Acharya Kundakunda was a Digambara Jain monk and philosopher, still revered. He authored many Jain texts such as: Samayasara, Pancastikayasara, Pravachanasara and Barasanuvekkha, he occupies the highest place in the tradition of the Digambara Jain acharyas, a position comparable to Christ in Christianity and Muhammad in Islam. All Digambara Jains say his name before starting to read the scripture. Modern scholarship has found it difficult to locate him chronologically, with a possible low date in the 2nd-3rd centuries CE and a late date in 8th century, his proper name was Padmanandin, he is popularly referred to as Kundakunda because the modern village of Kondakunde in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh might represent his native home. A. N. Upadhye has shown that apart from the name Elacarya, all the other names ascribed to Kundakunda go against the tradition of the early epigraphic records. Acharya Kundakunda belonged to the Mula Sangh order of Digambara sect, he is dated to have flourished around second century CE.
For Digambaras, his name has auspicious significance and occupies third place after Lord Mahavira and Gautama Ganadhara in the sacred litany. Kundakunda's singular contribution consists in his compiling a number of liturgical tracts and creating several masterly doctrinal works of his own, which provided a parallel canon for the Digambara tradition; this earned him the everlasting gratitude of the Digambaras, who have for centuries invoked his name together with that of Mahavira and his Ganadhara, placing him ahead of Bhadrabahu and some forty other elders in the lineage, thus making him the founder of the Digambara sect. Dr. A. N. Upadhye in his critical edition of the Pravachansara has examined at great length the problems concerning the date and author-ship of these and other works attributed to Kundakunda and has placed him in the middle of the 2nd century AD; this would make him the first significant and independent thinker of the post-canonical period whose views are accepted as representing the Jain thought.
In texts such as Pravacanasāra and Samayasāra, Kundakunda distinguishes between two perspectives of truth: vyavahāranaya or ‘mundane perspective’ delusion niścayanaya or ‘ultimate perspective’ called “supreme” and “pure” For Kundakunda, the mundane realm of truth is the relative perspective of normal folk, where the workings of karma operate and where things emerge, last for a certain duration and perish. The mundane aspect is associated with the changing qualities of the soul the influx of karmic particles; the ultimate perspective meanwhile, is that of the pure soul or atman, the jiva, "blissful, energetic and omniscient". Delusion and bondage is caused by the confusion of the workings of karma with the true nature of the soul, always pure, in other words, it is caused by taking the view of vyavahāranaya, not the higher niścayanaya, the absolute perspective of a Jina - Kevala Jnana, his view has become the mainstream view in Digambara Jainism. The works attributed to Kundakunda, all of them in Prakrit, can be divided in three groups.
The first group comprises four original works described as "The Essence" — namely, the Niyamasara, the Pancastikayasara, the Samayasara, the Pravachanasara. The second group is a collection of ten bhaktis, short compositions in praise of the acharya, the scriptures, the mendicant conduct, so forth, they form the standard liturgical texts used by the Digambara in their daily rituals and bear close resemblance to similar texts employed by the Śvētāmbara, suggesting the possibility of their origin in the canonical period prior to the division of the community. The last group consists of eight short texts called Prabhrta compilations from some older sources, on such topics as the right view, right conduct, the scripture, so forth. Various Jain texts mention that Acharya Kundkunda wrote'84 Pahurs', only some of them are available at present. Simandhar Swami Kundadri Taran Svami Jain, Vijay K. Acharya Kundkund's Samayasara, Vikalp Printers, ISBN 978-81-903639-3-8 Singh, Upinder, A history of ancient and early medieval India: from the Stone Age to the 12th century, New Delhi: Pearson Education, ISBN 978-81-317-1120-0 Balcerowicz, Piotr, ed. Essays in Jaina Philosophy and Religion, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1977-2 Cort, John E. Open Boundaries: Jain Communities and Cultures in Indian History, SUNY Press, ISBN 0-7914-3785-X Jaini, Padmanabh and Salvation: Jaina Debates on the Spiritual Liberation of Women, Berkeley: University of California Press Shah, Jainism: The World of Conquerors, I, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1938-1 Jain Literature and Kundakunda Acharya Kundkund
Jain symbols are symbols based on the Jain philosophy. The swastika is an important Jain symbol; the four arms of the swastika symbolize the four states of existence as per Jainism: Heavenly beings Human Benefits Hellish being Tiryancha It represents the perpetual nature of the universe in the material world, where a creature is destined to one of those states based on their karma. In contrast to this circle of rebirth and delusion is the concept of a straight path, constituted by correct faith and conduct, visually symbolized by the three dots above the running cross of swastika, which leads the individual out of the transient imperfect world to a permanent perfect state of enlightenment and perfection; this perfect state of liberation dot at the top of the svastika. It represents the four columns of the Jain Sangha: sadhus, sadhvis and shravikas - monks and female and male laymen, it represents the four characteristics of the soul: infinite knowledge, infinite perception, infinite happiness, infinite energy.
The hand with a wheel on the palm symbolizes Ahimsa in Jainism. The word in the middle is "ahiṃsā"; the wheel represents the dharmachakra, which stands for the resolve to halt the saṃsāra through the relentless pursuit of Ahimsa. In 1974, on the auspicious 2500th anniversary of the nirvana of the last Jain Tirthankara, the Jain community at large collectively chose one image as an emblem to be the main identifying symbol for Jainism. Since this emblem is used in all of Jain magazines, on wedding cards, on Jain festival cards and in magazines with links to events related to Jain society; the Jain emblem is composed of symbols. The outline of the image represents the universe as described in Jain Agamas, it consists of three Loks. The upper portion indicates heaven, the middle portion indicates the material world and the lower portion indicates hell; the semi-circular topmost portion symbolizes siddhashila, a zone beyond the three realms. All of the siddhas or liberated bodiless souls reside on this forever, liberated from the cycle of life and death.
The three dots on the top under the semi-circle symbolize the Ratnatraya – right belief, right knowledge, right conduct. Every creature in this world can become free from the cycle of death; this gives the message. In the top portion, the swastika symbol is present; the symbol of hand in the lower portion shows fearlessness and symbolizes the feeling of ahimsa towards all the creatures in this world. The circle in the middle of the hand symbolizes saṃsāra and the 24 spokes represent the preachings from the 24 Tirthankaras, which can be used to liberate a soul from the cycle of reincarnation; the meaning of the mantra at the bottom, Parasparopagraho Jivanam, is "All life is bound together by mutual support and interdependence." In short, the Jain emblem represents many important concepts to show the path to enlightenment by following the basic principles of ahimsa, the Ratnatraya and Parasparopagraho Jivanam. It is important that an emblem or symbol is used in the same format to preserve its value and the meaning.
There are many variations of the symbol in use currently. However, they do not show all the fundamental concepts embedded in the current emblem. For example, JAINA in North America uses a modified version of the standard Jain symbol, it replaces the swastika with Om. The Jain flag depicts the panch parmeshtis: Arihantas: enlightened beings Siddhas: liberated souls Acharyas: spiritual leaders Upadhyays: spiritual teachers Sadhus and Sadhvis: spiritual practitioners In Jainism, Om is considered a condensed form of reference to the Pañca-Parameṣṭhi, by their initials A+A+A+U+M; the Dravyasamgraha quotes a Prakrit line: oma ekākṣara pañca-parameṣṭhi-nāmā-dipam tatkathamiti cheta "arihatā asarīrā āyariyā taha uvajjhāyā muṇiyā" AAAUM is one syllable short form of the initials of the five parameshthis: "Arihant, Acharya, Muni". The Om symbol is used in ancient Jain scriptures to represent the five lines of the Navakar mantra, the most important part of the daily prayer in the Jain religion; the Navakar mantra honors the panch parmeshtis.
The Ashtamangala are a set of eight auspicious symbols. There is some variation among different traditions concerning the eight symbols. In the Digambara tradition, the eight symbols are: Parasol Dhvaja Kalasha Fly-whisk Mirror Chair Hand fan VesselIn the Śvētāmbara tradition, the eight symbols are: Swastika Srivatsa Nandavarta Vardhmanaka Bhadrasana Kalasha Darpan Pair of fish Dharmachakra, Kalasha, Ashoka Tree and Nandavart. Jain temple Jansma, Rudi. Shrotri, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1376-6 Titze, Kurt.
