Buddhism prayer symbols

When travelling in Tibet, you will see colorful flags everywhere fluttering in the wind- sometimes waving gently, sometimes raging. They are Tibetan prayer flags which are inscribed with auspicious symbols, invocations, prayers, and mantras. The Tibetan word for prayer flag is Dar Cho. “Dar” means to increase life, fortune, health and wealth. “Cho” means all sentient beings. Prayer flags are simple devices that, coupled with the natural energy of the wind, quietly harmonize the environment, impartially increasing happiness and good fortune among all living beings.

In Tibet, the tradition of hanging flags began more than 2000 years ago. Prayer flags are said to bring happiness, long life and prosperity to the flag planter and those in the vicinity. Tibetan people plant prayer flags to honor the nature gods of Bon. They used colors of the five elements: blue for sky or space; white for air or clouds; red for fire; green for water and yellow for earth. They hung the flags outside their homes, over mountain passes and rivers and other places of spiritual practice for the wind to carry the beneficent vibrations across the countryside.

When Buddhism was introduced to Tibet in the 7th century, it brought the ideals of peace and compassion. Within the next century Buddhism largely took the place of Bon, while absorbing many of its characteristics including the flags The early flags contained both Buddhist prayers and pictures of the fierce Bon gods who they believed protected Buddha. Over the next 200 years Buddhist monks began to print mantras and symbols on the flags as blessings to be sent out to the world with each breeze. Thus they became known Prayer Flags.

Dharma prints bear traditional Buddhist symbols, protectors and enlightened beings. As the Buddhist spiritual approach is non-theistic, the elements of Tantric iconography do not stand for external beings, but represent aspects of enlightened mind i.e. compassion, perfect action, fearlessness, etc. Displayed with respect, Dharma prints impart a feeling of harmony and bring to mind the precious teachings.

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Popular Q&A

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What are Buddhist prayer mats?

they are mats that are used for meditating by the Buddhists and monks

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