Environment Lovers in Dharamshala Against Certain Buddhist Rituals

August 20, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Daily India/ANI


Dharmashala (Himachal Pradesh), Aug.20: Many residents and environmentalists at Dharamshala are worried over the Tantrik prayer flags of Buddhists "Bon", that are feared to be polluting environment here. The problem has arisen after the Buddhist priests have started using synthetic flags and strings for performing their rituals.

They are also used for pleasing local deities and spirits of the mountains, valleys, lakes and streams to seek protection against natural disasters and disease. The subsequent rites, with the aim of reckoning the divine, include hanging of the Bon flags over the branches of trees. The flags are then burnt to complete the Tantrik Buddhist rituals.

The environmentalists have observed that when the synthetic material used for flags burns, it causes a lot of air- pollution. The knot tied around the tree, using plastic rope, also hinders tree's growth.

Perturbed with such a practice affecting the environment, residents at Dharamshala have launched a drive to check the plethora of bon flags upsetting the greenery in the region.