Talk:Twelve links of dependent origination

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Brief description of each link

Table with three columns

The following table provides a brief description of each link, along with the symbol for each link that appears in the bhavacakra.

Link Description Symbol
Avidya - ignorance Ignorance of the meaning of the Four Noble Truths a blind person groping their way with a cane
Saṃskara - karmic formation The formation of karma: positive, negative and neutral a potter shaping a vase
Vijnana - consciousness The consciousness which propels one towards the next existence a monkey swinging from a tree
Nama-rupa - name and form constituent elements of mental and physical existence two men (or five men) in a boat
Six ayatanas - six sense organs The six senses through which the outer world is perceived a house with six windows
Sparsa - contact The coming together of a sense organ, an object, and a sense consciousness lovers consorting, kissing, or entwined
Vedana - sensation Sensations (pleasant, unpleasant or neutral) arise from sparsa (contact) a person with an arrow in their eye
Trishna - thirst Thirst or craving to hold onto pleasurable sensations, etc. a person drinking or people partying
Upadana - grasping If the object of one's desires comes to fruition, then trishna manifests as upadana (grasping). a man or a monkey picking fruit
Bhava - becoming Through this grasping one creates the karma that determines one’s next existence. a couple embracing, or engaged in intercourse
Jati - birth Through the power of becoming, one is reborn in a particular situation a woman giving birth
Jara-marana - old age and death Following birth, there is aging and death a corpse

Table with four columns and briefer descriptions

The following table provides a brief description of each link, along with the symbol for each link that appears in the bhavacakra.

Sanskrit term English term Description Symbol
Avidya ignorance Ignorance of the meaning of the Four Noble Truths a blind person groping their way with a cane
Saṃskara karmic formation The formation of karma: positive, negative and neutral a potter shaping a vase
Vijnana consciousness The consciousness which propels one towards the next existence a monkey swinging from a tree
Nama-rupa name and form constituent elements of mental and physical existence two men (or five men) in a boat
Six ayatanas six sense organs The six senses through which the outer world is perceived a house with six windows
Sparsa contact The coming together of a sense organ, an object, and a sense consciousness lovers consorting, kissing, or entwined
Vedana sensation Sensations (pleasant, unpleasant or neutral) arise from sparsa (contact) a person with an arrow in their eye
Trishna thirst Thirst or craving to hold onto pleasurable sensations, etc. a person drinking or people partying
Upadana grasping If the object of one's desires comes to fruition, then trishna manifests as upadana (grasping). a man or a monkey picking fruit
Bhava becoming Through this grasping one creates the karma that determines one’s next existence. a couple embracing, or engaged in intercourse
Jati birth Through the power of becoming, one is reborn in a particular situation a woman giving birth
Jarāmaraṇa old age and death Following birth, there is aging and death a corpse

Table with four columns

The following table provides a brief description of each link, along with the symbol for each link that appears in the bhavacakra.

Sanskrit term English term Brief description Symbol
Avidya ignorance Fundamental ignorance of the four noble truths and the delusion of mistakenly perceiving the skandhas as a self. a blind person groping their way with a cane
Saṃskara formation The formation of karma: positive, negative and neutral; this forms the rebirths in the various realms a potter shaping a vase
Vijñāna consciousness The consciousness which propels one towards the next existence a monkey swinging from a tree
Nāmarūpa name and form constituent elements of mental and physical existence two men afloat in a boat
Six ayatanas (saḍāyatana) six sense organs The six senses by which the outer world is perceived a house with six windows
Sparśa contact The coming together of three factors: the sense organ, the sense object, and sense consciousness (vijnana) lovers consorting, kissing, or entwined
Vedanā sensation The pleasant, unpleasant and neutral sensations that occur when our sense organs (ayatanas) come into contact with external sense objects and the associated consciousness (consciousness) a person with an arrow in their eye
Tṛṣṇa thirst The craving to hold onto pleasurable sensations, to be separated from painful or unpleasant sensations, and for neutral sensations not to decline a person receiving a drink
Upadana grasping If the object of one's desires comes to fruition, then these cravings of tṛṣṇā may solidify and manifest as the quality of upadana (grasping). a man or a monkey picking fruit
Bhava coming to be Through this grasping one acts with body, speech and mind, and creates the karma that determines one’s next existence. a couple engaged in intercourse, a standing, leaping, or reflective person
Jāti being born Through the power of this becoming, one is reborn in a particular birthplace whenever the necessary conditions are assembled. a woman giving birth
Jarāmaraṇa old age and death Following rebirth there is a continual process of aging as the aggregates change and develop; and eventually there is death when the aggregates finally cease. a corpse being carried