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Friday, December 30, 2016

TIBET NATIONAL FLAG AND ITS SYMBOLISM

National Flag of Tibet. A Priceless Gift From Sherap Gyatso of Lhadhan Chotrul Monlam Chenmo Trust, Tibetan Monastery. Sarnath.

 On 30 November 2016 I was presented a historic Tibetan Flag by Sherap Gyatso, purported to have been flown during the inauguration ceremony of the first Tibetan Monastery at Sarnath, Varanasi by the founder Gan Thupten Jungney (Gan Gose La), the most popular Tibetan Ranzen activist of his time, when His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama paid a visit to India to attend the 2500th Buddhist Jayanti Celebration in 1956.
14th Dalai Lama
The Snow Lion Tibetan Flag (Gangs Seng Dar Cha) was adopted by Thubten Gyatso - the 13th Dalai Lama  in 1916.
The region of Tibet maintained its autonomy until 1951 when, following the Battle of Chamdo, Tibet became incorporated into the People's Republic of China, and the previous Tibetan government was abolished in 1959 after a failed uprising.
China has made possessing the Tibetan flag illegal in Tibet since 1959. (Wikepedia).
 However the Tibetan Flag is widely in use by the Tibetan people seeking freedom from Chinese Rule. The Flag is also used by the Tibetan Government in Exile, based in Dharamsala, India and at all other Tibetan Monasteries. A Cinderella stamp issued to commemorate the centenary of the UPU in 1974.

THE SYMBOLISM OF THE TIBETAN FLAG
  In a letter written to me in 1983, Guru Tharchen of the Tibetan Refugee Centre, Darjeeling narrated the symbolisms of the Flag as follows;
 The Snow Mountain: Symbolise the geographical feature of Tibet surrounded by lofty Himalayas. 
The Pair of Lions: the twin system of the Temporal and Spiritual power.
 The Wishing Gem: in the paws of the lions the rule of law based on the Law-principal of cause and effect underlying the Ten Golden Precept and the Sixteen Human-principals, which are the source of infinite benefit and peace. 
The Flaming Jewel: over the wishing gem,devotion of the Three Gems (Triratna) who are endowed with twenty four transcendental attributes. 
Two Flags in Red & Blue: unfailing support of the two guardian deities known as MAR NAG NYIE. 
The Twelve Stripes in Red & Blue: the twelve descendant of the six originals of Tibet.
 The Rising Sun: freedom, happiness and prosperity of the ideals of Buddhism.
The Five Coloured Banner: on the top of the mast, the victory of Golden Phodrang, the Central Government of Tibet, over all the spheres.
The Double Edged Sword: the Vajra and the Lotus, on top of the banner , the incessant appearance of the incarnations of the three of the three Budhisattavas: Avalokitesvara, Monjushri and Vajrapani.
The Un-bended and Un-ending Mast:  the justice of the law without fear or favour.
The Knot of the White Ribbon: the noble tradition of the Dharma.

 However, we have also a simplified version of the Symbolism of the flag.
1. The white snow mountain in the center depicts the land of the: great nation of Tibet.
2. The six Red rays emanating from the sun - the six original people of Tibet: the Se,Mu, Dong, Tong, Dru, and Ra.
3. The blue rays- the commitment to spiritual and secular rule.
4, The pair of snow-lions: the complete victory of the spiritual and secular government
5. The three sided yellow border: the flourishing of the Buddha's teachings. the fly-side without border :Tibet's openness to non-Buddhist thought
6. The raised jewel :Tibet's reverence for the three Precious Gems: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

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