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Chakravartin ( चक्रवर्तिन् cakra-vartin , Sanskrit cakra, “wheel” and vartin, “someone who turns”; Pali cakkavattī , also interpreted as “for whom the wheel of the law (Dharmachakra / Dhammacakka) turns”, or “the that Setting the wheel of the law in motion ”) describes in the Indian religions an ideal, comprehensive ruler who, based on the Dharma , rules ethically and benevolently over the entire world. Another interpretation of the term is that "whose chariot wheels move freely" in the sense of "whose journeys are unhindered."

In Hindu texts, the rule of Chakravartin is called sarvabhauma as the perfect master . In the scriptures of the Buddhist Pali canon , the Chakravartin is often parallelized with Buddha . In his first discourse in the wildlife park near Isipatana, Buddha is presented as a teacher who sets the wheel of teaching in motion (Pali dhammacakkappavattana sutta ). In the Pali Canon, the Chakravartin is represented as a ruler who exercises justice, supports the poor and who solicits the advice of the monks for his rule ( D 3,26), as well as a ruler who guides his kingdom on the basis of the law ( A 3 , 14).


In Jainism , a Chakravartin ( Ardhamagadhi : cakkavaṭṭi m. ) Is a world ruler . His birth is announced by 14 dreams. In order to achieve world domination he has to win 14 treasures, namely a wheel, fleece, staff, umbrella, jewel, measure of measure, woman, sword, general, majordomo, builder, priest, horse and elephant. The first chakravartin was Bharata. Depending on the mode of ruling, a Chakravartin is reborn in heaven or in hell or he attains nirvana as an ascetic .


  • KV Soundara Rajan: The Chakravartin Concept and the Chakra (wheel) . In: Journal of Oriental Research , Madras 27, 1962, pp. 85-90.
  • Hans Wilhelm Haussig (Ed.): Gods and Myths of the Indian Subcontinent (= Dictionary of Mythology . Department 1: The ancient civilized peoples. Volume 5). Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1984, ISBN 3-12-909850-X .

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