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Samyutta Nikaya: The Noble Truth

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Published on Dec 22, 2014

Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion

Thus at that very moment, at that instant, the cry (that the Wheel of Truth is set in motion) spread as far as Brahma realm, the system of ten thousand worlds trembled and quaked and shook. A boundless sublime radiance surpassing the effulgence (power) of devas appeared in the world.

Two Extremes — Middle Path
Four Noble Truths — Cyclic Rebirth
Eightfold Path — Nirvana
Twelve Modes — Logic

The four noble truths and the three levels of knowledge appropriate to each — and lists their twelve permutations. In ancient Indian philosophical and legal traditions, this sort of discussion is called a wheel. Thus, this passage is the Wheel of Dhamma from which the discourse takes its name.

There are three aspects of knowledge with regard to each of the Four Noble Truths: 1. The knowledge that it is the Truth(sacca-ñana). 2. The knowledge that a certain function with regard to this Truth should be performed (kicca-ñana). 3. The knowledge that the function with regard to this Truth has been performed (kata-ñana). The twelve ways or modes are obtained by applying these three aspects to each of the Four Noble Truths.

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