"I. The Ratana-Cakka
The ratana-cakka, the ideal wheel, is described as the divine wheel that appears to one who is destined to be a cakkavatti-rājā, a universal monarch. In this connection it must be mentioned that the Buddha is considered the spiritual
counterpart of a universal monarch. A universal monarch is the ideal layman (āgārika-ratana). He is the highest among
those who enjoy worldly pleasures (kāmabhogīnaṃ aggo). On the other hand, the Buddha is the ideal recluse (anāgārika-ratana), the highest among those who have removed the covering of defilements (vivaṭṭacchadanānaṃ aggo). Both the Buddha and the universal monarch are possessed of the mahāpurisa-lakkhaṇa, the auspicious marks of a Great Being.It is said that a person born with such marks is destined to either be a universal monarch or a Buddha, an Enlightened One, depending on the course of life each one prefers to
A universal monarch is blessed with the seven unique possessions (satta ratana), namely the ideal wheel(cakka-ratana), the ideal elephant (hatthi-ratana), the idealhorse (assa-ratana), the ideal gem (maṇi-ratana), the ideal wife (itthi-ratana), the ideal householder (gahapati-ratana),
and the ideal counsellor (parināyaka-ratana).
Of these, the ideal wheel is the most important, because the appearance
of this is the first indication that the king has become a universal monarch.
It is stated that a king having perfected the ten virtues of a universal monarch observes the eight precepts on a full-
moon day and then retires to the top-most floor of his mansion, when the divine wheel rises from the eastern
Ocean and comes through the sky like a second full moon. It circumambulates the mansion where the monarch awaits its
arrival, and appears close to the window within his sight.
When the monarch sees it, he pays it due homage and sprinkles water over it from a golden vessel and wishes it to go forth. On the command of the monarch, the great wheel starts on its mission and the conquest of the world begins.
From the time the cakka-ratana appears, the monarch concerned is entitled to the designation rāja cakkavatti—the sovereign mover of the wheel—and along with his retinue he follows it through the sky. "
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