Bhutans religion | Buddha Shakyamuni | The Buddhas life | The wheel of life | The chain of causation

The chain of causation

The twelve links in the chain of causation (nidana in Sanskrit), which lead to the cycle of rebirths, are represented in the wheel rim.


The first one is ignorance, represented on the right, half way down by an old, blind man. This leads to karmic predisposition and creation (potter at work). The next is unstable consciousness, followed by the six senses, including the mind. This is followed by the disposition of body and form (boat with oarsmen and two people at the river), which leads on to the formation of intellect and sense organs (house with door and windows). The embracing lovers symbolise the contact of the subject and outside world via the sense organs. This results in emotions (human being with an arrow in his eye). Emotions arouse craving for the joys of life, illustrated by a couple drinking wine. This feeling of thirst is joined by greed (monkey picking fruit). As karmic result this brings about procreation and development (lovers embracing). The ensuing birth is the beginning of new mortal existence, which finally leads to death, represented by a man who carries a corpse on his back.

The history of Bhutan
Bhutans religion
.  Buddha Shakyamuni
.  .  The Buddhas life
.  .  .  The wheel of life
.  .  .  .  The worlds of ..
.  .  .  .  The chain of ..
.  .  The teachings of ..
.  Buddhism
Gods and Sacred ..

Top |  Home |  Sitemap |  Search |  Glossary |  The Objects |  Tour |  Help

At the beginning of the chain of causation there is human ignorance, at its end there is death. In-between one can find the empty emanations of human existence.