Bhavachakra – The Wheel of Existence


Anonymous - Bhavachakra – The Wheel of Existence
The Wheel of Existence symbolises the cycle of life, death and eternal rebirth. The painting needs to be read starting from the hub, where one finds the Three Poisons of the soul – delusion (a black pig), aversion (a green snake) and attachment (a red rooster). The main layer of the wheel is divided into six sections, depicting the six realms of existence: the realm of the gods, demigods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts and beings suffering in Hell. The figure of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara appears in the individual realms, preaching the Buddha’s teachings. According to one’s deeds, anyone can move upwards or downwards in their subsequent rebirth, and this is symbolised by ascending and descending figures in a black and white middle circle. The historical Buddha Shakyamuni stands on the top left, outside of the wheel.
measurements: height 97 cm
width 80,5 cm
material: cotton
technique: painted in colors
inventory number: Vm 2770
gallery collection: Collection of Asian and African Art