Dravyasaṃgraha is a 10th-century Jain text in Jain Sauraseni Prakrit by Acharya Nemicandra belonging to the Digambara Jain tradition. It is a composition of 58 gathas giving an exposition of the six dravyas that characterize the Jain view of the world: sentient, non-sentient, principle of motion, principle of rest and time, it has gained widespread popularity. Dravyasaṃgraha has played an important role in Jain education and is memorized because of its comprehensiveness as well as brevity. 10th century Jain Acarya, Nemicandra Siddhānta Cakravartin is regarded as the author of Dravyasaṃgraha. He was the teacher of Camundaraya—the general of the Western Ganga Dynasty of Karnataka. Nemicandra was a prolific author and a specialist in summarizing and giving lucidly the essence of teachings in various fields, he wrote Trilokasāra, Labdhisāra, Kṣapaṇasāra, Gommaṭasāra. Although not much is known about him from his own works, at the end of the Trilokasāra and of the Gommaṭasāra, he introduces himself as a pupil of Abhayanandi, Vīranandi and Kanakanandi.
He is said to have inspired Camundaraya to build the famous Bāhubali statue at Shravanabelagola. Vahuvali Charitra notes. After establishing the statue of Bāhubali, Camundaraya offered villages yielding a revenue of 96,000 gold coins to Nemicandra for daily worship of and festivals for Gommatesvara. Dravyasaṃgraha has played an important role in Jain education and is memorized because of its comprehensiveness and brevity; the composition of Dravyasaṃgraha is influenced from the earlier Jain works such as Umāsvāti's Tattvārthasūtra and Kundakunda's Pañcāstikāyasara because these works are based on the same topics as the Dravyasaṃgraha. According to Nalini Balbir, the Dravyasaṃgraha is a work of definitions of concepts with mnemonic perspective. In its 58 verses, the author makes skillful use of āryā metre. Nemicandra's presentation is articulated around the opposition between the conventional and the absolute points of view, or around the contrast between the material and the spiritual angles.
Sarat Chandra Ghoshal, the translator of Dravyasaṃgraha, divides the entire text in three convenient parts—the first part deals with six dravyas, the second with seven tattvas and the third part describes the way to attain liberation. In tine opening verse, along with the usual mangalacharana, it is mentioned that dravya consists of jiva and ajiva. In the second verse Jiva is defined:The sentient substance is characterized by the function of understanding, is incorporeal, performs actions, is co-extensive with its own body, it is the enjoyer, located in the world of rebirth emancipated has the intrinsic movement upwards. The various characteristics of Jiva mentioned in the definition are taken up one by one in verses 3–14. Dravyasaṃgraha classifies the embodied souls on the basis of the number of senses possessed by it: from one to five senses. After this detailed description of Jivas the author proceeds to describe Ajivas—Pudgala, adharma and Kala, each of, defined in verses 16–22. Among these, as per verse 23, the Jiva, dharma and akasa are called astikayas, the extensibles or conglomerates.
The second part deals with the seven tattvas: jīva, ajīva, āsrava, bandha, saṃvara, nirjarā and mokṣa. Together with puṇya and pāpa they form nine padārtha; some call all nine as nine tattvas. The third part of Dravyasaṃgraha begins with verse 39 describing the means to attain liberation from conventional and real point of views; the three jewels of Jainism known as Ratnatraya—Samyak darśana, samyak jñāna and samyak cāritra —which are essential in achieving liberation—are defined and the importance of dhyāna is emphasized. On meditation, Nemicandra says: Do not be deluded, do not be attached, do not feel aversion for things which are dear or not dear, if you desire a steady mind for the attainment of extraordinary meditation. Do not act, do not talk, do not think at all, so that the soul is steady and is content in the self; this indeed is supreme meditation. Verses 49 to 54 of the Dravyasaṃgraha, succinctly characterizes the five Supreme Beings and their characteristics. Having destroyed the four inimical varieties of karmas, possessed of infinite faith, happiness and power, housed in most auspicious body, that pure soul of the World Teacher should be meditated on.
One of the most popular commentaries of Dravyasaṃgraha is that by Brahmadeva from around the 14th century. Other commentaries on the work include: Balacandra – Tika on Nemicandra's Dravyasamgraha Mallisena – Commentary on Nemicandra Siddhantin's Dravyasamgraha Brahmadeva – Vrtti on Nemicandra's Dravyasamgraha Hamsaraja – Commentary on Nemicandra's Dravyasamgraha. Ramacandra – Commentary on Nemicandra's Dravyasamgraha. Jain Agama
The Dilwara Temples are located about 2½ kilometres from Mount Abu, Rajasthan's only hill station. These Jain temples were built by Vimal Shah and designed by Vastupala-Tejpal, Jain ministers of Dholka, between the 11th and 13th centuries AD and are famous for their use of marble and intricate marble carvings; the five marble temples of Dilwara are a sacred pilgrimage place of the Jains. Some consider them to be one of the most beautiful Jain pilgrimage sites in the world; the temples have an opulent entranceway, the simplicity in architecture reflecting Jain values like honesty and frugality. The temples are in the midst of a range of forested hills. A high wall shrouds the temple complex. Although Jains built some beautiful temples at other places in Rajasthan, Dilwara temples are believed to be the most beautiful example of architectural perfection; the ornamental detail spreading over the minutely carved ceilings, doorways and panels is marvellous. There are five temples in each with its own unique identity.
