[INDOLOGY] Revolving wheel in ancient Indian literature

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at umich.edu
Fri Mar 18 13:04:26 UTC 2016

The idea of a rotating wheel of time goes all the way back to the Rigveda:
dvādaśāraṃ na hi taj jarāya vavarti cakram pari dyām ṛtasya (don't have the
textual ref at hand).  The idea of the spokes of the wheel going up and
down is referred to in Sanskrit lit in many places with expressions like
cakra-nemi-krama and cakrārapaṅkti.

Madhav Deshpande

On Fri, Mar 18, 2016 at 8:42 AM, Artur Karp <karp at uw.edu.pl> wrote:

> Dear List,
> Mahabharata I, 29. 2-5 and Sumangalavilasini (Buddhaghosa's commentary to
> Mahaparinibbana-sutta)  VI, 26  contain images of a revolving wheel (with
> 360? spokes), guarded by figures with swords in hands, and by two serpents.
> Viśvakarma/Vissakamma is mentioned as the wheel's constructor.
> Is that - or similar - image present somewhere else in the ancient Indian
> literature?
> Thanks in advance for your comments -
> Artur Karp
> South Asian Studies Deptt (emeritus), University of Warsaw, Poland
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Madhav M. Deshpande
Professor of Sanskrit and Linguistics
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
202 South Thayer Street, Suite 6111
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608, USA

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