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prayer flag

Prayer flag.

Yellow prayer flag. 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 2013.248.

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Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. More information on the objects listed on our website.
This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be some errors.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive.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: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk