prayer flag

Green prayer flag with frayed edges. The centre of the flag features a 'Lung ta' (powerful or strong horse) bearing three flaming jewels ('ratna') on its back. The horse ('ta') is a symbol of speed and the transformation of bad fortune to good fortune. The three flaming jewels symbolize the Buddha, the Dharma (Buddhist teachings), and the Sangha (Buddhist community): the three cornerstones of the Tibetan philosophical tradition.

Surrounding the 'Lung ta' are various versions of traditional mantras, each dedicated to a particular deity. These writings include mantras from three of the great Buddhist bodhisattvas: Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), Avalokiteśvara (Chenrezig, the bodhisattva of compassion, and the patron of the Tibetan people), and Manjusri. In addition to mantras, prayers for a long life of good fortune are often included for the person who mounts the flags.

Images or the names of four powerful animals, also known as the Four Dignities, adorn each corner of a flag: the dragon, the garuda, the tiger, and the snow-lion.

This flag was printed with the same block as 2013.249.

This is an example of a 'Lung ta' or horizontally strung prayer flag. Such flags are strung up by Tibetan Buddhists of all schools from tree to tree or housetops or any point of high elevation, thus enabling the mantras printed to be carried by the wind and bless all that the wind touches.

Collection Information

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