THE WHEEL OF LIFE -- 12 CAUSES OF DEPENDENT ORIGINATION  



IGNORANCE is therefore the ultimate link in the chain, the source
from which our pain and suffering arise. Once Ignorance is de-
stroyed by the gaining of Wisdom and Insight, then the whole
Dependent Origination will col apse.
Pictorial representation of these Twelve Causes and Conditions
can best be seen from the Tibetan Wheel of Life. At the rim
of the Wheel are the twelve symbolic il ustrations, each repre-
senting one of the links of the Twelvefold Chain of Causation
whereby sentient beings are ensnared life after life. It can be ex-
plained thus:
1. A BLIND MAN as primordial IGNORANCE.
2. A POTTER as ACTIVITY which brings about Karmic
Formations.
3. AN ACTIVE MONKEY as CONSCIOUSNESS.
4. TWO MEN IN A BOAT as NAME and FORM.
5. HOUSES WITH SIX WINDOWS as SIX ENTRANCES
6. LOVE-MAKING as CONTACT
7. ARROW IN THE EYE as FEELING.
8. DRINKING as THIRST or CRAVING.
9. A MONKEY GRASPING FRUITS as GRASPING.
10. A PREGNANT WOMAN AS BECOMING or EXISTENCE.
11. CHILDBIRTH As BIRTH.
12. MAN CARRYING A CORPSE representing DECAY which
results in DEATH to be fol owed by rounds of birth and
death endlessly within the Samsaric existences.

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