Sunday, December 23, 2007

This traditional print depicts the cycle of worldly states of existence. The pictorial forms symbolize the self-perpetuating process of delusion. At its center are the animals representing the root causes of conditioned existence: ignorance, desire, and aversion. The next ring depicts the successive rising and falling action of Karma. Sentient beings revolve endlessly among the six realms, shown in the large middle circle. The outermost circle depicts the twelve phases of dependent origination (nidanas), links in the causal chain of cause and effect which governs existence. The entire Wheel of Life is in the grasp of Yama, Lord of Death. At the upper right, away from the endless circle stands a Bodhisattva who points toward another wheel: the Wheel of Dharma, representing the teachings of liberation.

No comments: