6/13/2005

WKD - LOTUS / LOTOS water lily

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manifold fingers
bending in prayer -
lotus in the pond













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Quote from
The Art of Chinese Brush Painting

The sacred Lotus, Nelumbo nucifera, is an extreme important spiritual symbol in Eastern religions. It represents purity, divine wisdom, and the individual's progress from the lowest to the highest state of consciousness.

When Chan (Zen) Buddhism bloomed in China, the lotus did not lose stature, but Buddhist art became more subdued, and the use of color in depictions of the lotus declined. After the Song dynasty, folk culture grabbed hold of the lotus with gusto, giving it symbolic meaning that was no longer purely religious.

Down to the present, even if Chinese don't understand the Lotus Sutra or lotus-related Zen esoterica, they will surely know that you light lotus lanterns on the Ghost Festival and that Songzi Niangniang allowed the Gold Boy and Jade Girl to get on a lotus and float to the world of men. In which case it's not hard to imagine that a small lotus pedestal can remove bad karma, direct souls of the deceased to proceed with reincarnation, and help cultivate one's inner spirit.

Legend of the Lotus / China / Hans Christian Von Baeyer

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Ancient CHINA : On loving lotus

Lotus on four sides and willows on three,
Half a pool of autumn water reflects a hill.
Distant fragrance is all the more delicate and fresh.


Zhou Dunyi, Song dynasty

Lotus is also called lotus flower.
On loving lotus written by Zhou Dunyi says lotuses are not dirty although born in mud and not coquettish although bathing in ripples of water, so lotuses can symbolize chasteness and nobleness. The word green lotus has the same pronunciation with the word incorruptness in Chinese, which is qinglian.

Therefore the pattern the most incorruptness formed by lotuses symbolizes having high official titles without embezzlement, and also symbolizes incorruptness. So lotuses are often used to praise upright and incorruptible officials.

And lotuses also symbolize love. So the pattern of lotuses with shared pedicel formed by one peduncle and two flowers symbolizes devotion between husbands and wives and happiness.
Auspicious flowers in Chinese Art
© www.shanghai.gov.cn

CLICK for more JADE art of Lotus
Jade art and Lotus


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Ohara Koson /Hoson / (1877-1945)



LOTUS /LOTOS KIGO

... ... ... Lotus in Kigo for late summer:

hasu
蓮 renge 蓮華
hasu no hana 蓮の花
white lotus, byakuren 白蓮
red lotus, benihasu 紅蓮
leaf of a lotus, hasu no ha 蓮の葉

viewing lotus, hasumi 蓮見
boat for viewing lotus, hasumibune 蓮見舟
lotus pond, hasuike 蓮池

fragrance of lotus, hasu no ka 蓮の香
"Devil's Lotus", oni hasu 鬼蓮 > See Comment


... ... ... Lotus in Kigo for early summer:

hasu no ukiha 蓮の浮葉 (はすのうきは) floating lotus leaves
..... hasu ukiha 蓮浮葉(はすうきは)
..... ukiba 、浮葉(うきは), zeniha 銭葉(ぜには)
makiba 巻葉(まきば)"rolled leaves"
hasu no ha 蓮の葉(はすのは) lotus leaves



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... ... ... Lotus in Kigo for Early Autumn:
aki no hasu 秋の蓮 (あきのは)
lotus in autumn


... ... ... Lotus in Kigo for Mid-Autumn:

. seeds of the lotus
.. hasu no mi 蓮の実 (はすのみ) .


hasu no mi tobu 蓮の実飛ぶ(はすのみとぶ)
.. lotus seeds flying around


... ... ... Lotus in Kigo for Late Autumn:

withered lotus, broken lotus (lit. broken bag)
.. yarehasu 敗荷, yarehachisu 破れ蓮(破蓮)


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... ... ... Lotus in Kigo for All Winter:

dry lotus, withered lotus, karehasu 枯蓮 (かれはす)
..... kare hachisu 枯はちす(かれはちす)
lotus withers, hasu karu 蓮枯る
..... hasu karuru 蓮枯るる(はすかるる)
hasu no hone 蓮の骨(はすのほね) "lotus bones"
lotus roots, renkon 蓮根 (food)



. WASHOKU
Regional Dishes with Lotus Root
  


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For more information about the lotus see the comments below, please.

