dharma wheel



“ you taught me that to be complete that you have to be empty

and free from all the miseries and energies that hinder me

you brought me to my inner peace

you taught me it was meant for me

it ends how it begins , my friend .

until we meet again . “


Dharma Wheel Meaning:

Buddhism is a large and extremely diverse religion. Different Buddhist sects have different representations of the Buddha and different symbols. The Dharma wheel or Dharmacakra, by contrast, does not change. For all of the Buddhist sects, it remains an eight-spoke wheel, symbolizing the core teachings of Buddhism and the path to enlightenment.


  • The Dharma Wheel or Dharmacakra is the oldest symbol in Buddhism, going back to the first sermon Guatama Buddha gave to his disciples in Deer Park. It symbolizes basic Buddhist concepts such as the Noble Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths. Buddhism is a world religion with many different schools of thought, but the Dharma Wheel unites all Buddhists.

The Four Noble Truths:

  • At its core, Buddhism is an attempt to answer the problem of human suffering. The Four Noble Truths explain the problem of suffering. The first truth is that life is filled with suffering. Humans deal with physical suffering such as illness, injury, aging and death, and with emotional suffering such as anger, fear and many kinds of sorrows. The second noble truth proposes that suffering is caused by attachment. We cling to goals, people, objects and other transient things and can be hurt when we lose them. The third noble truth is that the cessation of suffering is possible. It can be attained through detachment. The fourth noble truth is the eightfold path—a method to improve oneself through a moderate path between hedonistic gratification and ascetic self-denial.

The Eightfold Path:

  • The Eightfold Path is a code of ethical conduct and thought symbolized by the eight spokes of the Dharma Wheel. The first two aspects of the path are right view and right intention, which together form wisdom. Right view means grasping the impermanence of all things and other basic Buddhist concepts and right intention means commitment to the path. The next three aspects, right speech, right action and right livelihood are the guidelines to ethical conduct. They mean speaking and acting in an ethical manner and living by legal, peaceful and ethical means. The next three aspects, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration are the guidelines for mental development along the Eightfold Path.

Turnings of the Wheel:

  • As with most religions, Buddhism has undergone several different phases of development. Theravada Buddhism is the oldest school, and believes in only one “turning of the wheel” which consists of the early Buddhist texts connected to the actual historical Buddha. Other schools, such as Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism distinguish later texts and teachings as other turnings of the wheel.

Think of the dharma wheel as the wheel to direct us along the path to liberation and enlightenment


法輪殿 by sunnywinds*

Hall of Dharma Wheel, Yonghe Temple, Beijing.