Saturday, August 17, 2019

Meto Padma (Lotus) is a central Symbol in Buddhism.

Lotus is one of the Eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism. It is called Padma. Many Bhutanese and Tibetan are familiar with this pure flower due to its association with Guru Rinpoche's birth. 
The roots of a Lotus are in the mud, the stem grows up through the water, and the heavily scented flower lies above the water, basking in the sunlight. 

This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of Enlightenment. 

Lotus therefore is one of Buddhism's best recognized motifs since every important deity is associated in some manner with the Lotus, either being seated upon it or holding one in their hands. 
A connection is made that the seed of the lotus blossom represents a person at an early stage of the karmic cycle.
As the person continues to walk their path and rises higher in their spiritual evolution, they leave the murky water of samsara (pain/suffering/attachment) behind.
This is when the lotus bud emerges from under the water and reaches a purer state of consciousness. Over time the bud blossoms as they move towards a state of nirvana.
When a person has reached nirvana (enlightenment/freedom from worldly attachments) they are representative of a perfect lotus bloom.
According to another scholar, in Esoteric Buddhism, the Heart of the beings is like an unopened Lotus: when the virtues of the Buddha develop therein, the Lotus blossom; that is why the Buddha sits on a Lotus bloom. 
A Lotus is also symbolic representation for the family of Buddhas and divine birth, also symbolizes the female principle or the female genitals. 
Buddhists regard the Lotus as a flower of divine origin since it reproduces from its own womb rather than in the soil, and the Padma Symbol is seen as a pledge of salvation.

The lotus has it's own title as one of the Buddhist holy books, "The Sutra on the White Lotus of the Sublime Dharma", also known more simply as the Lotus Sutra, and is mentioned by Buddha repeatedly in his teachings.
Significantly, the color of the Lotus too has an important bearing on the symbol associated with it. 

1). White Lotus (pad ma dkar po): This represents the state of Spiritual perfection and total mental purity (Bodhi). 

It is associated with the White Tara and proclaims her perfect nature, a quality that is reinforced by the color of her Body. 

2). Red Lotus (pad ma chu skyes): 

This signifies the original nature and purity of the Heart (hrdya). It is the Lotus of Love, Compassion, passion and all other qualities of the Heart. 
It is the flower of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.   

3). Blue Lotus (ut pa la): 

This is a Symbol of the victory of the spirit over the senses, and signifies the Wisdom of Knowledge. Not surprisingly, it is the preferred flower of Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. 

4). Pink Lotus (pad ma dmar po): 

This the supreme Lotus, generally reserved for the highest deity. Thus naturally it is associated with the Great Buddha himself. 

Lotus Sutra
The Lotus Sutra is one of the most important sutras in Mahayana Buddhism and was likely written down between 100 B.C. and 200 A.D. Already well known in India, the sutra became more famous and influential when it was translated into Chinese by Kumarajiva in the year 406. After Chih-i founded the T’ien-T’ai School in China, based on the teaching expounded by this sutra in the sixth century, it was considered one of the canonical sutras of Chinese Buddhism. After the T’ien-T’ai School of China was introduced to Japan by Saicho and became the Tendai Sect, the Lotus Sutra became loved as literature among the people.
The sutra is named the Lotus Sutra because the lotus symbolized the oneness of cause and effect, specifically the cause of aspiring to enlightenment (Buddhahood) and the effect of attaining it, since the lotus is a flower that blooms and seeds at the same time. It also symbolizes the purity of Buddhahood, blooming in the midst of our ordinary lives just as the lotus blossoms in muddy pond water.
The Teachings of the Lotus Sutra
The Wonderful Dharma of the Lotus Sutra is that all living beings, whether they realize it or not, have the capacity to become enlightened. Everyone, without exception, can unlock the perfect wisdom and great compassion that reside in the depths of life. The Lotus Sutra also teaches that the life of a Buddha transcends our ordinary way of thinking and is beyond birth and death.

Shakyamuni Buddha himself is in actuality the Eternal Buddha who is always present in our lives, leading us to the realization of our own innate Buddhahood.

Please treat lotus flower with Respect.

Cultivate Generous Thought and practice giving gifts to the Sanghas.

The Buddha once explained that it is a meritorious act even to throw away the water after washing one's plate with the generous thought:...