Prayer Flags and Auspicious Days

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche about hanging prayer flags and engaging in various activities on auspicious days. This article was published in the March-April 1997 issue of Mandala, the news magazine of the FPMT.

Prayer Flags

When you put up prayer flags to bring success, if you put them up on the wrong astrological dates [pa den thar wo], you continuously receive obstacles. For as long as the prayer flags last, obstacles will continuously arise. This also applies to long prayer flags and to banners. The following are the wrong dates according to the Tibetan calendar:

  • 10th and 22nd of the first, fifth and ninth months
  • 7th and 19th of the second, sixth and tenth months
  • 4th and 16th of the third, seventh and eleventh months
  • 1st and 13th of the fourth, eighth and twelfth months
Controlling the Elements

There is the profound instruction Controlling the Elements [jung wa ur nang], which controls the obstacles caused by engaging in activities on the wrong astrological dates.

In the eastern direction, put iron [any material made of iron] and recite the mantra MAMA KARA KARA YE SOHA. In the south, put water and recite MAMA KAM KAM YE SOHA. In the west, put fire [lighted incense or matches] and recite MAMA RAM RAM YE SOHA. In the north, put earth [sand in an incense container or dirt from some other place] and recite MAMA SU SU YE SOHA. In each corner put a bundle of various plants and recite MAMA POTA POTA YE SOHA.

Recite also the heart mantra of the eight appearances, OM AGANI NIGANA ACHALA MANDALA MATAYA SOHA. By reciting this, you won't receive all the shortcomings and it is said that everything will be very auspicious and you will receive great happiness and goodness.

This method can stop all the obstacles and negativities that arise from starting activities related to living and dying at the wrong time—for example, starting a journey, taking a corpse out of the house, getting married or starting a building. If you start these activities at the wrong time, you will encounter a lot of obstacles according to how bad that day was for starting the activity. Many details are given in Tibetan astrology.

In the case of marriage, there will be a lot of fighting and disharmony between the couple even if they continue to live together and many other obstacles can arise.

If you start the construction of a building at the wrong time, many inauspicious things and problems can occur during construction. When building, you should use the methods to analyze the earth, request permission from the landlord [this does not refer to the person who owns or sold you the land, but to the landlord naga and so forth]. You ask permission and dig at the right point so that you don't harm the landlord. This helps to bring success of the construction and health, long life, harmony and so forth to the family or people living in the house, monastery or nunnery.

It is also very important to take a corpse out of the house at the right time; otherwise, harm can come to the family members who are still living. They can experience health problems and even be in danger of death.

If you start a journey at the wrong time, you will constantly face problems. By starting a journey at the right time, you can avoid car accidents or airplane crashes.