Friday, 1 February 2008

The Wheel of Life - Detailed Note

Buddha Figure
The appearance of the Buddha commemorates the potential Nirvana, inherent in all beings, because all creatures- the proud gods, the insatiable monsters, the warring titans, suffering men, as well as the tormented beings in hell and the animals – have the possibility of attaining salvation in a future good rebirth in the World of Men.
The Bodhisattava
Avalokiteshvara – the lord who looks down in compassion, the Bodhisattava of Compassion who weeps as he beholds the manifold suffering of all beings in the six realms and three spheres of existence. The Bodhisattava is the link between the mundane and the Transcendental. He represents the drive within the mundane to fulfill itself in the Transcendental.
The Monster of Impermanence
The Monster of Impermanence appears above the rim of the Wheel, a ferocious face with three fiercely glaring eyes and a crown of skulls. Holding the Wheel of Life in his claws, he is a symbol of the transitory nature of all earthly phenomena.
The Roots of Evil
The motive force that drives a wheel is at its hub. Thus, at the hub of the Wheel of Life are the cock, the snake and the pig, the forces that keep it turning. They are known as the "Three Unwholesome Roots"because they corrupt us from within. The cock represents greed, the snake hatred and the pig ignorance, and it is these three that underlie all human bondage and misery.
The Dark Path
The picture-path to follow begins in the center arrow of the wheel. There, the three spiritual poisons are depicted: a black pig for ignorance, a green snake for envy and hatred and red cock for lust and greed. Whoever delivers himself up to these basic evils walks along the Dark Path leading to hells and bad rebirths.
The White Path
The other way is the Path of Bliss leading to better rebirths and upwards to final liberation. Both paths are illustrated by the ring surrounding the center of the picture scroll: saints and sages lead the virtuous along the Path of Bliss, and demons, armed with nooses, drag the sinners along the Dark Path. In this way, the ignorant and the sinful, by the twelve interdependent causes and their effects are mercilessly driven through the Wheel of Life.

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eckhart tolle