Prayer Flag - Symbols and Prayers

Symbols and Prayers

The center of a prayer flag traditionally features a Lung ta (powerful or strong horse) bearing three flaming jewels (specifically ratna) on its back. The 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 Tibetan philosophical tradition.

Surrounding the Lung ta are various versions of approximately 400 traditional mantras, each dedicated to a particular deity. These writings include mantras from three of the great Buddhist Bodhisattvas: Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche), AvalokiteĊ›vara (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 snowlion.

Read more about this topic:  Prayer Flag

Famous quotes containing the words symbols and/or prayers:

    The twentieth-century artist who uses symbols is alienated because the system of symbols is a private one. After you have dealt with the symbols you are still private, you are still lonely, because you are not sure anyone will understand it except yourself. The ransom of privacy is that you are alone.
    Louise Bourgeois (b. 1911)

    Meantime the education of the general mind never stops. The reveries of the true and simple are prophetic. What the tender poetic youth dreams, and prays, and paints today, but shuns the ridicule of saying aloud, shall presently be the resolutions of public bodies, then shall be carried as grievance and bill of rights through conflict and war, and then shall be triumphant law and establishment for a hundred years, until it gives place, in turn, to new prayers and pictures.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)