LOTUS

At the heart of symbolism

The Tibetan flag

(Summary)

Old Tibetan flag
Present Tibetan flag

The path flag

A long time ago, Tibet was one of the most powerful empires in Central Asia. Its army was important and each of its regiments had its own banner. The military banner multiplicity ended in 1912 with the adoption, by the thirteenth Dalai Lama, of a single banner which became the flag of the Tibetan government in exile.

The Tibetan flag testifies to a major coherence between two complementary ways:

  • The metaphysical way or the descendant movement from the self-coloured Principle (white) to its coloured manifestation (blue and red) or from Heaven to Earth, from Spirit to body.
  • The cosmological way or the ascendant movement from the colourful manifestation to the self-coloured Principle or from Earth to Heaven, from body to Spirit.

Terrestrial product of the first movement, the being can only go up to his celestial source. For this purpose, he will take the way followed by the Buddha and depicted by the Triple Jewel (white, blue, yellow).

  • White represents the ultimate state of achievement, the state of Buddha.
  • Blue symbolizes the divine Law which orders any thing and any being in this world, the Dharma. To follow the Dharma can only be a source of harmony and balance, which are essential to walk in the steps of the Awakened Master par excellence.
  • Yellow corresponds to the true knowledge allowing the community of the disciples or Sangha not to deviate from the way of the right balance leading to the ultimate state.

The significance of the yellow ribbon bordering three sides of the flag remains a mystery. Insofar as yellow symbolizes the way followed by the disciple and the disciple himself, the edge open at the two ends could represent the beginning and the end of the path on the way towards Awakening. The beginning of the way depicts the innocent, but unconscious child. The end of the path expresses the return to original innocence in the full consciousness. Then the being has reached the state of Buddha, the state of the being remaining pathless.

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