The Himalayas are home to a number of Buddhist people. It is packed with shrines, stupas, prayer flags, prayer wheels and other aspects of Buddhism. There are a multitude of Buddhist monuments, temples, statues and religious imageries in the Himalayas which attract all, including locals and visitors. One can easily discover Buddhism in the Himalayas while walking through far-off villages, ridges and valleys. Undoubtedly, Buddhism is one of the older religions of the world and this is the reason why people want to explore it more and more.
Here are some common things you may come across while exploring the Himalayan region, which will make you understand Buddhism better.
Stupas are one of the oldest monuments in the Asian region which can be seen in all the Buddhist cultures especially in the Himalayan regions. Stupas symbolize the enlightened mind of a Buddha, with its statues and images defining the enlightened body and sacred texts representing enlightened speech. Stacked shapes reveal the five major elements purified upon beginning, from unpleasant to subtle: the square base of earth, the spire of fire, the dome of water, the upper parasol of air, and the peak of space.
It is believed that the Buddha told his followers to keep the remnants, after he is gone, in stupas. His motive was to carry on the belief and faith in the devoted people. This is the reason why stupas hold a significant place in Buddhism religion.
While exploring religious places and markets in the Himalayas, you will see the omnipresent five coloured prayer flags which are called ‘lungta’ in Tibetan or “wind horse”. These flags are printed with mantras and prayers for wealth, long life, good health, world harmony and so on. These flags add a vibe in the beauty of the place. The ultimate reason of Buddhist prayers is to get liberated from all suffering and established in eternal peace and happiness. It is believed that hanging these holy flags bring happiness with success. The bright five colours in these flags represent the purest form of energies – yellow as earth, green as water, red as fire, white as air, and blue as space.
As per locals and villagers, it is excellent to hang prayer flags on a height where the wind carries positive aspirations through the atmosphere into open space, especially while starting a journey or going to start something important.
Prayer Wheels hold an important place in Buddhism. Come in all sizes, from small wheels to giant wheels, these wheels contain printed mantras on a roll of long thin paper. A normal wheel of 30 centimetres high may contain about a hundred to thousand mantras or more written in tiny letters. If you ever visit temples in the Himalayan regions, you will notice these wheels printed with the most common mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”, a chant of universal love and compassion. It is believed that spinning the wheel in a clockwise direction delivers ultimate positive intention. Like every other.Buddhist holy object, these wheels are also powered by different elemental means like running water, blowing wind, the heat of the fire, and even by solar panels.
These stones took birth from Tibetan Buddhism which has a rich history and tradition in the carving and offering of Mani stones. One can find walls, mountains and stones inscribed with sacred symbols in the Himalayan regions. These are not just random rocks but offer a particular power with deep meaning and significance. Mani stones are engraved with a “mantra”. They can be seen throughout the blessed landscapes of the Himalayas.
Here are some olden Buddhist Mantras:
The transcendent meanings behind these symbols have inspired the Himalayan wanderers for centuries. All these holy things help you to keep a sacred understanding and give a positive impact in mind while you traverse the high passes and sweeping valleys of the Himalayas. Discovering Buddhism during a trek in the Himalayas may just fulfil your aspired aspirations.
1. What is the purpose of a stupa?
A stupa is a hemispherical structure containing relics and is used for meditation and prayers.
2. How do prayer flags work?
Traditionally, prayer flags promote peace, empathy, power, and knowledge.
3. What are the Buddhist mantras?
In Hinduism and Buddhism, Mantra is a sacred utterance which possesses spiritual effectiveness. The most used and common mantra in Buddhism is Om Mani Padme Hum.
4. What belief prayer wheels carry?
It is believed that spinning such wheels gives inner peace and positive energy. It is same as reciting the prayers.