The wheel of life is a detailed representation of basic Tibetan belief.i.e., the transmigratory existence. It explains in a most lucid manner the theory of rebirth. The form in which being is reborn into the universe depends upon his yearnings, prayers and the amount of merit and demerit (Karma) he has stored up in his past life. This suffering of rebirth affects the whole living universe.
The wheel is held in the embrace of shenje, the ruler of the dead, showing that all beings must eventually meet death. Shenje, who is again represented in the sphere of hell, is a ferocious god with fangs. He is said to symbolize the fearfulness of death and the hideousness of clinging to life.
Out side the wheel is a figure of the lord Buddha, who is free from the moral and mental obstructions which can prevent all living beings from achieving enlightenment. His presence outside the wheel implies his escape from the cycle of life.
The axle represents the first noble truth in Buddhist belief holds that suffering exists. The purpose of Mahayana Buddhist teachings is to relieve all living beings from suffering. To achieve this end, we must be aware of the the three evils which cause our suffering, i. e. ignorance, lust and hatred. These three great vices, which rules the universe and keep it in continuous revolution, are symbolized by the pig (ignorance), the cock (lust), and the snake (hatred). By abstaining from these vices, we may further our progress on the path to nirvana. The outer axle shows the manifestations of a white bright heaven and a dark black hell.