The Wheel of Samsara: What is it?

The Wheel of Samsara is the cycle of birth, life, death and reincarnation (rebirth in Buddhism) in the philosophic traditions of India, Hinduism, Buddhism. Jainism, Bön, sijism, and also in others such as Gnosticism, the Rosicrucians and other ancient philosophic religions in the world.

According to these religions, during every life, Dharma (the actions made for good) and Karma (consequences of the actions done/decided). Determine the future destiny of every being in «the process of achieving to be» (evolution or involution). This cyclical process ends with the achievement of moksha (union with God).

The Wheel of Samsara


To really raise consciousness with an open mind. To receive new knowledge and accept and respect the traditions and cultures of other region in the world, is important to know their belief. Therefore, next the keywords Dharma, Karma and Moksha will be explained, to understand the Samsara cycle completely.


It’s a Sanskrit word and means religion. Religious law; right devout behaviour. The opposite or antonym would be adharma or irreligion.

In Buddhism, it also means protection, and it is taught to people to protect themselves from suffering as consequence of Karma with methods, techniques and different practices to train Dharma, which is considered as a supreme formula to achieve peace and inner happiness.


It comes from Sanskrit and means action. It’s a law, an invisible energy produced by a god (God Lama in Hinduism) or by the forces of nature (a belief in Buddhism and Jainism). It’s a law, a rule of cause and effect or reward for the actions done in the past, present and future of every life during the “Wheel of Destiny”.


It comes from Sanskrit and means spiritual release from Samsara and from the consequences of Karma. It has differences in Hinduism and Jainism beliefs.

In Jainism, Moksha means liberation, salvation or emancipation of the soul from the ties of karma and Samsara. This means achieving the full knowledge and spiritual wisdom, getting the Siddha level or “supreme soul”, which is the last aim of those who practice this religion. which is the reason why they dedicate themselves to walking that road to liberation at all times.

The Wheel of Samsara: Origins

It’s the dependent and cyclical origin of the idea of the own ego, of its preferences, of its needs, and of the existence of pleasant and unpleasant things. In Buddhism, it’s called the “wheel of birth and death” or the “wheel of Samsara», and it’s represented by a drum that turns constantly in many monasteries and Buddhist homes.

It’s also called paticca-samuppada / pratitya-samutpada, or law of interdependence, conditioned emergence, law of causality, or the twelve-member chain. It constitutes the development of the Second and Third Noble Truths of Buddhism, which explain how suffering appears and how it can overcome.

The Wheel of Samsara

The Wheel of Samsara, also known as “Wheel of Destiny, “Wheel of Life”, “Cosmogenesis Wheel of Ezequiel”. “Wheel of Fortune”. “Arcane 10” and “Wheel of Archangel Hariton”. Is a visual and religious representation of Samsara. which when turning would explain the cycles and different stages of physical life: birth. life, death, rebirth or reincarnation. It’s an endless circle of life tied to suffering.

The goal of Buddhism. Hinduism and other religions is achieving the release from the ties of the Wheel of Life and Karma through overcoming desires and physical passions. Where the spiritual part, fulfilment and the intimate self-fulfilment of being must prevail.  Buddhists believe and point out that Buddha achieved freed himself and get out of the Wheel of Destiny. So he reached “full fulfilment and enlightenment, the awakening of his consciousness, the supreme soul”.


La rueda de samsara

Buddha had a necklace with 108 pearls which, in turn, represented 108 lives which we have right to in order to achieve the release of the personal self from hate, selfishness, and the ignorance that prevents full self-fulfilment; and if the person doesn’t achieve it in that time, he or she will have to be born again; he or she has to level down to appear and be reborn in hell.

In addition, according to Buddhist beliefs, the wheel turns three thousand times to allow the person to go in search of the release from the ties of Karma and Samsara, and if he or she doesn’t achieve it in that time, his or her essence is lost and would stop existing completely.

Then, according to Buddhists, 108 lives for 3000 cycles that the wheel makes is 324.000 (three hundred twenty-four thousand). Human lives, which sadly includes having entered and got out of hell 3 thousand times. If after all that time, those lives and opportunities. The person cannot overcome and defeat all the obstacles and tests as part of its karma, his or her existence ends completely and suffers an absolute disintegration of his or her being.

The Three Poisons of the Mind

“Three roots of the bad thing” are what makes the wheel turn eternally. Three animals appear: the pig, which represents ignorance; the cock or bird, which symbolizes desire and ambition; and the snake, which means anger, hatred. At the same time, they’re joined and it seems that they wanted hunt, eat or swallow each other because the cock bites the pig, the pig bites the snake and this one bites the cock.

The first poison represented by the cock is desire and ambition, the attachment to unnecessary things, the thirst for appropriating and having material goods and everything that leads the person to satisfy carnal and physical desires.

The second poison is reflected by the snake. It’s hatred, anger, aggressiveness and the malevolence that manifests itself with the personal and interpersonal way of being.

The third poison is materialized by the pig, which symbolizes stupidity, lack of knowledge and the ignorance of what is valuable and meaningful, of spiritual and divine things to go in search of material, physical and worldly things.

The three appear united, inseparable to intervene in the plan of existence to lead the actions that will determine the present and future life, to control the emotions that move away people from the search of their personal fulfilment and keep them tied to karma, to the eternal incarnation or rebirth if they don’t achieve the release from that endless labyrinth.