Tricakra, Tri-cakra: 7 definitions


Tricakra means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Trichakra.

In Hinduism

General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Vedic index of Names and Subjects

Tricakra (त्रिचक्र) refers to “three wheels” and represents a synonym for chariot (ratha).—In seven passages of the Ṛgveda a chariot is called ‘three-wheeled’ (tricakra) in a few others ‘seven-wheeled’, while in one of the Atharvaveda it is styled ‘eight-wheeled’. Cakra, the ‘wheel’ of a chariot or wagon, is repeatedly mentioned from the Ṛgveda onwards, often in a metaphorical sense. [...] Zimmer argues that these epithets do not refer to real chariots, pointing out that in all the passages where tricakra, ‘ three-wheeled’, occurs there is a mythical reference. On the other hand, Weber thinks that there might have been chariots with three wheels, one being in the centre between the two occupants. This is not very conclusive; at any rate, the seven-wheeled and the eight-wheeled chariots can hardly be regarded as indicating the existence of real vehicles with that number of wheels.

The epithet trivandhura is used of the chariot of the Aśvins, seemingly to correspond with another of its epithets, tricakra: perhaps, as Weber thinks, a chariot with three seats and three wheels was a real form of vehicle; but Zimmer considers that the vehicle was purely mythical. Garta also denotes the seat of the warrior.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: A Critical Study of the Vajraḍākamahātantrarāja (II)

Tricakra (त्रिचक्र) refers to the “three cricles” containing the twenty-four districts or seats (deśa, kṣetra or sthāna) resided over twenty-four “sacred girls” (ḍākinīs), according to the 9th-centruy Vajraḍākatantra.—A list of names of such Ḍākinīs and of their internal seats told before is given, accompanied with a list of these Ḍākinīs’ husbands who are called heroes (vīra). These heroes abide in one’s body in the form of twenty-four ingredients (dhātu) of one’s body (fingernails, teeth, hair on the head and body and so on).

Such twenty-four districts or seats form three circles (tricakra) i.e.:—

  1. ‘the cicle of mind’ (cittacakra),
  2. ‘the circle of word’ (vākcakra),
  3. ‘the circle of body’ (kāyacakra).

And the sacred girls (Ḍākinīs) residing on each of tricakra are called respectively:—

  1. ‘a woman going in the sky’ (khecarī),
  2. ‘a woman going on the ground’ (bhūcarī),
  3. ‘a woman living underground’ (pātālavāsinī).
Source: MDPI Books: The Ocean of Heroes

Tricakra (त्रिचक्र) refers to the “triple wheel” (i.e., the Cittacakra, Vākcakra and Kāyacakra).—The form of maṇḍala that is widely taught in the scriptures belonging to the Saṃvara scriptural tradition is the five-fold Heruka maṇḍala. It consists of five concentric circles: from the center, the Great Pleasure Circle (mahāsukhacakra), the Mind Circle (cittacakra), the Speech Circle (vākcakra), the Body Circle (kāyacakra), and the Vow Circle (samayacakra). The Mind, Speech, and Body Circles are collectively called the triple wheel (tricakra) and are colored black, red, and white, respectively The Lord and Mistress, Heruka (also called Saṃvara in some texts) and Vajravārāhī, are situated in sexual union at the center.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Tricakra (त्रिचक्र).—[adjective] three-wheeled; [neuter] such a carriage.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Tricakra (त्रिचक्र):—[=tri-cakra] [from tri] mfn. having 3 wheels, [Ṛg-veda i, iv, viii, x] ([scilicet] ratha, [85, 14]).

[Sanskrit to German]

Tricakra in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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