>> Tuesday, February 3, 2009
At a place called Mrigadavana (Deer Park) near Varanasi, Shakyamuni Buddha turned the First wheel of Law which constituted the doctrines of the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path and it is designated as Shravakayana.
At a place called Gridha-kuta hill (Vulture Peak) near Rajgir, the Buddha turned the Second Wheel of Law which constituted the doctrines of Emptiness and Selflessness of the person and phenomena. These doctrines are vividly preserved in Prajnaparamita literature and Vaipulya sutras. This approach was later known as Mahayana or Path of the Bodhisattva.
At Vaisali, on the other hand, the Buddha turned the Third Wheel of Law which constituted the doctrines of Buddha-nature as described in Tathagatagarbhasutra, Mahaparinirvanasutra and Dharanisvararaja sutra.
At various places such as Dhanyakataka, Sriparvat, Kamakhya, Sirihatta, Purnagiri, Odiyana, etc. the Buddha revealed the path of Mantra to his highly gifted disciples as a shorter path to attain enlightenment. This approach was termed as Vajrayana which integrates all three vehicles.
From: Iconography of Nepalese Buddhism, Min Bahadur Shakya, Buddha Dharma Education Association, 1994.