The Wind-Horse

The image of the wind-horse is one of the most common prayer flag images found throughout Tibet and the Himalayas. It can be printed either on paper or cloth, in white or in any of the colors of the Buddhas.

The jewels that the horse carries represent luck of all sorts. People will plant flags of lungtar (pronounced loong-tar) outside their houses, monasteries, and at village gates. Big and small, white and colored, flapping in the breeze, these lungtar give a festive air to Himalayan sites. According to Buddhist philosophy, too, the very flapping of the printed words against the wind sends its message out into the world.

Travelers, especially, place the versions of the wind-horse at significant junctions in their journeys to guranatee safety and success. Thus, the wind-horse will be found flapping from the cables of suspension bridges, tucked under small piles of rocks at high mountain passes, and suspended from trees near crossroads.

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