Beliefs behind Prayer Flags
Ever wondered what are those colorful flags that we see hanging on Mountain peaks ? Well these are commonly known as Prayer flags. Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. It is believed that prayers will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and benefiting all.
Colors, order in flag and their significance (L-R) :
Blue : Sky and space
White : Air and wind
Red : Fire
Green : Water
Yellow : Earth
Types of Prayer flags :
Lung ta - These are the horizontal ones and are tied with each other with a string joining their heads.
Darchor - These are large single rectangles attached to poles along their vertical edge.
Prayer flags are based out of Tibet. They hung the flags over mountain passes and rivers to benefit all who would pass underneath. Over the 200 years Buddhist monks began to print mantras and symbols on the flags as blessings to be sent out to the world with each breeze. When Chinese invaded Tibet in 1959, they killed million of Tibetans and burned thousands of their monasteries and also burned their flags from the strings. During this period, 14th Dalai Lama along with other Tibetans left their homes and lived in exile. These prayer flags, since then, continue to remind the nation of people who were robbed and were forced to leave their own homes and also the tradition of sending out prayers continues.
So now every time you look at those flags you know that these are just not a decorative item for your house and vehicles but the symbols, mantras, prayers written on them actually carry a spiritual vibration.
Hope now we know its so much more than a pretty piece of cloth. Peace