Each is named after the small village. These are: Vimal Vasahi, dedicated to Shri Rishabhadev. Luna Vasahi, dedicated to the 22nd Jain Tirthankara, Shri Neminatha. Pittalhar, dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar, Shri Rishabhadev. Parshvanath, dedicated to the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Shri Parshvanatha. Mahavir Swami, dedicated to the last Jain Tirthankara, Shri Mahaviraswami. Among all the five legendary marble temples of Dilwara, the most famous of those are the Vimal Vasahi and the Luna Vasahi temples; this temple carved out of white marble was built in 1031 A. D. by Vimal Shah, a minister of Bhima I, the Chaulukya king of Gujarat. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rishabha; the temple stands in an open courtyard surrounded by a corridor, which has numerous cells containing smaller idols of the tirthankaras. The richly carved corridors, arches, and'mandaps' or porticoes of the temple are amazing; the ceilings feature engraved designs of lotus-buds, petals and scenes from Jain mythology. The Navchowki is a collection of nine rectangular ceilings, each containing beautiful carvings of different designs supported on ornate pillars.
The Gudh mandap is a simple hall once you step inside its decorated doorway. Installed here is the idol of Adi Nath or Lord Rishabdev, as he is known; the mandap is meant for Aarti to the deity. The Hastishala was constructed by Prithvipal, a descendant of Vimalsha in 1147-49 and features a row of elephants in sculpture with the members of the family riding them; the Luna Vasahi temple is dedicated to Lord Neminath. This magnificent temple was built in 1230 by two Porwad brothers - Vastupal and Tejpal - both ministers of a Virdhaval, the Vaghela ruler of Gujarat; the temple built in memory of their late brother Luna was designed after the Vimal Vashi temple. The main hall or Rang mandap features a central dome from which hangs a big ornamental pendent featuring elaborate carving. Arranged in a circular band are 72 figures of Tirthankars in sitting posture and just below this band are 360 small figures of Jain monks in another circular band; the Hathishala or elephant cell features 10 beautiful marble elephants neatly polished and realistically modelled.
The Navchowki features some of the most magnificent and delicate marble stone cutting work of the temple. Each of the nine ceilings here seems to exceed the others in grace; the Gudh mandap features a black marble idol of the 22nd tirthankar Neminatha. The Kirthi Stambha is a big black stone pillar; the pillar was constructed by Maharana Kumbha of Mewar. The remaining three temples of Dilwara are smaller but just as elegant as the other two; this temple was built by a minister of Sultan Begada of Ahmedabad. A massive metal statue of the first tirthankara, Rishabha Dev, cast in five metals, is installed in the temple; the main metal used in this statue is'Pital', hence the name'Pittalhar'. The Shrine consists of a main Gudh mandap and Navchowki, it seems that the construction of the corridor was left unfinished. The old mutilated idol was replaced and installed in 1468-69 AD weighing 108 maunds according to the inscription on it; the image was cast by an artist'Deta', 8 ft. high, 5.5 ft. broad and the figure is 41 inches in height.
In Gudh Mandap on one side, a big marble Panch-Tirthi sculpture of Adinath is installed. Some shrines were constructed in 1490, before construction was abandoned; this temple, dedicated to Lord Parshvanath, was built by Mandlik and his family in 1458-59. It consists of the tallest of all the shrines at Dilwara. On all the four faces of the sanctum on the ground floor are four big mandaps; the outer walls of the sanctum comprise beautiful sculptures in gray sandstone, depicting Dikpals, Yakshinis and other decorative sculptures comparable to the ones in Khajuraho and Konark. This is a small structure dedicated to Lord Mahavira. Being small it is a marvelous temple with carvings on its walls. On the upper walls of the porch there are pictures painted in 1764 by the artists of Sirohi; the temples have undergone repairs time to time. Allauddin Khilji had attacked and damaged the temples in 1311. In 1321, Bijag and Lalag of Mandore had undertaken repairs. In 1906, Lallubhai Jaichand of Patan had the temples repaired and reconsecrated on April 25, 1906, under the supervision of Yati Hemasagar.
