About Dharma

Dharma Wheel

Buddha’s teachings are said to be like a precious wheel because, wherever they spread, the people in that area have the opportunity to control their minds by putting them into practice.

After he had attained enlightenment, as a result of requests Buddha rose from meditation and taught the so-called first “Wheel of Dharma.” These teachings, which include the Sutra of the Four Noble Truths and other discourses, are the principal source of the Hinayana, or Lesser Vehicle, of Buddhism. Later, Buddha taught the second and third Wheels of Dharma, which include the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras and the Sutra Discriminating the Intention, respectively. These teachings are the source of the Mahayana, or Great Vehicle, of Buddhism. In the Hinayana teachings, Buddha explains how to attain liberation from suffering for oneself alone. In the Mahayana teachings he explains how to attain full enlightenment, or Buddhahood, for the sake of others. Both traditions flourished in Asia, at first in India and then gradually in other surrounding countries, including Tibet. Now they are also beginning to flourish in the West.

Buddha’s teachings, which are known as “Dharma”, are likened to a wheel that moves from country to country in accordance with changing conditions and people’s karmic inclinations. The external forms of presenting Buddhism may change as it meets with different cultures and societies, but its essential authenticity is ensured through the continuation of an unbroken lineage of realized practitioners. Buddha’s teachings are said to be like a precious wheel because, wherever they spread, the people in that area have the opportunity to control their minds by putting them into practice.

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Eight Steps to Happiness

Eight Steps to Happiness

As a commentary to one of Buddhism’s best-loved and most enduring teachings, Eight Verses of Training the Mind by the great Tibetan Bodhisattva Langri Tangpa, this book explains how to transform every moment of our life into a step on the path to inner peace, and in particular how to transform all of life’s difficulties into truly liberating experiences.

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© 2007 About Dharma. All rights reserved worldwide.

All quotations from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso's books copyright The New Kadampa Tradition - International Buddhist Union, all rights reserved worldwide. For more information on Geshe Kelsang's books visit Tharpa Publications.