This month I would like to talk about Tibetan prayer flags. They are colorful rectangular colors, strung on string or rope. They are used to bless the surrounding area, where they are placed most of the time in high places so they do not drag on the ground. Sometimes on building tops, even from one mountain to another, or on fencing going across meadows.
Legend says Nepal sutra written banners or squares of cloth were originally written on battle flags and carried into battle. The battle flags became prayer flags in 800 CE, when they were carried into Tibet. They were further modified in 1040 CE. The Indian monk, Atisha, introduced the Indian practice of printing on cloth prayer flags to Tibet and Nepal.
Traditionally prayer flags come in sets of five colors: light to bright blue, white, green and yellow. The blue is for sky and space, white is for the air and wind, red is for fire, green is for water and yellow is for earth. Tradition Tibetan medicine, health, and harmony are produced through the balance of the five elements.
Most flags have a strong horse in the center. They bear the three flaming jewels on it back; the Ta is a symbol of speed and transformation of bad to good fortune. The three flaming jewels symbolize the Buddha, the Dharma (Buddhist teachings) and the Sangha (the Buddhist community), which are the three cornerstones of Tibetan tradition.
Prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. The flags do not carry prayers to G-d. The Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown in the wind to spread the good will and compassion into the pervading space thus benefiting all.
They say the best time to hang new flags is in the morning on a sunny, windy day.
Thanks for all you do,
P.S. Barbara is doing well at this moment. Thanks for all the calls and visits. She enjoys the company.