Bhavacakra or Bhavachakra, known as the wheel of life is painted in the Buddhist temples in Tibet and India. It is a symbolic representation of the wheel of life.
Here is the gist of Bhavacakra:
- Ignorance of mistaking non-self as self-leads to aversion and attachments.
- This, in turn, leads to volition, action and the pleasant or unpleasant consequences of the actions.
- Depending on the consequences, a person enjoys or suffers the fruits of his action.
- The 12 nidanas give a clear picture of dependent origination. It states that everything is interconnected with various casual links. Nirvana or liberation is the only thing which is not affected by dependent origination.
- The five aggregates are impermanent and clinging to them causes suffering.
- There is a way to get liberated. It is called as eightfold path.
This is a mandala and can be used for meditation. To know more about the mandalas, read the following posts:
- A Shamatha Meditation Based on Symbolism, Visualization, Mnemonics and Classical Conditioning
- The Truth About Yantras, Chakras, Temples, Tantra and Agamas
(I will make a detailed video about this shortly. Subscribe to my Youtube channel to watch the videos in time: http://bit.ly/shanmugamy )
Here are some useful infographics which give the details about various aspects of Bhavacakra mandala.
(You can also interpret these realms as the periods of your current life. For example, a person might be in any of the following realms for a few months:
Sometimes we are like devas, very happy and pleased;
Sometimes like asuras, even though happy we don’t feel content and this leads to craving, attachment and aversion;
Sometimes like humans, being more responsible and showering love to friends, families and others;
Sometimes like animals, just eating and sleeping;
Sometimes like a hungry ghost, deprived of our needs and feel totally dissatisfied, frustrated and helpless;
Sometimes like beings of the hell, going through extreme suffering that seems to be endless.
The idea is to convey that none of these states are permanent and a proper spiritual practice is the only way to find permanent bliss in life.)