Monday April 22, 2019

The symbol of Lotus Flower is significant to Buddhism and Hinduism, Find out why!

Lotus is originated from the naval of Lord Vishnu with Lord Brahma sitting on it.

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Lotus Flower. Image source: www.tigerscursebook.com
  • Lotus means ‘rebirth’ or ‘reincarnation’ in Buddhism
  • Lotus also symbolizes state of self consciousness
  • Lotus is originated from the naval of Lord Vishnu with Lord Brahma sitting on it

Lotus flower is significant both in Hinduism and Buddhism. they are an integral part of all decorations. Lotus flowers are used in all kinds of rituals ranging from a birth of a newborn to marriage.

As Lotus grows in muddy water, environment teaches us the first lesson. Lotus grows and blooms above the gloom to achieve enlightenment. Purification is the second lesson, which means absolving a spirit that is born with murkiness. Last one is faithfulness; it requires being faithful to grow from dirt.

Goddess Lakshmi standing of Lotus flower. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Goddess Lakshmi standing of Lotus flower. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

In Buddhism, Lotus holds a unique place. It is one of the 8 sacred symbols in Buddhism. A closed Lotus denotes the time when Buddha was not there to guide his followers. While a fully opened flower represent that follower of Buddha has met his master. As a Lotus unfolds, each petal denotes a stage to achieve enlightenment and self awareness.

It also symbolizes meaning of life. The mud in which lotus grows represents the sufferings. As we all know, humans are born with sufferings and grow in sufferings. This signifies that suffering is also a part of life. It gives us experiences which are further used to gain more experiences to live life.

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Moreover, Lotus itself means ‘rebirth’ or ‘reincarnation’ in Buddhism. The definition of rebirth not only involves taking birth as a child but also the morning after the darkest day, change of ideas or following Buddha.

In Hinduism, a Lotus represents fertility, prosperity and beauty. It also resembles divinity, purity and eternity. According to Bhagvad Gita, a lotus resembles a man who works without any attachment, who stands out of failure and sufferings and who is far away from any sin.

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Lotus is originated from the naval of Lord Vishnu with Lord Brahma sitting on it. Goddess Lakshmi is also found sitting or standing on Lotus while carrying a small one in her hand. A lotus flower is said to wake and bloom on first ray of sun.

Lotus also symbolizes state of self consciousness. In Hinduism, each petal of Lotus represents the potential of an individual spiritually and describes each petal as levels for achieving self consciousness. A lotus is said to present deep in heart and located deep in lotus is ‘Atman’ which human search in their life to attain ‘Moksha’.

Lotus also holds significance in Yoga. Padmasana, lotus like pose, is done by those who want to attain highest level of self consciousness which is found in Lotus Chakra present at top of the head.

-prepared by Aparna Gupta, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna99

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  • devika todi

    it is always good to know more about the symbolic representations of natural objects like lotus in the various religions. it is interesting, how we can take lessons from all that surrounds us and apply it in our daily life, like yoga asanas.
    great article!

Next Story

Westerners Adopt Indian Practices, Deny Giving Due Credits

There is an argument by some Hindu liberals thinking “what the problem in it”? They think our knowledge is globalized by West in the same way we consume inventions of the West. But it’s a very naïve argument.

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Its time Indians in general and Hindus in particular should be vigilant and should have an academic mind set to respond to such misadventures to protect our own heritage and Dharma. Hindu Council Of Australia

By Shashi Holla (WA) and Surinder Jain

Colonial or a white supremacy mind set may be clever enough to adopt Hindu practices but denies giving credit where it is due. Stealing Hindu Intellectual Property, they do not hesitate to rename and repackage so that they can sell it back to India for immense profits. Off course, they will leave no chance to tell Indians to stop their superstitious ways and to adopt the new scientific knowledge which “they” have “invented”.

Following has been already digested or appropriated by West. Some of the Western academics don’t believe that they belong to India.

Yoga Nidra   AS  Lucid Dreaming

Nadi Shodhana AS Alternate Nostrils Breathing

Vipassana  AS Mindfulness.

The latest addition to this list is

Pranamyam AS Cardiac Coherence Breathing

Several researchers have reported that pranayama techniques are beneficial in treating a range of stress-related disorders.[29] But the latest attempt has taken the appropriation too far. An American magazine “Scientific American” in its article titled “Proper Breathing Brings Better health” termed “Pranayama” as cardiac coherence breathing. (15 January 2019). The article gives us an idea about how West is so sophisticated in stealing knowledge from ancient cultures particularly Hinduism.

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Man doing Yoga. Wikimedia Commons

Prāṇāyāma is mentioned in verse 4.29 of the Bhagavad Gītā.[11] According to Bhagavad-Gītā As It Is, prāṇāyāma is translated to “trance induced by stopping all breathing”, also being made from the two separate Sanskrit words, prāṇa and āyām.[12] Pranayama is the fourth “limb” of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga mentioned in verse 2.29 in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.[14][15] Patanjali, a Hindu Rishi, discusses his specific approach to pranayama in verses 2.49 through 2.51, and devotes verses 2.52 and 2.53 to explaining the benefits of the practice.[16] Many yoga teachers advise that pranayama should be part of an overall practice that includes the other limbs of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga teachings, especially Yama, Niyama, and Asana.[18]

“Pranayama” a department of Yogic science practiced and documented 5000 years back ( even 15,000 years back) by Rishis is not even acknowledged by the author of the article. If one read the article they vaguely suggest that breathing exercises also existed in China, Hindu and in Greek culture.  This is how appropriation of ancient techniques takes place by West.  As Sankrat Sanu an entrepreneur, researcher and writer put it in his tweet “after erasing the origin they claim it as their own invention, attack original traditions as Superstition”.

As famous Indian American Author Rajiv Malhotra summarizes: “The article standardizes cardiac coherence breathing as Chinese, Hindu, Greek and various traditions as equal origins, and then modern West turns it into science”. Its time Indians in general and Hindus in particular should be vigilant and should have an academic mind set to respond to such misadventures to  protect our own heritage and Dharma.

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The article standardizes cardiac coherence breathing as Chinese, Hindu, Greek and various traditions as equal origins, and then modern West turns it into science”.  Pixabay

There is an argument by some Hindu liberals thinking “what the problem in it”? They think our knowledge is globalized by West in the same way we consume inventions of the West. But it’s a very naïve argument. West has created an eco system and mechanism in which their knowledge system is Well protected and patented by international norms. Unless West does not give a new name and fits into their framework native wisdom is not recognized in academia and media. Whereas Hindus were generous in sharing their health techniques freely from millennium never thought they will struggle in proving things which belong to them. In fact in a westernized framework of Yoga and other techniques Indian scholars, insiders and practitioners are blatantly ignored. So our own knowledge will be repackaged and exported back to us at an extra price and conditions.

Also Read: Climate Change Will Melt Vast Parts of Himalayas: Study

Many of our practices are being called to be Biofeedback systems. According to WikipediaBiofeedback systems have been known in India and some other countries for millennia. Ancient Hindu practices like yoga and Pranayama (breathing techniques) are essentially biofeedback methods. Many yogis and sadhus have been known to exercise control over their physiological processes. In addition to recent research on Yoga, Paul Brunton, the British writer who travelled extensively in India, has written about many cases he has witnessed. (Hindu Council Of Australia)