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.