Extensive repairs were again undertaken during 1950-1965 by Anandji Kalyanji with the work done by the Sompura firm Amritlal Mulshankar Trivedi. The older marble has a yellow patina, where as
Karma in Jainism
Karma is the basic principle within an overarching psycho-cosmology in Jainism. Human moral actions form the basis of the transmigration of the soul; the soul is constrained to a cycle of rebirth, trapped within the temporal world, until it achieves liberation. Liberation is achieved by following a path of purification. Jains believe that karma is a physical substance, everywhere in the universe. Karma particles are attracted to the soul by the actions of that soul. Karma particles are attracted when we do, think, or say things, when we kill something, when we lie, when we steal and so on. Karma not only encompasses the causality of transmigration, but is conceived of as an subtle matter, which infiltrates the soul—obscuring its natural and pure qualities. Karma is thought of as a kind of pollution. Based on its karma, a soul undergoes transmigration and reincarnates in various states of existence—like heavens or hells, or as humans or animals. Jains cite inequalities and pain as evidence for the existence of karma.
Various types of karma are classified according to their effects on the potency of the soul. The Jain theory seeks to explain the karmic process by specifying the various causes of karmic influx and bondage, placing equal emphasis on deeds themselves, the intentions behind those deeds; the Jain karmic theory attaches great responsibility to individual actions, eliminates any reliance on some supposed existence of divine grace or retribution. The Jain doctrine holds that it is possible for us to both modify our karma, to obtain release from it, through the austerities and purity of conduct. According to Jains, all souls are intrinsically pure in their inherent and ideal state, possessing the qualities of infinite knowledge, infinite perception, infinite bliss and infinite energy. However, in contemporary experience, these qualities are found to be defiled and obstructed, on account of the association of these souls with karma; the soul has been associated with karma in this way throughout an eternity of beginning-less time.
This bondage of the soul is explained in the Jain texts by analogy with gold ore, which—in its natural state—is always found unrefined of admixture with impurities. The ideally pure state of the soul has always been overlaid with the impurities of karma; this analogy with gold ore is taken one step further: the purification of the soul can be achieved if the proper methods of refining are applied. Over the centuries, Jain monks have developed a large and sophisticated corpus of literature describing the nature of the soul, various aspects of the working of karma, the ways and means of attaining mokṣa. Jainism speaks of karmic "dirt", as karma is thought to be manifest as subtle and sensually imperceptible particles pervading the entire universe, they are so small that one space-point—the smallest possible extent of space—contains an infinite number of karmic particles. It is these karmic particles that affect its natural potency; this material karma is called dravya karma. The relationship between the material and psychic karma is that of effect.
The material karma gives rise to the feelings and emotions in worldly souls, which—in turn—give rise to psychic karma, causing emotional modifications within the soul. These emotions, yet again, result in bondage of fresh material karma. Jains hold that the karmic matter is an agent that enables the consciousness to act within the material context of this universe, they are the material carrier of a soul's desire to physically experience this world. When attracted to the consciousness, they are stored in an interactive karmic field called kārmaṇa śarīra, which emanates from the soul. Thus, karma is a subtle matter surrounding the consciousness of a soul; when these two components—consciousness and ripened karma—interact, the soul experiences life as known in the present material universe. According to Indologist Robert J. Zydenbos, karma is a system of natural laws, where actions that carry moral significance are considered to cause certain consequences in the same way as physical actions; when one holds an apple and lets it go, the apple will fall.
There is no judge, no moral judgment involved, since this is a mechanical consequence of the physical action. In the same manner, consequences occur when one utters a lie, steals something, commits senseless violence or leads a life of debauchery. Rather than assume that these consequences—the moral rewards and retributions—are a work of some divine judge, Jains believe that there is an innate moral order in the cosmos, self-regulating through the workings of the law of karma. Morality and ethics are important in Jainism not because of a God, but because a life led in agreement with moral and ethical principles is considered beneficial: it leads to a decrease—and to the total loss of—karma, which in turn leads to everlasting happiness; the Jain conception of karma takes away the responsibility for salvation from God and bestows it on man himself. In the words of the Jain scholar, J. L. Jaini: Jainism, more than any other creed, gives absolute religious independence and freedom to man. Nothing can the fruits thereof.
