Padma – Lotus
Padmavarna – She who is the colour of the lotus
Padmapriya: She who loves lotus
Padmalochana – She whose eyes are like the lotus
Padmalaya – She who is the abode of the lotus
Padmagandha – She who is the fragrance of the lotus
Padmakshi: One whose eyes are as beautiful as a lotus.
Padmahastam: One who holds a lotus
Nelumbo nucifera, Or as you and I know it – the lotus.
The most recurring association of the Goddess Lakshmi is with the lotus flower. “The meaning of the lotus in relation to Shri-Lakshmi refers to purity and spiritual power.” Wikipedia
That it is sacred, we all know.
The East has always regarded the lotus as sacred, pure; the symbol of beauty, eternity, fertility and prosperity. It also considered a sign of spiritual consciousness rising above the dross and the material because though its roots grow in mud and swamp, the stem carrying the bloom always rises above the water.
It also considered a sign of spiritual consciousness rising above the dross and the material because though its roots grow in mud and swamp, the stem carrying the bloom always rises above the water.
Virtually every God and Goddess of Hinduism are often shown sitting on the lotus, holding a lotus flower in their hand and have names associating them with the lotus.
In yoga, one of the most serene yet powerful of poses is the padmasana, the posture for meditation and one assumed by the Jain Tirtanthakaras (the 6th Tirtankhara’s name is Padmaprabha) and by the Buddha.
But did you know that the lotus leaf is no less a source of wonderment?
Scientifically speaking, that is.
You see, scientists have for years been fascinated by the fact that even though the lotus grows in swampy, dirty, muddy waters, it never gets wet or dirty. And that is because it is an astounding example not just of natural water proofing but also self-cleaning. If you have ever noticed the surface of a lotus leaf, it seems to have a wax like coating. Actually, this “coating” is thousands of microscopic bumps which ensure that when water falls on it, very little comes in contact with the leaf’s surface (only 2-3%!). Which is why water “rolls” up into little mercury-like beads, leaving the leaf dry and untouched. And every time these beads of water roll around the leaf’s surface, they also roll up all surface dirt and dust, leaving everything clean and and beautifully dry.
These amazing water-resistant and self-cleaning properties of the lotus leaf were first studied in 1997 by the German botanist, Wilhelm Barthlott. Since then, everyone from Dupont, the non-stick rajahs to manufacturers of aircraft windshields and computer hard disks have been researching and trying to mimic what is now called the “lotus effect”. And research continues to try and mimic the lotus leaf to coat airplane wings to keep them from icing up, to line the hulls of ocean liners to make water roll off them more easily and therefore make them move faster and of course for more efficient waterproof clothing!
Today is the 5th night of the Devi, dedicated again to her most enthralling avatar – the Goddess Lakshmi.
She is Lajja or modesty.
She is Tushtih or contentment
She is Pushti or nourishment and health.
She is Kantir - radiance,
She is Shantih - peace.
Matir - wisdom
Nirmala or Purity.
Dhrutih or Fortitude
Chinmayi or pure Consciousness.
She is limitless (Nirantara).
She is the oldest (Vrddha), yet She is the ever young (Taruni).
She is Murta - who has form yet She is Amurta -who is formless.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The Fifth Night - A Lotus in Your Frying Pan
Padma – Lotus