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), 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 snowlion.
Read more about this topic: Prayer Flag
Famous quotes containing the words symbols and/or prayers:
“If the Americans, in addition to the eagle and the Stars and Stripes and the more unofficial symbols of bison, moose and Indian, should ever need another emblem, one which is friendly and pleasant, then I think they should choose the grapefruit. Or rather the half grapefruit, for this fruit only comes in halves, I believe. Practically speaking, it is always yellow, always just as fresh and well served. And it always comes at the same, still hopeful hour of the morning.”
—Johan Huizinga (18721945)
“How vigilant we are! determined not to live by faith if we can avoid it; all the day long on the alert, at night we unwillingly say our prayers and commit ourselves to uncertainties. So thoroughly and sincerely are we compelled to live, reverencing our life, and denying the possibility of change. This is the only way, we say; but there are as many ways as there can be drawn radii from one centre. All change is a miracle to contemplate; but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)