Lotus (padma), in the India Saijiki




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the silent dawn
shines through thin petals...
this lotus flower


- Shared by Taro Aizu -
Joys of Japan, 2012



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THE STORIES OF THE LOTUS SUTRA
by Gene Reeves.
...
In his book on the Lotus Sutra, Reeves presents the stories in digest form, supplementing the tales with interpretation and commentary. The author furnishes the uninitiated reader with analysis of a high order. Along the way, he clarifies a number of terms like dharma, samadhi, and nirvana, whose meanings are often only obtusely understood. There are also words we think we know, like "interdependence" and "mutability," which, in the Buddhist context, may require a degree of readjustment.

One of the revelations in reading these commentaries is discovering that the Lotus Sutra offers practical guidance and imaginative solutions to problems of a very non-theological kind that are as relevant today as they were in the fifth century B.C. The classic parable of the burning house, for example, demonstrates how a father tries to save his children from the fires of suffering, which they are unable to disengage from because of excessive attachments.
source : STEPHEN MANSFIELD, Japan Times April 2011


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lotus
i am open to all
new ideas


John Tiong Chunghoo, May 2009
WKD Facebook



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世の中よ針だらけでも蓮の花
yo no naka yo hari darake demo hasu no hana

this world
is full of needles and thorns ...
yet lotus blooms


Kobayashi Issa
Tr. Gabi Greve


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kigo for mid-summer

koohone 河骨 (こうほね) Spatterdock, pond lily
..... kawahone かわほね
Nuphar japonicum, Nuphar japonica 川骨. Japanische Teichrose
kind of water lily, cow lily
The plant likes clean water in rivers, ponds and swamps. Its roots are a strong white.






河骨の二もとさくや雨の中 
koohone no futatsu mo saku ya ame no naka

even two spatterdocks
are blossoming here -
in the rain


. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .




CLICK for more photos
Four family crests with this flower 家紋
She is a well-loved motive for a family crest.



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kigo for late summer

suiren 睡蓮 "colorful water lily"
Nymphaea colorata, water lily, Seerose
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

hitsujigusa 未草(ひつじぐさ)water lily
Nymphaea tetragona
. . . CLICK here for Photos !




kigo for mid-spring
. suiren uu 睡蓮植う (すいれんうう) planting water lilies  


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蓮の葉に片足のせて昼寝哉
hasu no ha ni kata ashi nosete hirune kana

one foot propped
on the lotus leaves...
siesta


Kobayashi Issa
Tr. David Lanoue



Written at the home of Fukuroya Seizaemon 袋屋清左衛門邸 in Nakano town.
Now a rich merchant for soy sauce and miso paste.
Issa, at age 60, visited there and walked in the large garden.
There is also a stone where Issa used to sit and practise zazen
一茶の座禅石.

source : naganoetokino1

Now there is also a Fukuroya Museum 袋屋美術館.

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蓮の香や水をはなるる茎二寸
hasu no ka ya mizu o hanaruru kuki ni sun

fragrance of a lotus -
above the water
the stem is two sun


. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .



one SUN 寸 is about 3.03 cm.
It is said that the lotus fragrance is best
when the stem is about 6 cm (2 sun) above the water.

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. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

蓮の香を目にかよはすや面の鼻
. hasu no ka o me ni kayowasu ya men no hana .
the fragrance of lotus and the nose of a Noh mask

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手向けけり芋は蓮に似たるとて
. tamuke keri imo wa hachisu ni nitaru tote .
For Senpuu 仙風 Senpu, father of 杉山杉風 Sugiyama Sanpu.

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瓜の皮剥いたところや蓮台野 
. uri no kawa muita tokoro ya Rendaino .

Rendaino is a graveyard in Kyoto, near Mount Funaokayama 船岡山.

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. WASHOKU
Regional Dishes with Lotus Roots
 


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30 comments:

Anonymous said...

a white lotus
in dark black water
and your grey eyes

GEERT

Anonymous said...

a white lotus
sways in the wake
of passing koi

Carole MacRury

. Gabi Greve said...

The Lotus (PADMA)
The lotus symbol (or its petals) is both a symbol of purity and variety, every lotus petal representing a distinct aspect. The inclusion of a lotus in a YANTRA represents freedom from multiple interference with the exterior (purity) and expresses the absolute force of the Supreme Self.

More about Yantra is here :
http://sivasakti.com/articles/intro-yantra.html

. Gabi Greve said...

Sesen / Egypt and the Lotus

A Lotus Flower. This is a symbol of the sun, of creation and rebirth. Because at night the flower closes and sinks under water, at dawn it rises and opens again. According to one creation myth it was a giant lotus which first rose out of the watery chaos at the beginning of time. From this giant lotus the sun itself rose on the first day.
A symbol of Upper Egypt

Read more about Egyptian Symbols:
http://members.aol.com/egyptart/symlst.html

. Gabi Greve said...

