How to Utilise the Tibetan Prayer Flags

The colourful Tibetan prayer flags are hung outside where they are moved, swayed, and blown by the wind carrying with them prayers and good vibes to many different places and beings, including us. So, they are situated in favourable and beneficial sites such as temples, stupas, and mountains, and also in the gardens or exteriors of homes, and other wide, open spaces such as fields. Also known as Lungta or Windhorse, the sound of the fluttering flags in the wind is reminiscent of the sound you would hear of a horse, or a Windhorse if you may, strutting and dashing up there in the sky.

 Utilise the Tibetan Prayer Flags, the little tibet blog

The Prayer Flag and Its Purpose

The prayer flag and the Windhorse image, or Lungta, symbolize immense power that defeats evil to tread the path towards liberation and freedom. Fear is conquered and breaks down all obstacles in its way. As it gallops through the sky, prayers and blessings pour out for all beings in the world to receive and benefit from.  And so, Tibetan prayer flags are deemed to promote peace, compassion, prosperity, and wisdom.

In plain language, our purpose in hanging Tibetan prayer flags is an opportunity to spread blessings, not particularly to us, but to all other people and beings the world over, wherever the spirit of the Lungta reaches and settles.

Utilise the Tibetan Prayer Flags, the little tibet blog

Observe Auspicious Time and Day When Putting Up Prayer Flags

It is the belief that there are good and auspicious days for hanging and taking down prayer flags. Mondays and Fridays are commonly regarded as felicitous days. Choose the morning of the day when it is sunny and windy, which is considered the best time to hang new prayer flags. This would ensure positive and desired outcomes.  On the other hand, avoid inauspicious dates based on astrology, which are deemed to bring negative results. 

But let's zero in on the other known auspicious days for setting up prayer flags. Here are the specific dates and the reason they are favourable days.

REASON

DAYS

Significant as regards Buddha’s teachings and his life

4th day of the 6th  month

15th day of the 9th month

Commemorative days when Buddha performed miracles; therefore, practicing Dharma is favorable

7th and 15th days of the ‘Saga Dawa,’ or the 4th lunar month

A tribute to the great miracles performed by Buddha; a good day for practice

The first two weeks after the Tibetan New Year or Losar

Following the dates given above multiplies more than a hundred thousand fold increase, or about one hundred million times, the benefits from hanging prayer flags.

You can also look at the Tibetan calendar and see the assigned combination of two elements each day given by Tibetan astrologers. The combination can either be positive or negative. For the prayer flags, the combination of earth and earth is said to be the most auspicious.

Utilise the Tibetan Prayer Flags, the little tibet blog

Prayer Flags Must Be Treated With Respect

Considered sacred, and therefore must be given utmost respect are the prayer flags and the text, mantras, and symbols. So, it is entirely taboo to use the prayer flag cloth or fabric like clothes or a part of clothing. And prayer flags that are already old or damaged should be burned.

So, each time our thoughts turn to receiving and giving blessings to others, of being a conduit of good things, it is the same thought that should be in our minds as we hang prayer flags, especially our reason and purpose in doing so. Let it be guided by noble and pure intentions, and love and respect for humanity and all beings in this world.

Lastly, it is good to remember what His Holiness the Dalai Lama and many other great lamas advised: The day when we hang prayer flags is much less important than the motivation we have while doing it. The most crucial thing is to have pure intentions and to express good wishes genuinely.

Image Courtesy of unsplash

 

Further Reading on Tibetan Prayer Flags

1. Introduction: Spread Good Vibes with Tibetan Prayer Flags

2. How to Utilise the Tibetan Prayer Flags

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