Nepal: prayer flags made of organic cotton – panorama

When colorful prayer flags flutter in the wind, it looks pretty – the deeper meaning is little known to non-Buddhists. Each color is assigned a direction, an element and an emotion. Blue is the sky and the east, red is the fire and the west, green is the water and the north, yellow is the earth and the south, white is the air and the center of everything. Prayer flags are not directed to one god, but to all living beings, they carry good wishes out into the world with the wind. When they are tattered, they are burned – the smoke then carries the prayers to heaven.

However, most prayer flags are made of plastic, so plastic waste and toxins are also carried into the world. However, this contradicts the Buddhist mindset, according to which every good or bad deed has an effect. “Prayers may be answered, but fiber prayer flags also cause pollution,” says Ang Dolma Sherpa, founder of Utpala Crafts. The company makes biodegradable flags from cotton and water-soluble paints.

At the Boudhanath Stupa, one of the most important Buddhist shrines in Kathmandu, organic flags are now waving, which is good for karma and nature. The wishes flutter through the air in an environmentally friendly way. And isn’t that a nice, easy thought? With our thoughts, so goes a quote from Buddha, “we shape the world”. Namaste!

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