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Traditional Tibetan picture or Thanka showing The wheel of life and realms of samsara

Samsara is a Buddhist term, meaning the conditioned state of mind. It is the cycle of ignorance, leading to disturbing emotions and clumsy actions. They in turn are cause for suffering and new disturbing feelings and so on. According to Buddha’s teachings there are three main disturbing feelings: ignorance, anger and desire. They are called three poisons of mind and are told to have 84 000 combinations. The only way to completely get rid of suffering is to reach Nirvana or the perfect state of Buddha. All the teachings Buddha gives lead to this goal.

The Six Realms[change | change source]

There are six realms of samsara, connected to six specific emotions:

  • Hell or paranoia realm is connected with anger.
  • Preta or hungry ghost realm is connected with greed.
  • Animal realm is connected with ignorance.
  • Human realm is connected with desire and attachment.
  • Asura or Semigod realm is connected with jealousy and envy.
  • Realm of Gods is connected with pride.