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Lotus

Since the beginning of mankind, symbols have been used very often, to convey a message of universal importance. They represent abstract ideas or ideologies of a particular society, which in order to understand correctly, we have to rely on our knowledge of this civilization. They make a statement in a special way that invites personal interpretation, without any lengthy written explanation. Symbols play an important role in the Chinese way of life and reveal many things about the relationship of the Chinese with the universe and with all the nature that surrounds them.

Leaves break the shell of the green shoot, stretch and form a green pool with messy edges. Now the flower emerges from the wide surface of the water, just like a beautiful woman comes out gracefully from her bath.

Chinese always adored the paintings with lotus flowers [Chin .: lián huā 蓮花, hé huā 荷花]. These flowers are considered as the noble that keeps himself clean, alive and healthy in a dirty environment. Essentially Chinese lotus flower represents the creative power and purity in a harsh environment. It is also the symbol of the seventh month of summer. The Chinese poets also use the flowers of lotus to inspire people to continue to struggle with the difficulties and to show the outside world their best self, no matter how bad the situations may be. This is understandable if you're just like the lotus flower, which brings the beauty and the light from the darkness in the muddy lake bottom.

Another symbolic feature of Chinese lotus comes from the observation that the plant stem is easy to bend in two, but it is very difficult to break because it has many strong helical fibers. Poets use this property to show the close inextricable relationship between two lovers or family members, showing that no matter how far they live, nothing can really separate them.

In Buddhism the lotus flower symbolizes faith. The golden lotus, which refers to the Buddhist sutras has two meanings. One is the symbol for the attainment of enlightenment and the other indicates a real flower that is beyond our normal perception. It symbolizes also the complete purification of contaminants of the body, speech and mind, and the blossoming of moral acts in blissful liberation.

In Mahayana tradition [Chin .: dàchéng 大乘, Sanski .: mahāyāna महायान], the lotus flower features rebirth, perfection, bloom of youth and immortality. It is a sacred flower in Buddhism. The closed lotus flower represents the future possibility. Depending on the number of petals, the concept of the lotus changes, and is formed by the symbolism of the number. With eight petals it means cosmic harmony. In the tradition of Chan Buddhism [Chin .: chán zōng 禪宗], the lotus fruit, flower and stem symbolize the past, present and future. The blue lotus flower [Chin .: qīng lián huā 青 蓮花] represents purity and modesty.

The importance of the lotus flower in Buddhist culture is quite remarkable and needs a thorough intensive study to reveal the hidden meaning of this symbolism. Natural lotus flower characteristics are reflected in the interpretation of metaphors and transportation statements inside Buddhist teachings.

The flower is beautiful in color and aromatic in smell. It is always clean and pure and usually develops in cool, clean water. Although it comes out of the mud and the water, it is not even dirty from the ground, nor is dampened with water. It blooms above the water surface, so elegant that beautifies the whole lake. The flower is floating on the water dancing up and down in harmony with the changing current.

The Buddhist cosmology reveals that the Lotus is the first flower that blossomed at the beginning of this cosmic world. Five sacred lotus flowers appear for the first time in this century "Badra Kalpa" [Chin .: xián jié 賢劫, Sanskrit .: bhadra-kalpa भद्र कल्प] predicting the Enlightenment of the Five Buddhas in this human world. And this is the most outstanding event for Buddhism.
“Of all the flowers, [Buddha] chose the lotus flower to symbolize the Lotus Sutra. There's a reason for it .... The benefit of all other sutras is uncertain, because they teach that one must first create good causes and only then one can become Buddha at some later time. Regarding the Lotus Sutra, when someone's hand hold it, this hand immediately attains Enlightenment, when the mouth of someone sings it, then this mouth is a Buddha.”

From "Texts of Master Nichiren, p. 1099," [Chin .: rìlián dà shèngrén 日 蓮 大 聖人, Jap .: nichirendaishōnin 日 蓮 大 聖人, 1222-1282].

Sharing Words...

Clearing your heart, see into your nature, and do not seek elsewhere

Abbot Shi Yong Xin [chin.: shìyǒngxìn fāngzhang 释永信方丈]