long, bhikkhus, as my knowledge and vision of these Four Noble Truths as they really are in their three phases and twelve aspects was not thoroughly purified in this way, I did not claim to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with its devas, Mara, and Brahma, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans. But when my knowledge and vision of these Four Noble Truths as they really are in their three phases and twelve aspects was thoroughly purified in this way, then I claimed to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with its devas, Mara, and Brahma, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans. The knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘Unshakable is the liberation of my mind. This is my last birth. Now there is no more renewed existence.’”

This is what the Blessed One said. Elated, the bhikkhus of the group of five delighted in the Blessed One’s statement. And while this discourse was being spoken, there arose in the Venerable Kondañña the dust-free, stainless vision of the Dhamma: “Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.”

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.”
...
https://suttacentral.net/en/sn56.11/20-22.271
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:36 am

Today the wheel as a symbol for Buddhism is often depicted with eight spokes representing the Noble Eightfold Path although this is a relatively recent innovation. In the scriptures the Dhamma wheel, called either the Supreme Wheel (brahmacakka) or Highest Dhamma Wheel (anuttaram dhammacakkam, A.III,9; 148), is described as being ‘a thousand-spoked’ (sahassaram, D.III,60). Until about the 3rd century CE the Dhamma wheel was almost always depicted with multiple spokes suggesting the thousand spokes. The oldest depiction of the Dhamma wheel, on King Asoka’s lion capital, has 24 spokes. The most spokes on a Dhamma wheel from ancient India that I have been able to find is 32.

Before the advent of statues, the Buddha was often represented by a wheel. What the cross is to Christians, the menorah to Jews the ying yang symbol to Taoists and the Om sign to Hindus, the wheel is to Buddhists.
http://sdhammika.blogspot.co.nz/2016/01 ... hamma.html
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:41 am

Thai Buddhist flags do generally have 12 spokes:

Image

Image

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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by DNS » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:02 am

Ashoka's wheel had 24 spokes. Today, it is almost always 8 spokes, which apparently is a recent transition as Ven. Dhammika noted. I wonder when the change in number of spokes took place (what year)?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharmachakra

I like 8, but maybe it's just because I got used to it.

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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:14 am

Maybe. As I said the standard Thai flag has 12 and there are lots of those...

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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by chownah » Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:41 am

I'll bet the most common number of spokes for the dhamma wheel would be determined by examining how it is depicted on coins and currency....alot more money than flags I think.....but I'm not trying to be a spokesman ( :| ) for any side of this issue.
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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by SarathW » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:02 am

This is a very good example of not clinging to views "this is only the truth, everything else is false"
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by DNS » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:25 am

SarathW wrote:This is a very good example of not clinging to views "this is only the truth, everything else is false"
:thumbsup: Yes, I thought this topic was about why it is called "turn the wheel" not how many spokes is the right number. :D

Apparently it has been depicted with many spokes but now is mostly depicted by 8, no big deal, nothing to debate, imo.

Dharma Wheel google image search:
https://www.google.com/search?q=dharma+ ... 20&bih=947

Dhamma Wheel google image search:
https://www.google.com/search?q=dhamma+ ... 20&bih=947

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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by form » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:30 am

Then what about the sign that is a mirror image of the Nazi logo?

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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by form » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:32 am

Regarding the wheel, has it got something to do with turning smoothly?

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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by form » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:34 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Ashoka's wheel had 24 spokes. Today, it is almost always 8 spokes, which apparently is a recent transition as Ven. Dhammika noted. I wonder when the change in number of spokes took place (what year)?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharmachakra

I like 8, but maybe it's just because I got used to it.
The 8 limbs of yoga also like the number 8. :)

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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by DNS » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:35 am

form wrote:Then what about the sign that is a mirror image of the Nazi logo?
The swastika? That has been in existence for a very long time, well before the Nazi use of the symbol and is found in most (probably all) Dharmic religions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika

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Re: why turn the wheel?

Post by form » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:38 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
form wrote:Then what about the sign that is a mirror image of the Nazi logo?
The swastika? That has been in existence for a very long time, well before the Nazi use of the symbol and is found in most (probably all) Dharmic religions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika
Yes. I read that the nazi has great interest in eastern mystical stuff. And they copied this logo from Buddhism.

The reason why I mention is, isn't the a more representative logo than the wheel, unless the wheel turning has a deeper meaning?

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