If you want Lord Buddha to give you a spiritual lecture in front of your eyes, then you should buy the Wheel of Life Thangka that will show the result of your action. It is the representation of Lord Buddha’s vision. The vision he had seen and experienced during the enlightenment. He wants people to look at each part of the Wheel of Life Thangka that helps them to understand themselves better.
The Wheel of Life thangka is also known by the name of Bhavachakra thangka or the Wheel of Samsara.
Bhava means the world where you live in and chakra means the wheel that moves in your life.
Just like the wheel moves, people also move.
Samsara means the cycle of birth.
The word move means the nature of human beings: greed, selfishness, passion, good, fear, jealousy, anger, bad, love, hatred, etc.
It further means the different ages of man. Under it, also comes the area of how you came into this world through your mother, from teenhood how you reach manhood, how you become old, and why everyone has to leave this world one day, and whether you will reincarnate or not after your death.
Last but not least, it means wishes, how he works hard to fulfill them, and how he is surrounded by fear of losing his wealth and position. This is a short explanation of Bhavachakra.
But we will try our best to become good teachers so that you can understand with your mind easily.
But before all that let us tell you.
The Wheel of Life Also Represents the Philosophy of Buddhism.
And they are ignorance, suffering, anger, lust, Nirvana, etc.
The Wheel of Life also displays the skills of the painter.
We will discuss each of these below, looking at Bhavachakra thangka.
Table of Contents
Wheel of Life: Four Circles
There are four circles of Bhavachakra. Inside the smallest circle, you will see three animals. They denote lust, infatuation, attraction, ignorance, dullness, greediness, desires, anger, wrath, the characteristics of an evil person, etc. Lord Buddha says human beings possess the characteristics of these three animals.
If you want to attain Nirvana, then you got to free yourself from these characteristics. The smallest circle is surrounded by another circle which you can call the third largest circle (that will be easy for you to understand), where you see human beings going towards the direction of the sky and other human beings going down towards hell. The white color denotes good deeds, and the black denotes the deeds of an evil person.
The content of the third circle has been mentioned below.
The Six Realms of the Wheel of Life
There are six spokes inside Bhavachakra, and each of these spokes forms six rooms that will tell us why some people go to the lower three rooms after their death and why some go to the upper three rooms. They are also called the six realms of Bhavachakra.
The lower three rooms are for the people who are ignoring all the time, who have a high temper all the time, and whose minds are filled up with greediness, lust, and passion for wealth and women. These three rooms are compared to hell.
The three upper rooms signify heaven with their pictures, but not in that sense it generally means. This heaven is also for those people who came out of ignorance, who were not greedy, and who controlled their lust. You will also see the picture that shows the battle between gods and demons.
This picture represents even heaven cannot give you the peace you are looking for in your life.
Every six realms of Bhavachakra tells us what we get after our death and what Lord Buddha told his followers.
By now, you must have realized that Bhavachakra also provides a solution to your problem.
Let us explain the fourth circle to you, and its name has been given below.
The Twelve Links of Dependent Origination
They are represented by pictures that make it easy to understand, and their names are:
Shapes and Names
Aging and Death
In the first picture, you will see a blind man. This means you lack knowledge, the knowledge that will differentiate the good from the bad.
In the second picture, you will see a potter. Since the job of a potter is to make pots, we have to understand in this way that the potter thinks of himself in terms of right and wrong. These two terms later become ethical practices in our life.
The monkey never stays in one place; it jumps from one place to another; this movement of the monkey is compared to our minds which become high sometimes and low most of the time.
Shapes and Names
The shape means the body we have. If you look at the picture, we will see the picture of a man who is our parent.
We came into this world through him, and we got our names from our parents.
The picture of six windows represents five senses, including the sixth sense.
It means we are aware of the surroundings, and we become that by touching, by smelling, by feeling, etc.
This is the seventh picture, and it represents the feeling of happiness and sadness.
The eighth picture represents the desires of human beings.
When our desire reaches its peak, we want to fulfill our desire by hook or by crook. The picture also represents our desires that have increased with our wants.
Here in this picture, you will see a pregnant woman who is going to give a new birth in this world.
In the eleventh picture, you will see a woman giving birth.
Aging and Death
In the twelfth picture, you will see an old man carrying a sack. He came into this world as a baby; he became old, and one day he died.
On the top of the circles and on the right side of Lord Yama, you will see Lord Buddha pointing his finger to the moon, which represents the stage of Nirvana.
The stage Lord Buddha reached through enlightenment