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Wheel Of Suffering

Wheel of Conditioned Existence – The symbolic representation of the Six Realms, which traditionally refers to the process of reincarnation.

The Buddha is usually depicted standing next to the Wheel and pointing away from it.   This indicates that the only way to free oneself from the Wheel is to get off it completely.

It is said that being born in the Human Realm is the most fortunate one because it allows one the greatest chance at achieving Liberation.   The reasons cited for this are that in the Hell, Hungry Ghost or Jealous God Realms one expends too much energy just surviving to be able to have time to cultivate understanding of the Teachings.   In the Animal Realm one is too ignorant to grasp the Teachings.   Even from the God Realm it is harder to attain enlightenment because there one can be so wrapped up in sensual pleasure that there is no motivation to get off the Wheel, and the unfortunate and inevitable result is that the God Realm reverts to the Hell Realm eventually.

From a Buddha Brat perspective these Realms don’t exist as actual places but rather states of mind and that we as humans have a unique capacity to express each of these Realms.   The key is to make peace with and integrate these realms as personal Aspects, thereby freeing oneself from being bound by it due to aversion or attachment to any of these states.

Compare to Samsara and Nirvana.  Also see Six Realms, Aspects and Buddha.

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