The Wheel of Life is a Tibetan mandala, a visual map of a human being's journey through life's stages from the cradle to the grave. The Wheel is comprised of intricate images, arranged so as to demonstrate the teachings of the Buddha.
Some people confuse Buddhism�s Dharma Wheel with the Wheel of Life, and for good reason - the literature itself isn't consistent. Anyone looking for a Wheel of Life tattoo should be aware of the difference and potential confusion. Who knows, you might want one of each. The Dharma Wheel is about Buddha's teachings, while the Wheel of Life is a meditation on the universe and its karmic laws.
As a symbol of Buddhism, The Wheel is a graphic depiction of the different realms of human desire into which we are born. It includes illustrations of the causes of evil and suffering, but it also shows the way out of these seemingly endless cycles of misery. Wheels and circles, as designs they have long served humankind as symbols of the cyclical nature of existence. Scriptures mention Buddha using such images to illustrate his teachings.