The sacred colors of the Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is an elaborated religion, with its brightly colored extravagant artwork and rituals. All of the colors used in Tibetan art and its rituals hold specific meanings. Then, what are the meanings of different colors in Tibetan Buddhism.
There are five foremost colors that are known as pancha-varna in Sanskrit, which means The Five Pure Lights, according to Religion Facts. Each color represents a state of mind, a celestial Buddha, a body part, a part of the mantra word “Hum” or a natural element.
The five sacred colors of the Vajrayana Buddhism
- Blue - Is associated with purity and healing. Akshobhya is the Buddha of this color. Air is the element that accompanies this color. It is believed, when meditating on this color, anger can be transformed into wisdom. Blue represents tranquility, ascension, the infinite, purity, and healing. Over all, the color represents wisdom.
- White - Is the color of learning and knowledge in Buddhism. White is representative of the principles of purity, but it is also considered the color of knowledge and longevity. White It is represented by the Buddha Vairocana and It is consider a color of extremes, associated with the cold of snow and the smelting of metal.
- Red - Is symbolizes life-force, preservation, fire, and sacred things or places. Also riddled with duality, fire can represent warmth and comfort, but can also be a destructive force. Red is associated with the Buddha Amitabha and is depicted with a red body in Tibetan artwork. Fire is the natural element complementary to the color red. In Buddhism, meditating on the color red transforms the delusion of attachment into the wisdom of discernment. Throughout Tibetan culture, red is a marker of sacred areas, and a true mark of a Buddhist scared area are the simplistic, tall gates at the entrances. We also see this color on the garments on the monks. It is believed to be a protective color.
- Green - Denotes youth, vigor, action (Karma), and harmony. Because it is the color at the middle of the spectrum, is the color of balance and harmony. Green is associated with the Buddha Amoghasiddhi. Green represents nature. Meditate on this color to transform jealousy into the wisdom of accomplishment.
- Yellow - symbolizes rootedness and renunciation. Buddha Ratnasambhava is associated with yellow. Earth is the element that accompanies the color yellow. Yellow transforms pride into the wisdom of sameness when visualized in meditation. It symbolizes renunciation and desirelessness. Yellow is the color that possesses the highest symbolic quality because of the saffron color of the monks' robes.
These five pure lights are often seen in Mandala and Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags and mani stones at mountaintop which you can see everywhere in Tibet. The colors may vary, but there is always a set of five.
The standard Buddhist flag
The first five stripes of the flag are of five colors. The sixth color is a conglomeration of the five, but for the design, it has been separated into its constituent colors. The colonel's flag later came to symbolize the unity of Buddhists. Thereafter, it has been used worldwide and has been used in nearly 60 countries during Buddhist festive seasons, particularly during the Vesak celebrations.
The standard Buddhist flag is a symbol of faith and peace was first hoisted in 1885 in Sri Lanka. It was designed in 1880 by the Colombo Committee. The five colors of the flag represent the colors of the aura emanated from the body of Buddha when he attained enlightenment.
- Blue - Loving kindness, peace and universal compassion.
- Yellow - The Middle Path - avoiding extremes, emptiness.
- Red - The blessings of practice - achievement, wisdom, virtue, fortune and dignity.
- White - The purity of the Dharma - leading to liberation, outside of time or space.
- Orange - The Buddha's teachings - wisdom
Since the "pure light" on the spectrum contains all colors, and is white, to possess a rainbow body means to possess all colors, and to do some means meditating on colors that embody specific teachings.
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