Friday, 20 April 2012

Light in the Lotus

Radha and Krishna Standing on a Lotus
The Sacred Lotus or Padma is one of the most prominent symbols in yoga, representing purity and enlightenment.

"One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by harmful action, as the lotus is untouched by water."
Bhagavad Gita 5.10:
With its roots in the mud, and its fragrant, pure beauty rising up, the lotus is also a metaphor for our human experience. 

We have roots in the muck and mire, and yet we rise above the waters of life to fulfill our aspirations and blossom into the light.

Many spiritual teachers use the image of the lotus to encourage us in times of difficulty to show our highest Self to the world no matter how murky our circumstances.

In other words, they advise us to allow insult and injury to roll like "water off a lotus leaf", or as we say in the west, (like) water off a duck's back. 

It is also said that in the lotus of the heart, or the Anahata Chakra, there is a divine light.

Lakshmi (left) and Saraswati (right) seated on Lotus flowers
beside an altar at the Sivananda Ashram. 
Note the Lotus rising from Vishnu's navel. 
Seated in the Lotus, is Brahma, the God of Creation.
Chapter One, Verse 36 of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali says:  "Vishoka va jyotishmati"

Meaning roughly, "Concentration on the inner light brings stability and tranquility."

Take a look at the following commentary from

Concentration on painless inner luminosity:

The easiest way to practice this is to place your attention in the space between the breasts, the heart center. Simply imagine that there is a glowing luminosity there, about the size of the palm of your hand.

Whether or not you literally see with your inner eye is not important; the practice works either way. Maintain an inner attitude that it does not matter what other thoughts, images, impressions or memories might arise in the mind field; you will hold that stance that these will not disturb or distract you. Stay only with that glowing inner luminosity in the heart.

And here is an excerpt from The Himalayan Academy, Merging with Siva, Chapter 9, The Lotus of the Heart:

"A beautiful practice is to try to sit quietly, visualizing within the lotus within the heart a light, a strong light emanating clearly, a light that is always there. This light is radiating at a higher vibration than any form with which you are familiar.

Let us say, if you were to have this light in your hand and were able to use it in the external world, each form you turned it upon would disappear under the vibration of the light itself. That is as powerful as the effulgent light emanating from the Self, the Sivaness, which you will see within the lotus of the heart."

Lotus Candle Holder Photo Courtesy of one love origami
If you would like to create an outer reminder of this inner light, I invite you to fold an Origami Lotus Candle Holder.

And if you would like some music to accompany your peace-crafting, click here to listen to a beautiful track from The Beatles, called The Inner LightIt was recorded in India, inspired by a letter from Sanskrit scholar Juan Mascaro.

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