Chag or prostration is fundamentally a practice of paying respect but not about submission to others. It is aimed at getting rid of one’s greatest flaw, evil and enemy - the ego or the sense of I. One can find this practice in other religious tradition as well. In India as one greets, one says Namaste or chag tshelo, which is a way of showing respect to each other. In Buddhism, it is a practice of spiritual mind training.
It is practiced to eradicate or suppress the ego through humility and selflessness. If one is full of pride and arrogance, chag is said to bring down one’s ego because the mind is connected to the body.
Chag involves physically bringing down the five parts, the forehead, two palms and two knees on the ground. When one touches the ground with the five limbs one should be mindful and visualise that the five poisons or negative emotions are being brought down, reduced and eradicated. The five poisons are ignorance, attachment, hatred, jealousy and pride, which come out of ego. The purpose of chag will be incomplete without the practice of such mindfulness and visualisation. As one stands up, one should visualise that as the five poisons are lessened, one is receiving the five aspects of enlightenment, which are the enlightened body, speech, mind, qualities and activities (ku, sung, thug, yonten, thinley) of the Buddha.