Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lessons From a Lotus

As in a pile of rubbish cast by the side of a highway a lotus will grow clean smelling………… does the disciple of the Rightly Self Awakened One.


Did you ever wonder why a lotus is used as a Buddhist symbol in many places.

1). According to the Buddhist texts Buddha when he was enlightened saw all the people in the world as one large lotus pond. This is a common metaphor that is used to understand the varying degree of wisdom or "Parami" (innate ability) that people have to understand the Dhamma, the teachings of the Buddha. He saw people as lotus buds at different stages of maturity. Some were at the very bottom of the pond as small immature buds. Some were at the middle of the pond with medium maturity. Others were right at the top of the surface of the water about to bloom with the morning sun. The sun was compared to Dhamma in this metaphor. Buddha spent 45 years of his life teaching Dhamma helping the more "mature lotus buds" to blossom.

2). Have you seen the lotus petals and leaves touching water? The water droplets stay on the surface because of the surface tension. Although the water is in contact with the petals it does not "wet" or stick to the petals. This metaphor was used by Buddha to explain how enlightened beings live among worldly objects and people with defilements without really getting affected or attached to them.

3). Ajan Braham at Buddhist Society of Western Australia, ( use the lotus in many of his Dhamma and meditation talks. You can watch this video by clicking the following link:
The Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus

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