Prayer Flags

it was a very pleasant day today. the wind was blowing full of oxygen. I went for a half-day tracking with my monk friends. we reached a place where were lots of colorful prayer flags on the top of the mountain. The place was full of positive energy vibrations. I set down for a couple of minutes and took a deep breath in and out. I felt so peaceful under the prayer flags. A Tibetan prayer flag is a colorful rectangular cloth, often found strung along trails and peaks high in the Himalayas. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside and for other purposes.

Symbolism and Tradition

Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The flags do not carry prayers to gods, which is a common misconception; rather, the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space. Therefore, prayer flags are thought to bring benefit to all.

By hanging flags in high places the Lung ta will carry the blessings depicted on the flags to all beings. As wind passes over the surface of the flags, which are sensitive to the slightest movement of the wind, the air is purified and sanctified by the mantras.

The prayers of a flag become a permanent part of the universe as the images fade from exposure to the elements. Just as life moves on and is replaced by new life, Tibetans renew their hopes for the world by continually mounting new flags alongside the old. This act symbolizes a welcoming of life’s changes and an acknowledgment that all beings are part of a greater ongoing cycle.

According to traditional belief, because the symbols and mantras on prayer flags are sacred, they should be treated with respect. They should not be placed on the ground or used on clothing. Old prayer flags should be burned.

2 comments on “Prayer Flags

  1. Geshe Samdub thiksay March 17, 2021 5:05 pm

    nice explanation Kailash ji. 👏👏👏👏

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