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Reisverslag Prayer flags, prayer wheels and mani walls
11 februari 2015
Prayer flags, prayer wheels and mani walls
Wherever you trek in Highland Nepal, strings of coloured prayer flags and walls of carved mani stones indicate you are getting close to the Tibetan world. Prayer flags are strung across passes, streams and houses to sanctify the air, pacify the gods and bring merit to the owners.
There are several types of prayer flags but in all the colours are highly symbolic and arranged in a specific order: white (representing air), red (fire), green (water) yellow (earth) and blue (space or ether). Flags can be horizontal, called dardings, or vertical, called darchik or chatdar. They are all printed with an image of the wind horse lungta, which carries the prayers to the four corners.
Large piles of mani stones mark the entrance to most villages and monasteries in highland Nepal. They are normally inscribed with the Tibetan Buddhist mantra ‘om mani padme hum’, which is often simply translated as ‘hail to the jewel of the lotus’ (though its true meaning is for more complex).
Mani walls are joined by long lines of prayer wheels, which pilgrims spin to activate the thousands of prayers wrapped inside. On a trek you’ll see everything from personalized, hand-spun prayer wheels tot huge house-sized wheels called mani dungkhor, which come with their own private chapels.
Remember, always walk to the left of mani walls and stupas (chortens) and spin your prayer wheels in a clockwise direction.