Reference from every Buddhist source has Prostration as an act of devotion to the Triple Gems i.e. The Buddha, The Dharma and The Sanga. In Tibetan word, it is translated as Chak Tsal. Chak refers to free from all negative deeds or Karma we have cultivated. and Tsal refers to seeking for purification. It takes a great deal of effort to rationalize the psychology behind Prostration.
How and Why we prostrate?
In Tibetan Buddhism, an act of Prostration required oneself in standing position, folding the hand together with Thumbs inserted inside. The act of gesture is then followed by placing the folded hand on the forehead to signify taking refuge or seeking purification of body. The folded hand then placed on the mouth to represent seeking purification of speech. Finally it is placed right at the heart to seek purification of mind.
Selflessness is the Key
In Tibetan Buddhism, it is required to give utmost importance to all the sentient beings by removing the selfness. In the other word, observing our Ego. The act of prostration starts by taking refuge in Triple Gems or the Three Jewels of the God in Buddhism. ( Kyab Dro). It is then followed by praying for all the sentient beings which includes six realms of (Hell, Hungry Ghost, Animal , God, Human and Non-Gods). It helps in balancing the harmony in our body and developing our inner happiness.
Medical Significance of Prostration
Just the way it helps in bringing about spiritual significance, prostration also has quite a few medical significance which the western medical practitioner always wonders about. Prostration helps in dissolving our body energy therefore it helps in our blood circulation in a prefect way. Neurology and Cholesterol patients are often advised to do prostration by the Tibetan traditional medical doctors and it really works in helping the patients to better his/her health Status.
Tibet as a Spiritual Destination
In Tibet, Prostration can be seen mostly infront of Jokang Temple. Western tourists are often amazed by the very act of prostration as a way to seek purification of Body, Speech and Mind. In olden days, pilgrims from all parts of Tibet are destined to reach Lhasa just by doing full prostration all the way from their home. During your trip to Tibet, you will witness a lot of Tibetans, doing prostration around the most sacred joking temple and Mount Kailash ( Gang Kor) and Mansarover Lake. Even in a small typical Tibetan family. It is accustomed to do prostration in their small chapel during morning and night just before going to bed
There is a dramatic change in the age group of people who are doing prostration in Tibet. In the olden days, prostration is often associated with older generation of Tibetans ( age group between 45-65). However, these days, there are more and more young Tibetans who are devoting in Buddhism and doing prostration in and around Tibet. These changes show how spiritual the Tibetan people are no matter whether you are far away from Tibet or not.