What is The Meaning of Dharma Wheel Dharmachakra?

Author: Jessica Tracy

Dharma Wheel Dharmachakra

In Buddhism, there are 8 auspicious symbols and the Dharma Wheel Dharmachakra happens to be one of these eight symbols.

You can see its image on T-shirts and on the national flag of India and people also get it tattooed on their bodies. In the same way the Star of David is important and symbolic to Judaism, the dharmachakra is symbolic and very important to Buddhism.

The Dharma Wheel is significant for both Hindus as well as Buddhists.
In fact, it is also symbolic to Thais as can be seen from the fact that many Buddhist temples in Thailand display yellow flag with the red colored Dharmachakra
It is known as dhammachak in Thailand and it normally has 12 spokes.

Dharma Wheel Dharmachakra flag Thailand India

Buddha's teachings

Dharmachakra is a symbol that reflects on the teachings of the Buddha and depicts dharma, which to the Buddhists shows the path to reach total peace of mind or Nirvana.

There is no single meaning associated with the Dharma Wheel Dharmachakra and there are several ways to interpret its meaning and symbolic value.

Hub, spokes and rim

The Dharma Wheel consists of a hub and some spokes as well as a rim.

  • The teachings of Buddha are known as the Dharma.
  • The Dharmachakra is round in shape to symbolize flawlessness of the teachings of the Buddha (the Dharma).
  • The wheel has a rim which symbolizes the ability to perform meditation and to concentrate.
  • The Dharmachakra helps to keep all of the teachings of the Buddha in one place.

Buddhist Dharma Wheel Dharmachakra

Discipline and The Three Treasures

The smaller sized wheel in the middle which is the hub is symbolic of discipline.

The yellow colored swirl in the centre represents the Buddha which along with the blue swirl and red are known as the Three Treasures.
The spokes are representative of various things depending on their numbers.

  • Thus, a wheel with four spokes is representative of The Four Noble Truths.
  • If the wheel has eight spokes, then it represents the Eightfold Path.
  • If the wheel has ten spokes, then this represents 10 directions 
  • A twelve-spoke wheel is representative of Twelve Links of Dependent Origination.


Reason for birth and rebirth

Basically, the Dharma Wheel Dharmachakra indicates all of the teachings of the Buddha. It tries to also give reason to the process of being born and then being reborn. The Buddha solves all of our problems through meditation which is going to put an end to all human suffering.

Buddha Meditation Dharma

The Four Noble Truths

The Four Noble Truths as propounded by the Buddha encompasses the Turnings of the Wheel. The Wheel is symbolic of humans being reborn.

In Hinduism, Dharma represents order and refers to whatever religious routines being practiced by devotees. In the holy texts, it represents the law which each individual has to follow.

Dharma is a Sanskrit word that refers to everything that has been established.
It also means law. The Dharma Wheel Dharmachakra is symbolic of protection and creation as well as sovereign life.

The Wheel is closely linked to Lord Vishnu, the god of Vedic times who preserved life.

The Dharma Wheel Dharmachakra is more than one thousand years old and even to this day it continues to have the power to lead humans to the path of enlightenment.

Its aim is to teach people to live a simple life and to follow the teachings of the Buddha.

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