Himalayan Art Resources

Subject: Shapes (Weapon Wheel)

Wheel Page

Subjects, Topics & Types:
- Description (below)
- Flat Two Dimensional Wheel
- Sphere-like Three Dimensional Wheel
- Yantra Diagram Wheels
- Hand Attribute Wheel
- Confusions
- Others...

Video: Weapon Wheels in Tantric Art

A weapon wheel can be found as a two dimensional flat disc under the feet of some wrathful deities such as Mahakala and others. As a hand attribute it is most commonly found with wrathful forms of Manjushri such as Vajrabhairava and Krishna Yamari. The flat wheel can have sharp blade-like spokes as few as four and upwards of thirty or more, but always having an even numeric count. As a three dimensional object it is often referred to as a Protection Wheel and appears like a spiked-sphere used in visualization practices directed towards protection and well-being.

The weapon wheel is also used in the creation of yantra diagrams and magical amulets for both defensive and offensive rituals. Multiple wheels can be stacked together with the larger at the base to the smaller sizes at the top, peak or center of the diagram.

Small versions of the wheel are also included in the arsenal of weapons for wrathful deities. The function of this wheel is as a throwing weapon. For the various types of weapon wheels the spokes or blades are always imagined to be spinning rapidly and cutting all obstacles, foes and enemies.

Jeff Watt 5-2020 [updated 3-2024]

(The images below are only a selection of examples).