The Wheel of Life

Buddhist Tanka (19th-20th century)

Although the Buddist is constantly meditating the seemingly timeless soul, there is nothing but time-consciousness in his mind till realization. The buddhists believe in reincarnation and are in constant contemplation of the wheel of life shown in this tanka. One has to return until one has escaped from this reality of cycling through time ruled by Yama, the Lord of death. We see in the wheel of life six spheres of possible rebirth. In the middle there are three symbols for the most important sins of men: the pig for desire, the snakle for hatred and the rooster for bewilderment. The tankas serve meditation as a visualization aid. They are usually round like many of their temporary mandalas made of colored sand.

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