(Sans"krit, bhavachakra; Tibetan, srid pa'i 'khor lo / Shri Pa'i Korlho) The world of illusion; the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Related to Arcanum 10 Retribution.
In Buddhism, the Wheel of Life is depicted as a great cycle held in the claws of Yama, the lord of death. The wheel illustrates the cyclical nature of karmic conditioning within which all deluded beings are migrating.
"Inconceivable is the beginning of this Samsara [circling]; not to be discovered is any first beginning of beings, who, obstructed by ignorance, and ensnared by craving, are hurrying and hastening through this round of rebirths. Which do you think is the more: the flood of tears, which weeping and wailing you have shed upon this long way-hurrying and hastening through this round of rebirths, united with the undesired, separated from the desired this, or the waters of the four oceans? Long time have you suffered the death of father and mother, of sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. And whilst you were thus suffering, you have, verily, shed more tears upon this long way than there is water in the four oceans. Which do you think is the more: the streams of blood that, through your being beheaded, have flowed upon this long way, or the waters in the four oceans? Long time have you been caught as dacoits, or highwaymen, or adulterers; and, through your being beheaded, verily, more blood has flowed upon this long way than there is water in the four oceans. But how is this possible? Inconceivable is the beginning of this Samsara; not to be discovered is any first beginning of beings, who, obstructed by ignorance, and ensnared by craving, are hurrying and hastening through this round of rebirths. And thus have you long time undergone suffering, undergone torment, undergone misfortune, and filled the graveyards full; verily, long enough to be dissatisfied with all the forms of existence, long enough to turn away, and free yourselves from them all." —Buddha
"Wherever you look, there is a rushing and a struggling, and an eager pursuit of pleasure. There is a panic flight from pain and death, and hot are the flames of burning desires. The world is Vanity Fair, full of changes and transformations. All is Samsara, the turning Wheel of Existence." —Buddha, the Gospel
"If we accomplish no benefit within this life, we may not hear later even the words "the higher realms". Cycling again and again on the wheel of samsara for a long time we will have to stay in the lower realms. Having no knowledge of what we should accept and reject, we will certainly go upon a mistaken path wandering in samsara, without beginning or end." —The Great Perfection