Complete text of the LOTUS SUTRA

THE LOTUS OF THE TRUE LAW.
Translated By H. Kern (1884)
Sacred Books of the East, Vol XXI.

All 27 chapters !

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/lotus/

. Gabi Greve said...

PAINTING
Pink and White Lotus
14th century China
Yuan dynasty (1279-1368)
Hanging scroll; mineral pigments on silk
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Flowers were a major subject of Chinese painting from the tenth century onward. Produced for the court, flower paintings far exceeded other subjects--figures, Buddhist painting, and landscapes--that were recorded in imperial collections. This painting of blossoms, leaves, and seed pods depicts the lotus at a moment just past its peak, when the blossoms are fully opened and some petals have begun to fall. The flowers retain their full colors, showing a gentle gradation of deep pink to nearly transparent lighter shades and white. The large, bowl shaped leaves with lobed and curled edges are turned up to reveal a lighter shade of green on the underside.
While the blossoms successfully convey lifelike qualities, the lotus in Asian art is never merely decorative but is a motif that has deep religious meaning. In Buddhism, the muddy pond in which the lotus grows represents the mundane world; the beautiful blossoms, which rise on stems high out of the water, represent the purity of salvation and rebirth in a heavenly paradise.
Lotus paintings were usually produced in pairs for Buddhist temples or palace walls.

Original is here:
http://www.kimbellart.org/database/index.cfm?detail=yes&ID=AP%201984.19
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. Gabi Greve said...

Indian Art
VI. The symbolism of the lotus:

1. The Lotus Goddess.
2. The lotus support.
3. The Bodhisattva lotus-in-hand.
4. The lotus in Burmese art.
5. The lotus in Tibet.
6. The lotus in China and Japan.
7. The Lotus Goddess of the cosmic sea—and the Palace-Temple Ankor Wat.
8. Excursus: on the contents and form of Indian sculpture.
9. The Palace-Temple Ankor Wat—and the Lotus Goddess of the cosmic sea.

The Art of Indian Asia :
Its Mythology and Transformations

by Heinrich Zimmer. Edited by Joseph Campbell.

https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no23947.htm

This is an amazing treasure of a book! I read it in German.
Gabi

. Gabi Greve said...

The Lotus Goddess of the Cosmic Sea

Lakshmi the goddess of earthly abundance sits cross-legged on a full-blooming pink lotus which shoots up on an extended green stalk, sprouting from the depths of the cosmic sea. The shooting lotus is a symbol of life and growth. This is further emphasized by a number of blossoms around her which are in various stages of growth. Though Lakshmi is the Indian archaic mother of life, she is almost always shown as a lovely and young woman.

The four-armed deity's ample form signifies her capacity to nourish and sustain. Though devoid of any overtly sexual characteristics the artist nevertheless has embellished her with some graceful feminine attributes expressed in her essentially curvaceous form, highlighted for example through her flowing robes and the slight contours marking the curves and folds of her stomach. The rich vegetative motives framing her in the background express her fertilizing nature.

Rising from the depths of water and expanding its petals on the surface, the lotus (kamala) is the most beautiful evidence offered to the eye of the self-engendering fertility of the bottom. Through its appurtenance, it gives proof of the life-supporting power of the all-nourishing cosmic waters, the infinite ocean out which all elements of the universe arise, and back into which they must again dissolve.

Look at a beautiful picture too at this site:
http://www.exoticindiaart.com/product/PC74/

. Gabi Greve said...

Kamala - The Lotus Goddess

The name Kamala means "she of the lotus" and is a common epithet of the goddess Lakshmi or Shri, who is said to adore lotuses and to be lotus eyed and surrounded by lotuses. Indeed, Kamala is none other than the goddess Lakshmi. She is usually listed as the tenth and last of the Mahavidyas. Of all the goddesses in the Mahavidya group, Kamala is the best known and most popular and has the oldest tradition of worship outside the Mahavidya context.

Kamala is a beautiful young woman with a shining complexion. Two elephants flank her and shower her with water while she sits on a lotus and holds lotuses in each of her four hands. The lotus is related to life and fertility. The cosmos as lotus-like suggests a world that is organic, vigorous and beautiful. It is the fecund vigor suggested by the lotus that is revealed in Kamala. She is the life force that pervades creation.

Kamala's association with the elephant suggests other aspects of her character that are ancient and persistent. The elephants have two meanings. According to Hindu tradition, elephants are related to clouds and rain, and hence fertility. Second, elephants also suggest royal authority.

Look at this beautiful illustration:
http://www.exoticindiaart.com/product/DF05/

. Gabi Greve said...

Links for LOTUS POND :

http://community.webshots.com/album/179537440eNqNwL

http://community.webshots.com/album/63719192lFDcBs

http://www.terragalleria.com/theravada/thailand/muang-boran/picture.thai2377.html

http://www.nantien.org.au/htmls/slide13.htm

http://members.tripod.com/kumarabharathy/newpage2.htm

. Gabi Greve said...

Temple Of Guanyin Who Refuses To Leave

In the year 916 AD, a Japanese monk called Hui Er was on a pilgrimage to China. After leaving another sacred mountain, Wutai, he boarded a ship for Japan with a newly acquired bronze statue of Guanyin. A strong wind blew up as the ship approached the island of Putuo, forcing the vessel to run aground against a reef. The winds intensified. Waves beat against the hull, and the crew feared the boat would be destroyed.

As the storm intensified, Hui Er suddenly envisioned that the violent winds were a sign of Guanyin's unwillingness to leave China. He knelt before her image and prayed: "If my countrymen are not destined to see you, I will follow your direction and build a temple to you here.”

Immediately the wind subsided. The sea became as calm as a lotus pond. The ship freed itself from the shoal and sailed close to shore, below the Cave of Tidal Sound. Disembarking with his statue, Hui Er encountered a fisherman who was marveling over the deliverance of the distressed ship. The fisherman offered his home as a shrine for the image of Guanyin.

Through the years, the original statue has been replaced by many replications. An exquisite new shrine to Guanyin completed in 1998 attracts a steady flow of visitors.

Another story says that the sea was filled with iron lotus blossoms and the boat could not move forward. The monk prayed to Guanyin when his boat moved closer to the shore.

A man on the shore saw the problems the monk was facing and transformed his house into a shrine and took the statue in. Once Guanyin was installed, the lotuses disappeared from the sea and the boat was released to sail back to Japan.
The shrine became known as the "Temple of Guanyin Who Refuses To Leave" (Bukenqu Guanyin).

The Temple Of Guanyin Who Refuses To Leave, is the oldest and most important temple in Putuohan. It is small and by the sea, just below the much larger than the temple in the Purple Bamboo Forest (Zizhulin).

It is decorated in carvings of the Japanese monk and his Guanyin statue and has an obviously patched stele of the Dont-leave story which was smashed by the Red Guards and later retrieved from the sea. It has recently been completly restored.

http://www.putuoshan.net/English/Seeings/bukenquguanyin.php

. Gabi Greve said...

The Lotus Lantern Festival:
Seoul, South Korea

is the most attractive and beautiful festival in Korea but not known yet too much to outside.

Scheduled to commence on 23rd May, 2004 in Jongno Street, downtown Seoul, this festival celebrates Buddha's Birthday. (The date changes due to it follows lunar calendar)

Traditional and High-spirited Lotus Lantern Festival This is a representative regional cultural festival of Seoul City, and will be of interest to everyone.

http://www.hostelscentral.com/hostels-article-366.html

This link is in Korean, but look anyway:
www.LLF.or.kr

Here is their lotus lantern gallery:
http://www.llf.or.kr/gallery/gallery/board.asp
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. Gabi Greve said...

Lakshmi and Indian Mythology

Lore has it that Lakshmi arose out of the sea of milk, the primordial cosmic ocean, bearing a red lotus in her hand. Each member of the divine triad- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva (creator, preserver and destroyer respectively)- wanted to have her for himself.

Shiva’s claim was refused for he had already claimed the Moon, Brahma had Saraswati, so Vishnu claimed her and she was born and reborn as his consort during all of his ten incarnations.

The most striking feature of the iconography of Lakshmi is her persistent association with the lotus. The meaning of the lotus in relation to Shri-Lakshmi refers to purity and spiritual power.

Rooted in the mud but blossoming above the water, completely uncontaminated by the mud, the lotus represents spiritual perfection and authority.

Furthermore, the lotus seat is a common motif in Hindu and Buddhist iconography. The gods and goddesses, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, typically sit or stand upon a lotus, which suggests their spiritual authority. To be seated upon or to be otherwise associated with the lotus suggests that the being in question: God, Buddha, or human being-has transcended the limitations of the finite world (the mud of existence, as it were) and floats freely in a sphere of purity and spirituality.

Shri-Lakshmi thus suggests more than the fertilizing powers of moist soil and the mysterious powers of growth. She suggests a perfection or state of refinement that transcends the material world.

She is associated not only with the royal authority but with also spiritual authority, and she combines royal and priestly powers in her presence. The lotus, and the goddess Lakshmi by association, represents the fully developed blossoming of organic life.