Once done, they must fructify. As my independence is great, so my responsibility is co-extensive with it. I can live. No God, his Prophet or his deputy or beloved can interf
Pre-sectarian Buddhism called early Buddhism, the earliest Buddhism, original Buddhism, is Buddhism as theorized to have existed before the various subsects of Buddhism came into being. The contents and teachings of this pre-sectarian Buddhism must be deduced or re-constructed from the earliest Buddhist texts, which by themselves are sectarian. Various terms are being used to refer to the earliest period of Buddhism: "Pre-sectarian Buddhism" "Early Buddhism", "The earliest Buddhism", "Original Buddhism", "The Buddhism of the Buddha himself." Precanonical Buddhism Primitive BuddhismSome Japanese scholars refer to the subsequent period of the early Buddhist schools as sectarian Buddhism. Pre-sectarian Buddhism may refer to the earliest Buddhism, the ideas and practices of Gautama Buddha himself, it may refer to early Buddhism as existing until about one hundred years after the parinirvana of the Buddha until the first documented split in the sangha. Contrary to the claim of doctrinal stability, early Buddhism was a dynamic movement.
Pre-sectarian Buddhism may have included or incorporated other Śramaṇic schools of thought, as well as Vedic and Jain ideas and practices. The first documented split occurred, according to most scholars, between the second Buddhist council and the third Buddhist council; the first post-schismatic groups are stated to be the Sthavira nikāya and the Mahāsāṃghika. Eighteen different schools came into existence; the Mahayana schools may have preserved ideas which were abandoned by the "orthodox" Theravada, such as the Three Bodies doctrine, the idea of consciousness as a continuum, devotional elements such as the worship of saints. Pre-sectarian Buddhism was one of the śramaṇic movements; the time of the Buddha was a time of urbanisation in India, saw the growth of the śramaṇas, wandering philosophers that had rejected the authority of Vedas and Brahmanic priesthood, intent on escaping saṃsāra through various means, which involved the study of natural laws, ascetic practices, ethical behavior. The śramaṇas gave rise to different religious and philosophical schools, among which pre-sectarian Buddhism itself, Jainism, Ājīvika, Ajñana and Cārvāka were the most important, to popular concepts in all major Indian religions such as saṃsāra and moksha.
Despite the success that these wandering philosophers and ascetics had obtained by spreading ideas and concepts that would soon be accepted by all religions of India, the orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy opposed to śramaṇic schools of thought and refuted their doctrines as "heterodox", because they refused to accept the epistemic authority of Vedas, denied the existence of the soul and/or the existence of Ishvara. The ideas of saṃsāra, karma and rebirth show a development of thought in Indian religions: from the idea of single existence, at the end of which one was judged and punished and rewarded for one's deeds, or karma; this release was the central aim of the Śramaṇa movement. Vedic rituals, which aimed at entrance into heaven, may have played a role in this development: the realisation that those rituals did not lead to an everlasting liberation led to the search for other means. Earliest Buddhism can only be deduced from the various Buddhist canons now extant, which are all sectarian collections.
As such any reconstruction is tentative. One method to obtain information on the oldest core of Buddhism is to compare the oldest extant versions of the Theravadin Pāli Canon, the surviving portions of the scriptures of Sarvastivada, Mahīśāsaka and other schools, the Chinese āgamas and other surviving portions of other early canons. Early proto-Mahayana texts which contain nearly identical material to that of the Pali Canon such as the Salistamba Sutra are further evidence; the beginning of this comparative study began in the 19th century, Samuel Beal published comparative translations of the Pali patimokkha and the Chinese Dharmaguptaka pratimoksa, showing they were identical. He following this up with comparisons between the Chinese sutras and the Pali suttas in 1882 predicting that "when the Vinaya and Āgama collections are examined, I can have little doubt we shall find most if not all the Pali Suttas in Chinese form." In the following decades various scholars continued to produce a series of comparative studies, such as Anesaki, Yin Shun and Thich Minh Chau.
