Tibetan Prayer Flag - Sending Blessings on the Breeze

Tibetan Prayer Flag - Sending Blessings on the Breeze

Religion has been a part of human life since centuries. The belief in god has been a medium to connect individuals to each other through a bond commonly titled as "religion".

While some people follow religion because they believe in God others stay away from religion but believe in spirituality. What people follow and believe in is not important. No matter which path one adopts and walks down, the journey should always end at humanity.

Tibetan flags have been used by the people for the sake of propagating goodness and fortune in their surroundings.

Colourful Tibetan prayer flag grabs the attention of the people and rejuvenates existing hopes.

1) Flags carry prayers and mantras to spread goodwill.

Tibetan prayer flags convey the same messages as other flags do but there is something special which makes it different from the rest.

Prayer flags flutter and promote strength, peace, wisdom, and compassion. It is also believed to carry prayers to God. Tibetans believe that these prayer flags carry prayers and mantras through winds to spread good wishes and kindness into the surrounding ambience.

2)  Special writing and images on the flag.

Timothy Clark shared through his enlightening writing and images the meaning behind the imprints on the Tibetan prayer flag which is prepared completely by hand.  He shared that the woodblocks which are beautifully engraved in mirror relief, were given by China at around 15th century. This technique provided a way to make identical prints of the designs, which was easily passed down from generation to generation.

The Tibetan flags are prepared by using old and traditional printing techniques on block-printed fabric.

These Tibetan flags are hung on ropes in sequence or printed in long narrow strips of cloth which are then tied on vertical poles.

Tibetan flags come in five different colours (green, yellow, white, red and blue) and are always set in multiples of five.

Pole Tibetan flags are generally designed in a single solid colour or five different colour flags are sewn together into one. Also known as 'tongues' or coloured streamers, each has some impressions of special mantras on it which strengthens the influence of the prayers inscribed on the flag.

These flags generally range from about 3 to 40 feet.

3) Know a Tibetan flag:  Generally, the traditional flags have imprints of Wind Horse and four other supernatural creatures, Garuda, Lion, Tiger and Dragon. It is believed that these creatures propagate the prayers through the wind to the four corners of the earth. They also carry auspicious signs connected to Buddhism like Green Tara, Buddha, and Padma Sambhava etc.

4) New flags every year: Nima Lama shared that the prayer flags are replaced on Tibetan New Year and various other auspicious occasions. The colour and image imprint on the flags fade overtime with exposure. The prayers remain as a permanent part of the world but flags are replaced every year just like a new life. Tibetans place the new flag next to the old ones to generate hope and liveliness.

5) Don't hang prayer flags on inauspicious days.

It is believed that one should not hang the auspicious prayer flags on  inauspicious days.

The prayer flags are taken off only during certain astrological dates.

6) How to dispose of the old ones?

One should respect the sacredness of the flag. It's really necessary to take care of a few certain things before disposing it off.

One can burn it but the flag should not touch the ground while burning.

People believe that the smoke evolved by it carries sacred blessings.

The other way to dispose of is to let it get old, faded and disintegrate with time. Believers hang a new flag next to the old one to represent the circle of birth and death