Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Wheel of Life

In Buddhism, the Wheel of Life is a symbolic representation of samsara, the continuous cycle of birth, life, death. One is liberated from this endless cycle of rebirth when Enlightenment is achieved, and with this goal, the Awakened individual has won Nirvana, the highest state of bliss introduced by Gautama Buddha.

Liberation from the Wheel of Life in Hinduism and Jainism is achieved with Moksha, much to be desired and is one of the central pursuits.

The following diagram illustrates the basic wheel of life. More elaborate versions of this motif have been included in much of the art of these faiths.

See also: Buddhist symbolism