The Bhavacakra (Sanskrit; Devanagari: भवचक्र; Pali: भभचक्क bhavacakka) or Wheel of Becoming (Tibetan: སྲིད་པའི་འཁོར་ལོ་ srid pa'i 'khor lo) is a complex symbolic representation of saṃsāra in the form of a circle, found primarily in Tibetan Buddhist art. Saṃsāra is the continuous cycle of birth, life, and death from which one liberates oneself through enlightenment.
Legend has it that the Buddha himself created the first depiction of the bhavacakra, and the story of how he gave the illustration to King Rudrāyaṇa appears in the anthology of Buddhist narratives called the Divyavadana.
In the Buddhist depiction, different karmic actions contribute to one's metaphorical existence in different realms, or rather, different actions reinforce personal characteristics described by the realms. Leading from the human realm to the outside of the wheel depicts the Buddhist path. (Epstein 1995, p.15-16)
The Bhavacakra is sometimes displayed with five sections, but the more recent and more common form has six sections.
The areas between the six spokes represent the six forms of unenlightened existence.
Names of the Bhavacakra
The Bhavacakra is also called:
Outline · Portal
Timeline · Councils
Four Noble Truths
Suffering · Middle Way
Non-self · Emptiness
Karma · Rebirth
Samsara · Cosmology
Full article ▸