prayer flag

Rectangular, red prayer flag from Tibet, decorated with a central image and a printed prayer within a black border. All four edges are frayed and some of the prayer is smudged.

Each corner of this prayer flag is marked with the name of an animal: Tiger – top left, Lion – top right, Garuda – bottom left, and Dragon – bottom right. The prayer printed appears to be a copy or a variant of the abridged version of a very popular prayer used in everyday settings for protection from various negativities and the bestowal of all kinds of positives for self and others. (These are typical themes for prayer flags.) The text in this example is written in a terse style, versifying the prayers with dense Buddhist terminology. The drawing of a banner, and the printed name of Dug-kar or White Umbrella, suggests that the prayers are dedicated to Arya Sitatapatra. An extract from one of the prayers reads as follows: 'Take this jewel ornamenting the chest, The stainless white Wisdom Umbrella, Beautifully turning to the right, Victorious in the battle over interferences, Complete with all signs of goodness, Which bestows the supreme results.' In the fourth line from the bottom up, there is a wide gap left specifically for the patron or sponsor to fill in his or her name. The text that follows the space for the name of the sponsor reads: 'May the named, his family and retinue be blessed with longevity, power and prosperity, fame, charisma, fortune etc. all ascend higher like the waxing moon. Ki Ki Sva Sava, Praise to the Deities!'

Collection Information

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