❀ Lotus (Sanskrit: padma, पद्म), The divine flower ❀ The lotus is a widely used symbol in Hinduism and represents many ideals relating to spiritual power, creation, beauty and fertility. To the Vedic people the lotus flower was a supernatural object. The lotus flower came to be connected with gods and goddesses, with the theory of Creation and in this process different symbolical meanings were attached to it. This trend pursues in the Buddhist art also. The lotus is the symbol of truth, auspiciousness and beauty (satyam, shivam, sundaram). The Lord is also that nature and therefore, His various aspects are compared to a lotus (i.e. lotus-eyes, lotus feet, lotus hands, the lotus of the heart etc.). ✒ Lotus is the only plant which does not eject its seeds as such to germinate elsewhere. Its seeds mature within the seed-bud and when just grew leave the mother plant as young living plants. “It is the only plant which can be called as it were “ove-viviparous.” eggs hatch within insect and the young emerge as independent motile creatures. Thus lotus represents the only case of self-generation, as it were, in the plant kingdom. The lotus incorporates fertility-cum-fecundity or growth-cum-reproduction; no other plant does this. This makes Lotus a favorite symbol.” It is also a symbol for transcendence (Symbol of non-attachment) as its roots are born in mud and it rises through murky waters to blossom, above the water and dry. This symbolizes how one should live in the world in order to gain release from rebirth without attachment to one's surroundings. "One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water." -- Bhagavad Gita 5.10 ✒ The earliest mention of the lotus in India may be in the Rig Veda where it is called puskara and the Atharva-Veda address a hymn to Mother Earth praising its sweet smell. The god of fire, Agni, links with creation myths of the world springing from the lotus “O, Agni, in the beginning atharvan churned thee out of the lotus, the bearer of all” (RV 6.16.13). The “Vedic cosmological conception, there were only chaotic waters before the creation. “All this was heaving waters” (RV 10.129.3) and the aquatic lotus with its “latent energy” has the “power of giving stability latent in the surging waters, which would function as the support of Prajapati, the Creator.” ✒ The lotus has a unique reproductive feature as stated above makes it seem “self-born” and thus Gods, by nature self-generating or elect of themselves, are self-born (svayambhu) like Bhrama who is also called lotus-born (kamalayoni). The Taittriya Aranyaka states “Prajapati saw in the midst of the heaving sea the wide one (urvi= Earth), the stability of the moving one (jagat=world), that was indeed born of the support of the lotus.” ✒ Lotus and yoga: Our bodies have certain energy centers described in the Yoga Shaastras as chakras. These chakras are symbolized by the lotus flower because the similarity is that from the least likely of physical circumstances true spiritual beauty can triumph and flourish. Each chakra's symbol contains a specific number of lotus pedals. The petals indicate the chakra's vibration frequency rate & the color of energy field. Also, the lotus posture (padmaasana) is recommended when one sits for meditation. "Place the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh...with the soles upward, and place the hands on the thighs, with the palms upwards...This is called Padma-asana, the destroyer of all diseases. It is difficult of attainment by everybody, but can be learned by intelligence.” ~The Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika ~ I- 46-49 'Assuming padmasana and having placed the palms one upon each other, fix the chin firmly upon the breast and contemplating upon Brahman, frequently engage the Mula Bandha (root lock) and raise the apana up; by similar contraction of the Jhalandara Bandha ( the throat lock) force the prana down. By this, the yogi(ni) obtains unequalled knowledge through the favor of the roused Kundalini.'~ Hatha Yoga Pradipika, verse 48 One is rooted in meditation, exerting the mulabhanda (root lock) that incites the blooming of a chakra lotus in the mind of the yogi. Divine consciousness is thus by effort (tapas) self-created and blooms up the stem of the spine over the murky mundane traps of samsara. ✒ Lotus and creation of Sudarshana Chakra: The ancient yogi Shiva is said to have created the Sudarshana Chakra, which is symbolized by a thousand-petaled lotus. To stop the demons that pestered the gods, Vishnu prayed and practiced puja to Shiva's linga with 1008 flowers, though Shiva stole one for amusement. Vishnu plucks an eye out of his forehead and offers it and because Vishnu's devotion, Shiva says “I give you this round disc. It will help you to conquer all your enemies. No matter how many demons come to attack you and the other gods, you will be able to defeat them all with this disc." Vishnu becomes Tamaraikannan or lotus-eyed. A spiraling blue disc or “blue pearl” is mentioned in various traditions and becomes an objective in Daoist and various yogas. ✒ Ayurveda: Ayurveda describes lotus preparations for numerous disorders ranging from infusions for piles and diabetes to gruels of white and blue lotus and sugar (sa-padma-nilotpala-sarkara) that removes pitta disorders. Nutritive tonic, aphrodisiac, astringent, nervine, rejuvenative and hemostatic and useful in raktapitta bleeding disorders and said to promote conception alleviate thirst and inflamations as well as euphoric and aiding in muscle spasms and alleviating thirst. The Sacred Lotus is referred as the Soma mentioned in vedic texts. ✒ Mathematics: In the Indian numbering system, one padma is equal to one quadrillion (10 to the power 15) ✒ The Padmavyuha (Sanskrit: पद्मव्यूह) or Chakravyuha (चक्रव्यूह) refers to a Military formation narrated in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. ✒ The lotus blooms with the rising sun and close at night. Similarly, our minds open up and expand with the light of knowledge. The lotus grows even in slushy areas. It remains beautiful and untainted despite its surroundings, reminding us that we too can and should strive to remain pure and beautiful within, under all circumstances. The lotus leaf never gets wet even though it is always in water. It symbolizes the man of wisdom (gyaani) who remains ever joyous, unaffected by the world of sorrow and change.