The Circle and the Wheel and the Sundoor

The Wheel


[aras-image:7Ae.001,,12,,,Figure 20 Roundel from railing post of stupa.]

When a static image is considered in dynamic terms, new associations emerge which enrich the symbolism of the image. The rotation of the circle becomes a wheel and symbolizes the ever-changing reality of existence. In Buddhist terms, this is the Wheel of the Law, the progression of things as they are, and the problem for man is to relate to the Law as a descriptive fact rather than regarding it as a legal prohibition.
A wheel is a cross contained by the circumference of the rim. At least two sets of axes are necessary to construct a wheel hence the cross manifests the intersection of a horizontal plane of reality by the downward thrust of a spiritual dimension. This intersection becomes the axes of a circle and the spokes of the wheel. The axles not only separates the two wheels of reality, but it also holds them together, thereby defining both separateness and relationship.