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The Wheel of Life



Among Buddhists, all living beings are born into one of the six states of existence:
1. Beings in Hell The lowest and worst realm, wracked by torture and characterized by aggression.

2. Hungry Ghost The realm of hungry spirits; characterized by great craving and eternal starvation;

3. Animals The realm of animals and livestock, characterized by stupidity and servitude.

4. Asura The realm of anger, jealousy, and constant war; the Asura (Ashura) are demigods, semi-blessed beings; they are powerful, fierce and quarrelsome; like humans, they are partly good and partly evil. See Hachi Bushu (8 Legions) for details.

5. Humans The human realm; beings who are both good and evil; enlightenment is within their grasp, yet most are blinded and consumed by their desires.

6. Deva The realm of heavenly beings filled with pleasure; the deva hold godlike powers; some reign over celestial kingdoms; most live in delightful happiness and splendor; they live for countless ages, but even the Deva belong to the world of suffering (samsara) -- for their powers blind them to the world of suffering and fill them with pride -- and thus even the Deva grow old and die; some say that because their pleasure is greatest, so too is their misery.

All are trapped in this wheel of life, as the Tibetans call it. All beings within the six realms are doomed to death and rebirth in a recurring cycle over countless ages -- unless they can break free from desire and attain enlightenment. Further, upon death, all beings are reborn into a lower or a higher realm depending on their actions while still alive.
Image size
3888x2592px 4.81 MB
Shutter Speed
10/800 second
Focal Length
19 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Apr 12, 2009, 5:14:52 PM
© 2009 - 2023 ahermin
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