The Bhavacakra, or
Wheel of Life, stands as a powerful Buddhist emblem signifying the unending
cycle of birth, existence, death, and rebirth known as samsara. Central to the
wheel are the three poisons, representing ignorance, attachment, and
aversion—the fundamental causes of human suffering.
from this central depiction lies the realm of Bardo, a state difficult to
directly translate, as it embodies the intermediate state between life and death.
This state comprises six realms, illustrating various forms of existence, from
divine pleasures to the agonies endured by beings in realms like that of hungry
ghosts and hell. Within this symbolism, the imagery portrays spirits being
drawn downwards by demons, a representation of succumbing to the three poisons
and negative karma. Conversely, disciples striving to overcome these poisons
ascend, symbolizing the battle against negativity and the pursuit of spiritual
growth. The Wheel of Life and the concept of Bardo offer a framework to
comprehend the cyclical nature of existence and the pursuit of spiritual
enlightenment in Buddhism.
Yama, the ruler of
death, is driving, emphasizing how impermanence is inevitable. The twelve links
of dependent origination circle the wheel, signifying the interdependent web of
causes and effects that sustains the cycle of rebirth. Because of their place
on this cosmic wheel, humans have an exceptional chance to advance spiritually
and achieve emancipation. Reminding practitioners of the core Buddhist
teachings regarding impermanence, suffering, and the path to enlightenment, the
Wheel of Life is a potent visual tool.
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