Wheel of Life Thangka, also referred to as Bhavachakra, is a detailed painting which communicates the ceaseless, cyclical cycles of life, death, and rebirth central to Buddhism. This artwork is a commonly accepted reference material to facilitate greater understanding of Buddhist principles.
This Wheel of Life Thangka usually features a substantial circular image, segmented and surrounded by ornate designs. At its core is the circle of life, depicting the recurrent stages of birth, maturity, sickness, death, and rebirth. At the outer rim are twelve links of dependent origination, demonstrating the cause-and-effect relationships that propel the cycle of life. The inner rim details the six realms of existence, encompassing deities, demigods, mortals, animals, ghosts, and hell.
The Wheel of Life thangka is a visual aid designed to prompt reflection on the nature of suffering, impermanence, and liberation in Buddhism. Practitioners can use the thangka to evaluate their actions, explore virtuous qualities, and strive for enlightenment. Intentionally intricate symbolism allows students to deepen their comprehension of Buddhist teachings as they contemplate the illustration. This representation serves as an ongoing reminder to strive for harmony and balance in life.