Wheel of the Law, Buddhist (shingon sect.) gilded bronze

Chakra, 13th century


This implement was used in Buddhist rituals. Its wheel shape is derived from an ancient Indian throwing weapon, or chakra, that was believed to be one of the seven treasures of universal monarchs known as chakravartin (literally, “wheel-turning kings”). The mystical weapon was believed to scatter the monarch’s enemies in all directions. In Buddhism, it came to symbolize the vanquishing of passions and desires that lead to human suffering.

4 1/2 in. (11.43 cm) (diameter)
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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Wheel of the Law, Buddhist (shingon sect.) gilded bronze