2006/05/25

Out of the Mud

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White Lotus, Itako City


The Lotus is often used as a symbol in Buddhism. As it grows from the mud (samsara), up through muddy water it appears clean on the surface (purification), and finally produces a beautiful flower (enlightenment). The white blossom represents purity, the stem stands for the practice of Buddhist teachings which raise the mind above worldly existence (the mud), and gives rise to purity of mind.

Symbolism aside, I just find them very beautiful.

17 comments:

YD said...

Me too. There's a saying in chinese, 出淤泥而不染 (growing from dirty mud but maintain pureness). Just the apt description.

Thanks for the lovely lotus. Symbolism and beauty aside, lotus is indeed a very useful plant, and has good nutritional values. hehe.

Pandabonium said...

Oh yeah, I love sliced lotus root in nishimei (vegetable stew) or lotus tempura. Yum.

Happysurfer said...

Yes, they are, beautiful, in whatever colour.

PinkPanther said...

You know the light Green of Macau SAR Flag does formed with a white lotus above a stylized Bridge and water and beneath an arc of five stars.

Why Lotus? Represents the future of Macau will be prosperous and blooming.

Umm...Lotus is my fancy flower.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Well, this flower is sure producing some interesting and informative dialog! Thanks, Panda!

Pandabonium said...

Glad you like it Happy.

Pinkpanther - that's really interesting. I confess I never looked at the Macau flag before. Thanks for sharing that.

MM - Sometimes the less I write the better.

peceliandwendy said...

A perfect symbol. There's a possibility of grace in an ordinary place. Even Fiji seems to have smiles and grace these days. And I remember noticing a large lily pond near Adi Cakobau School one day when driving by. Often in unexpected places. Beautiful.
W.

Robin said...

The lotus radiates strength, beauty, peace, purity and happiness when it blooms.

There are so many things to learn from the lotus.

Have you notice what happen to the lotus after it wilts?

The petals and stem will just rot away to become a part of the fibrous compose in the water.

Pandabonium said...

Thanks Wendy. Fiji is a blossom in its own right.

Robin - Ah, I hadn't thought about the wilting process. The circle of life.

Happysurfer said...

And seeds in a pod will come next after the flower wilts and the seeds are edible. Correct me if I'm wrong about the growth process.

YD said...

ahh... the talk of samsara, and the never-ending circle of life. It brings me thinking about it's symbolism as enlightenment, and yet at the same time, it's wilting process as an analogy to the samsara...

Beautiful flower, it is. Meaningful flower, it is too.

Pandabonium said...

Happy, that's interesting. I didn't know you could eat the seeds. I'm learning all kinds of stuff with this simple post.

YD - So desu ne.

YD said...

Yes panda, we can eat the seeds. It is one of the traditional chinese herbs commonly used in soup and medicine.

So actually, the whole plant itself is a food.

The Moody Minstrel said...

So if the flower that symbolizes the cycle of life is totally edible, does that mean we can eat ourselves out of existence?

Pandabonium said...

Yes, Moody. In fact, that's exactly what happened to Euell Gibbons.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Moody, 'eat ourselves out of existence' - well that flower does have many symbolic faces to it!
Wendy

Happysurfer said...

The seeds can be eaten raw too. Just remove the green bit that's in the centre - that bit is bitter. This is the part that will grow into a shoot.