By hanging flags in high places the Lung ta will carry the blessings depicted on the flags to all beings. As wind passes over the surface of the flags, which are sensitive to the slightest movement of the wind, the air is purified and sanctified by the mantras.
The prayers of a flag become a permanent part of the universe as the images fade from exposure to the elements. Just as life moves on and is replaced by new life, Tibetans renew their hopes for the world by continually mounting new flags alongside the old. This act symbolizes a welcoming of life’s changes and an acknowledgment that all beings are part of a greater ongoing cycle.
The first word Om is a sacred syllable and means the vibration or sound of the universe and represents divine energy that purifies the ego. The word Mani means “jewel” or “bead”, Padme is the “lotus flower” (the Buddhist sacred flower), and Hum represents the spirit of enlightenment. As you can see, this is a powerful mantra with a lot of meaning behind it. The one phrase that is said to sum it all up is this: “The jewel is in the lotus,” or “Praise to the jewel in the lotus.”
This is to say that within all of us is the lotus flower, it’s just covered up by a lot of mud and muck. Reciting this mantra over and over again, with the right intention, is believed to get rid of the mud and muck until we are as sparkling, pure, compassionate and wise as the lotus flower itself.
- Om = the vibration or sound of the universe; represents divine energy and generosity and purifies the ego
- Ma = represents ethics and purifies jealousy
- Ni = represents patience and purifies want or desire
- Pad = represents diligence and purifies ignorance and judgment
- Me = represents concentration and purifies attachment
- Hum = the unity of all; represents wisdom and purifies hatred
According to the Dalai Lama, Om Mani Padme Hum has the power to: “transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure body, speech and mind of a Buddha.”