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JPEG image of the Tibetan Wheel (35K)

This is an introduction to the Dhamma which is based on Dependent Origination using a symbolic personification of the ideas expressed by using water colours in Thai art.

Yaksha (Giant) represents time which consumes day and night all sentient beings who are deluded, overcome by ignorance. He is a fierce creature who stands for the 3 defilements. His appearance is extremely ugly and frightening. He drags all beings into the fire.

The 5 skulls symbolise the 5 aggregates (body, feeling, perception, intentional activities and consciousness) which are not to be attached to as they are impermanent and in constant flux throughout the lifetime of a human being.

The tiger skin which covers Yaksha signifies the mental intoxication and latent dispositions which envelop and cling to sentient beings, consuming them day and night.

The Buddha in the Cycle symbolises the Buddha image (Transcendental wisdom), the One who knows, mindfulness which can appear in everybody's mind. When there is no ignorance, the Buddha (Transcendental wisdom) leads people away from the Cycle because such wisdom is beyond Kamma, cause and effect.

The Giant's white eyes represent days and the black ones represent nights. Days and nights constantly devour the lives of all sentient beings.

The red flowers on Yaksha's ears represent humans and animals who are deluded by the 5 objects of sensual enjoyment (form, sound, smell, taste and tangible objects).

The flaming necklace symbolises people's worry for their children, grandchildren and relations.

The foot bangles symbolise attachment to homes, land, jewellery and money (both the movable and the fixed property).

The hand bangles signify a married couple who constantly worry about each other and cannot be separated. They are tied together until their dying days.

The Buddha above the Circle, standing and pointing the Way to Ananda (one of the chief disciples), shows that the only way to Cessation of Suffering is to see the 4 Noble Truths, to know how to practise the Eightfold Noble Path, and to understand Dependent Origination. Consequently, one will be able to rise above the Cycle of Existence (Nibbana). There will be no return to the cycle of Kamma and the world of Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta (Impermanence, Suffering and Egolessness).

The fingernails, which are sharp, pointed and frightening, illustrate humans and animals falling victim, about to be devoured by him. They will have great difficulty in getting rid of the (ten) fetters and latent dispositions that bind them to the round of rebirth.

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HTML transcription by Paul Trafford ( see contact details).