The wheel of life

The Buddhist Wheel of Life

The Buddhist Wheel of Life or Dharma represents the suffering and impermanence of life. It is portrayed as an 8 spoked wheel, and the spokes symbolize the Eightfold Path. This is the foundation of Buddhist practice. It is the way to end suffering.

The Eightfold Path is

  • Right view
  • Right intention
  • Right speech
  • Right action
  • Right livelihood
  • Right effort
  • Right mindfulness
  • Right concentration

These are a practical set of rules to live by and combined with the Four Noble Truths, form the basis of Buddhist belief.

The Four Noble Truths are

  • Life means suffering
  • The origin of suffering is attachment
  • The ending of suffering is attainable
  • There is a path to the ending of suffering.

The wheel of life, Samsara, is common to both Hinduism and Buddhism. It is a symbol of birth and death. Each rotation of the wheel is equivalent to a lifetime, and once a rotation is completed, then the life cycle begins again.