Infuse Positivity with Prayer Flags!
Tibetan prayer flags are colourful rectangular pieces of fabric hung on a cord. The origin of the prayer flag goes back thousands of years to the Tibetan Bon religion, which was a predecessor to Buddhism.
These flags also have a long and continuous history in Persia, Tibet, China and India. They were used as talismans to protect the Tibetans during times of war. The Bon people used them for protection, and put symbols like the dragon, snow lion or a tiger on each flag. They were adopted into Tibetan Buddhism with prayers or messages of hope and peace written on them.
Earlier, the writing and images on these prayer flags were painted by hand, one at a time. Woodblocks were introduced from China in the 15th century, making it possible to reproduce identical prints of the very same design. Traditional designs could then be easily passed down from generation to generation.
With Buddhism being popular in India and Tibet, the flags are an amalgamation of both cultures. The Tibetan word for prayer flag is Dar Cho. 'Dar' means to increase fortune, lifespan, health and wealth. 'Cho' means all sentient beings. As per tradition, they are made in sets of five colours, each representing an element: white for metal, blue for water, red for fire, yellow for earth and green for wood.
In addition to this, the colours represent the five directions - north, south, east, west and centre. The five prayer flags also represent the five meditation (dhyani) Buddhas and the five wisdoms. The five wisdoms are compassion, harmony, wisdom of sight, kindness and perfect wisdom.
According to Feng Shui, we implement the Five Element Theory to bring harmony into an environment. It is believed that peace, strength, wisdom and compassion are invited into every area of our lives by hanging these prayer flags.
Though traditionally these prayer flags were placed outside the houses, you can keep them anywhere inside your home today. Around the frame of a doorway or near the ceiling is a lovely place to display them and the Chinese New Year season is considered the most auspicious time to hang them.
It can also be hung during times of birth, great happiness or sadness. You can invite family and friends over and hang these prayer flags together. However, these flags should be hung in the right order, starting with blue from left to right.
These flags are simple devices that, combined with the natural energy of the wind, quietly bring harmony in the environment, increasing happiness and good fortune to all. Regardless of the person's religion, coming into contact with prayer flags is a positive omen!