Thursday, May 9, 2013

Just to know... the wheel of life ..

The Ankh: (aka the crux aitsata, or the 'ansate' or 'handled cross') was sacred to the ancient Egyptians and is known as the original cross. This symbol stands for life or living, and forms part of the Egyptian words such as 'health' and 'happiness.' (This is why it's often referred to as the Key of Life which would unlock the gates of death, aka the cross of life.) It is linked with the Egyptian God Osiris and the Goddess Isis (the eternal mother and High Priestess who carries the Ankh in Her hand). Kings and Pharaohs are also oftentimes shown with an Ankh to distinguish them from "mere mortals."
The loop of the Ankh (which represents the womb, the feminine discipline) is considered to be the feminine, and the "T" shape is considered to be the masculine (the masculine discipline or the Penis). Together, these symbols create life and reflect a continued existence. It is sometimes called the Key of the Nile (the river that provided water for Egypt to survive - the Ankh is often associated with water, air, and the sun rising over the horizon) which further reinforces the image of fertility and reproduction. Of course, the Ankh can be further taken to symbolize the power to give and sustain life. With its deep Egyptian roots, it is no wonder that it is widely used within the Christian Coptic Orthodox Church Of Egypt.

Dharmacakra: "Wheel of Dharma" or "Wheel of Life".
The wheel's motion is a metaphor for the rapid spiritual change engendered by the teachings of the Buddha: the Buddha's first discourse at the Deer Park in Sarnath is known as the "first turning of the wheel of dharma." His subsequent discourses at Rajgir and Shravasti are known as the "second and third turnings of the wheel of dharma." The eight spokes of the wheel symbolize the Noble Eightfold Path set out by the Buddha in his teachings.

The wheel also represents the endless cycle of samsara, or rebirth, which can only be escaped by means of the Buddha's teachings. And some Buddhists regard the the wheel's three basic parts as symbols of the "three trainings" in Buddhist practice: The hub symbolizes moral discipline, which stabilizes the mind. The spokes (usually there are eight) represent wisdom which is applied to defeat ignorance. The rim represents training in concentration, which holds everything else together.

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