Buddhist Wheel of Law
On View In:
Gallery 220
Artist:   Japanese  
Title:   Buddhist Wheel of Law  
Date:   13th century  
Medium:   Gilt bronze  
Dimensions:   4 1/2 in. (11.43 cm) (diameter)  
Credit Line:   Gift of funds from Mr. and Mrs. Samuel H. Maslon  
Location:   Gallery 220  

The Buddhist ritual object known in Japan as rimpo_ ultimately derives from an ancient Indian weapon known as cakra, one of the seven treasures of the Universal Monarch, or Cakra-vartin (Wheel Turner). The magical power of the cakra was believed to scatter the enemies of Cakra-vartin in all directions. In Buddhism, it came to symbolize the historic Buddha's ability to dispel opposing doctrines through his teachings. Thus, his discourse is known as "Turning the Wheel of the Law." This wheel is comprised of eight vajra spokes, symbolizing the Buddha's Eightfold Path, radiating out from a center lotus, emblematic of purity.

Object Description  
Classification:   Metalwork  
Physical Description:   Wheel of the Law, Buddhist (shingon sect.) gilded bronze  
Creation Place:   Asia, Japan, , ,  
Accession #:   72.6a,b  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts