Wheel of life is an endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. In Buddhism, it is represented as a process of ‘samsara’ highlighting birth, death and rebirth through six symbolic worlds. Wheel of life links with the Buddhist teachings essence, The 4 Truths. The 4 Truths which are Existence of earthly sufferings, it’s origin and cause, ending of suffering and path to liberation from suffering. According to Karma, cause and its effects are the fruits of one’s own deed and this is picturised in the Wheel of Life reminding us you are your own judge and is responsible for your fate.
The Wheel of Life has many layers to illustrate the 4 Truths. At the center is the Roots of Evil which is kept turning by the snake, the cock and the pig. The snake represents hatred, the cock represents greed and the pig ignorance, Enclosing it is the Paths we take in life which are the Dark Path and the White Path. The Dark Path depicts the three roots of evil and leads to hell and bad rebirths while the White Path depicts the Path of Bliss leading towards better rebirths and Nirvana. Enclosing these are the Symbolic Six Worlds telling the stories of different worlds and stories of Buddha illustrating the 4 Truths. After the Symbolic Six Worlds, Wheel of Life consists of the 12 independent causes and their effects enclosing it. Starting with ignorance at the top right of the circle following it is fate, consciousness, name and form, five senses, consequence of sensual perceptions, emotions, desire, sensual entanglement, procreation of new life, consequence of procreation followed by birth and finally it shows old age and death. These all are held by the Monster of Impernanence which appears above the rim of the wheel. Depicted with three glaring eyes, a ferocious face and a crown with skull. At the top right and left side of the Wheel are Buddha and Avalokiteshwora (Bodhisattva of Compassion).