These studies, as well as recent work by Analayo, Marcus Bingenheimer and Mun-keat Choong, have shown that the essential doctrinal content of the Pali Majjhima and Samyutta Nikayas and the Chinese Madhyama and Samyukta Agamas is the same. According to scholars such as Rupert Gethin and Peter Harvey, the oldest recorded teachings are contained in the first four Nikayas of the Sutta Pitaka and their various parallels in other languages, together with the main body of monastic rules, which survive in the various versions of the patimokkha. Scholars have claimed that there is a core within this core, referring to some poems and phrases which seem to be the oldest parts of the Sutta Pitaka; the reliability of these sources, the possibility to draw out a core of oldest teachings, is a matter of dispute. According to Tillman Vetter, the comparison of the oldest extant texts "does not just lead to the oldest nucleus of the doctrine." At best, it leads to... a Sthavira can
The Dhamma Chakra is a symbol from ancient India and one of the Ashtamangala of Hinduism, Buddhism. The Dhamma wheel symbol has represented Buddhism, Gautama Buddha's teachings and his walking of the path to Enlightenment since the time of early Buddhism; the symbol is connected to the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The Sanskrit noun dharma is a derivation from the root dhṛ, which has a meaning of "to hold, keep", takes a meaning of "what is established or firm", hence "law", it is derived from the Vedic Sanskrit n-stem dharman- with the meaning "bearer, supporter" in the historical Vedic religion conceived of as an aspect of Ṛta. The wheel is the main attribute of Vishnu, the Vedic god of preservation. Madhavan and Parpola note Chakra sign appears in Indus Valley civilization, on several seals. Notably, in a sequence of ten signs on the Dholavira signboard, four are the chakra. Common Dharmachakra symbols consist of either 24 spokes. In Unicode, as emoji: ☸️; the Buddha described the 24 qualities of ideal Buddhist followers, represented by the 24 spokes of the Ashoka Chakra which represent 24 qualities of a Santani: Also an integral part of the emblem is the motto inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script: Satyameva Jayate.
This is a quote from the concluding part of the sacred Hindu Vedas. In the Bhagavad Gita too, verses 14, 15 and 16, of Chapter 3 speaks about the revolving wheel thus: "From food, the beings are born; the one who does not follow the wheel thus revolving, leads a sinful, vain life, rejoicing in the senses." The Dharmachakra is one of the ashtamangala of Buddhism. It is one of the oldest known Buddhist symbols found in Indian art, appearing with the first surviving post-Indus Valley Civilization Indian iconography in the time of the Buddhist king Ashoka; the Buddha is said to have set the dhammacakka in motion when he delivered his first sermon, described in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. The wheel itself depicts ideas about the cycle of saṃsāra and furthermore the Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhism adopted the wheel as the main symbol of the chakravartin "wheel-turner", the ideal king or "universal monarch", symbolising the ability to cut through all obstacles and illusions. According to Harrison, the symbolism of "the wheel of the law" and the order of Nature is visible in the Tibetan prayer wheels.
The moving wheels symbolize the movement of cosmic order. The image, having been found in antiquity is referred to as Rimbo is an accepted symbol used in Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, first Vice President of India has stated that the Ashoka Chakra of India represents the Dharmachakra. In the Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana, two kings named Jadabharata of the Hindu solar and lunar dynasties are referred to as "Chakravartins". Jagdish Chandra Jain referred to this icon in Kalinga. In Jainism, the Dharmachakra is worshipped as a symbol of the dharma. Other "chakras" appear in other Indian traditions, e.g. Vishnu's Sudarśanacakra, a wheel-shaped weapon; the former Flag of Sikkim featured a version of the dharmachakra. Thai people use a yellow flag with a red dhammacakka as their Buddhist flag; the emblem of Mongolia includes a dharmachakra together with some other Buddhist attributes such as the padma, cintamani, a blue khata and the Soyombo symbol. The dharmachakra is the insignia for Buddhist chaplains in the United States Armed Forces.
In non-Buddhist cultural contexts, an eight-spoked dharmachakra resembles a traditional ship's wheel. As a nautical emblem, this image is a common sailor tattoo. In the Unicode computer standard, the dharmachakra is called the "Wheel of Dharma" and found in the eight-spoked form, it is represented as U+2638. In Falun Gong or Falun Dafa, the Fǎlún is described as “an intelligent, rotating entity composed of high-energy matter.” Practitioners of Falun Gong cultivate this Law Wheel, which rotates in the lower abdomen, the same focal point described as Lower Dāntián. Dorothy C. Donath. Buddhism for the West: Theravāda, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna. Julian Press. ISBN 0-07-017533-0. Media related to Dharmacakra at Wikimedia CommonsBuddhist Wheel Symbol