prayer flag

Rectangular, yellow prayer flag from Tibet, decorated with images and prayer inscriptions. Two of the edges are frayed, and what would be the top edge (when hung) is hemmed.

This horizontally strung prayer flag or 'Lung ta' has the typical features of the four animals on the four corners and the central 'Lung ta' horse. It is of an uncommon type. The inscription on the flag invokes peace (and possibly health) to the patrons or sponsors who put up this or these flags. It further requests removal or protection, as appropriate, from all kinds of 424 illnesses, harms, 80,000 kinds of evil influences, impediments, weapons of arms, poison, anger, jealousy, enemies, nightmares and bad omens, etc. The prayer goes on to request the bestowal of, among other things, longevity, name, power, prosperity, retinue or followers, son(s), success in one’s endeavours, and so on. Also included is the altruistic aspiration: 'May the power and blessing of this prayer flag with powerful mantras completely subjugate the negativities of the beings in the three realms (heaven, earth and netherworld), and bestow blessings to anybody who happens to see, hear of or touch this or these prayers (flags). May their health, Srog (life force), charisma and fortune rise higher and higher.' More mantras in Sanskrit follow and finally the dedication: 'May there be peace in the world, and abundance of crops, may all kinds of grains and the Dharma flourish, may all that is good and great be granted, and may all fervently wished for things be fulfilled […]' The last line is lost in the tattered edge.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: