The Dharmachakra  "Wheel of Dharma" or "Wheel of Law" is a symbol that has represented dharma, the Buddha's teaching of the path to enlightenment, since the early period of Indian Buddhism. A similar symbol is also in use in Jainism.
The Dharmachakra symbol is represented as a chariot wheel with eight or more spokes. It is one of the oldest known Buddhist symbols found in Indian art, appearing with the first surviving post-Harappan Indian iconography in the time of the Buddhist king Aśoka.The Dharmacakra has been used by all Buddhist nations as a symbol ever since. In its simplest form, the Dharmachakra is recognised globally as a symbol for Buddhism.

In Buddhism, according to the Pali Canon, the number of spokes of the Dharmachakra represent various meanings:
8 spokes - representing the Noble Eightfold Path
12 spokes - representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination
24 spokes - representing the Twelve Laws of Dependent Origination and the Twelve Laws of Dependent Termination
31 spokes representing 31 realms of existence (11 realms of desire, 16 realms of form and 4 realms of formlessness).
In Buddhism, Parts of the Dharmacakra also represent that its overall shape is that of a circle (chakra), representing the perfection of the dharma teaching. The hub stands for discipline, which is the essential core of meditation practice. The rim, which holds the spokes, refers to mindfulness or samādhi which holds everything together. The corresponding mudrā, or symbolic hand gesture, is known as the Dharmachakra Mudrā.
Mahayana schools classify Buddhist teachings in turns of a sequential scheme of development. These phases are called "turnings" of the Dharmachakra.


All Buddhists agree that the original turning of the wheel occurred when the Buddha taught the five ascetics who became his first disciples at the Deer Park in Sarnath. In memory of this, the Dharmachakra is sometimes represented with a deer on each side.


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