Lotus in pond, with roots and dragonfly

Lotusbloem met wortel

Lotus Plant, copyright by Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Scientific name: Nelumbo nucifera.

A lotus plant grows in a pond. Lotus-roots are edible and nutritious. Have you ever seen them in an Asian food shop? Do you know how all parts of a lotus plant connect? I didn’t and I had to do some research to get the botanical facts right.

A lotus plant is a highly esteemed symbol in Buddhism as being one of the “Eight Auspicious Symbols” of this religion. The roots of a lotus flower extend into the mud, the stem grows up through the water and the flower blossoms above the surface.

For a Buddhist this living on 3 levels, in the mud, in water and air, signifies progress. The soul progresses from the mud (read: mess and materialism), through the world of water in which we live our daily life and experience our world, higher up to enlightenment in the ethereal world of air and light.

There is a saying or consolation for when things are difficult; ‘A lotus only grows in a muddy pond’, stating that in order to flower, to bloom, one has to accept the mud, the mess, chaos, dirt or ugliness.
In Buddhist art lotuses are all over the place. Sometimes Buddha sits in an opened lotus-flower, thus symbolising his awakening.
Paula
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