Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lotus Lakes in Korea

Lotus Season these days in Korea

Lotus lakes are a common sight in Korea.
They have a lot of significance religiously and many temples have small ponds with a lotus there. Lotus flower represents one symbol of fortune in Buddhism. Over and over again, lotus, a beautiful flower appeared here in there in life while in Korea irrespective of the season. We indulge in its beauty, its story and its making  during the Lotus Lantern festivals at Buddha's birthday. We came across it while it was in full bloom during my temple stays in Gawondo, Daegu, Pyeongtaek and Ganghwa.

 It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower’s first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

The second meaning, which is related to the first is purification. It resembles the purifying of the spirit which is born into murkiness.

The third meaning refers to faithfulness. Those who are working to rise above the muddy waters will need to be faithful followers.

The color bears importance in the meaning of the lotus flower in Buddhism. A white lotus flower refers to purity of the mind and the spirit. If a lotus flower is red, it refers to compassion and love. The blue lotus flower refers to the common sense; it uses wisdom and logic to create enlightenment. The pink lotus flower represents the history of Buddha and the historical legends of the Buddha. A purple lotus flower speaks of spirituality and mysticism. Finally, the gold lotus flower represents all achievement of all enlightenment, especially in the Buddha.

The stage of growth the lotus flower is in represents a different stage of enlightenment. A closed lotus flower represents the time before a Buddhist follower found Buddha or enlightenment. A lotus flower fully bloomed and open represents full enlightenment and self-awareness.

The mud represents an importance in the meaning of the lotus flower in Buddhism. All humans are born in a world where there is suffering. This suffering is a vital part of the human experience; it makes us stronger and teaches us to resist the temptation of evil. When we banish evil thoughts from our mind we are able to break free of the muddy water and become one with the Buddha. The mud shows us who we are and teaches us to choose the right path over the easy one.

Finally, the lotus flower represents rebirth, both in a figurative and a literal sense. The rebirth can be a change of ideas, an acceptance of Buddha where there once was none, the dawn after one’s darkest day, a renaissance of beliefs or the ability to see past wrongs. In a literal sense, the meaning of the lotus flower in Buddhism represents rebirth as a reincarnation, such as in the Buddhist religion, when a soul leaves this world in its present form to be reborn in another.

By the way, I wonder how is the Lotus Lake (Kanwal Lake) in Lok Virsa, Islamabad doing? At one point, it was maintained quite well but  has it come to ruins like many other things?

photo credits@ ChosunIlbo and here.