Read a lot more about Lakshmi here:
http://www.exoticindiaart.com/lakshmiandsaraswati.htm

. Gabi Greve said...

More about Lotus Deities

A Gift of Lotus Flowers

In the Theravadin tradition of Buddhism, there is a tale told of a reception welcoming Buddha Dipankara (the one who preceded Shakyamuni) to the great city of Ramavati. The citizens were at work cleaning, decorating and repairing the road in preparation for the great event when, traveling through space, the ascetic Sumedha saw them and wondered what was going on.

He descended to earth and questioned them. They explained the reasons for their labours saying that it was in order that the Buddha and his disciples would enjoy their visit more since they would be able to travel along more comfortably.

Sumedha was delighted at this, reflecting: "It's hard to even get to hear the word Buddha and indeed, it is far harder to become a Buddha." He asked them to give him a chance to work on a stretch of road.

Although he could easily have done the road repairs by means of his magical powers, he used his own physical labour in the knowledge that he would earn greater merit that way.

Before he had finished his portion of road however, along came Buddha Dipankara with his disciples. To prevent the feet of the Buddha and his disciples from getting all muddy, he prostrated himself to form a human bridge.

Now, in among the welcoming crowd was a young woman named Sumita who was holding a bouquet of eight lotus flowers. As soon as she saw the ascetic, she was so delighted at his actions that she gave five of the lotuses to him which left her with only three. The ascetic then offered the flowers to the Buddha while still lying in the muddy road.

<>

Surya, the Indian sun god, is depicted with a lotus in each hand.

Osiris, culture hero and god of the underworld is depicted crowned with lotus buds.

Isis is sometimes portrayed emerging from a lotus as a sign of resurrection.

Lotus buds are therefore, associated with funerary rites, and held in the hands of mummified bodies.

..
Legend has it that the divine white elephant that, in her dream, entered the side of Maya, Shakyamuni Buddha's mother, was holding a spray of lotuses.
..

Lotus of Compassion

The best-known figure in Tibetan Buddhism associated with the lotus flower is the bodhisattva, Chenrezi, whose name in Sanskrit is Avalokiteshvara, but whose epithet is Padmapani or, Lotus-bearer. The well-known mantra, Om mani padme hum is used to invoke his presence; it calls on the one known as Jewel-in-the-lotus. Each syllable stands for one of the six realms of existence. Note that the two syllables of pad-me (lotus) represent the animal and the spirit realms.

Better read it all here:
http://www.khandro.net/nature_plants_lotus2.htm
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. Gabi Greve said...

"The lotus blossom
dragon rises"
people say


ISSA

Haiga by Sakuo Nakamura is here
http://blog.livedoor.jp/sakuo3903/comment.cgi/25835282
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sakuo said...

蓮に誘われここまで来ました。
次に蓮の句が出たら、参考にさせていただきます。

sakuo

. Gabi Greve said...

oni hasu, devil's lotus
Euryale ferox
Of the Water Lily Family.

The plant with huge leaves, almost like tables on the water.

http://www2.wbs.ne.jp/~suzki/page003.html

http://www2.wbs.ne.jp/~suzki/page003.html

http://www.hana300.com/ooonib.html

. Gabi Greve said...

Lotus, the flower for the month of July

By Waverly Fitzgerald.

With a lot interesting info and photos.

Every part of the lotus found in India (nelumbo nucifera) is edible. Seeds are roasted to make puffs called mahkanas. The plant's roots are ground up to make lotus meal.

http://www.schooloftheseasons.com/flowers/lotus.html

There is a photo of an Assyrian panel with a lotus, that reminds me of the crossed thunderbold in Esoteric Buddhism.

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. Gabi Greve said...

A golden cup
in a pink bowl-
the lotus flower


Vasile Moldovan

. Gabi Greve said...

Padmaasana – lotus posture in hatha yoga

Padma lochani - the lotus eyed one


Lotus – the flower is sacred to the Hindus and is interwoven into the Hindu way of life from the Vedic times to the modern age.

It represents beauty, purity, fertility and youth

Bhagawad Gita says that man must emulate the lotus’s way - the water on a lotus leaf just rolls away.

Thus, man should work without attachments, dedication his actions to the almighty – says the Gita

The beautiful white Lotus arises out of muddy waters – in the same manner should man rise above the sins of his mundane existence . . .

For Buddhists – Lotus symbolizes the most glorious state of man

Lotus has been venerated throughout the ages. . . Goddess Saraswathi sits on a white lotus

The Hindu scriptures say that the Atman [soul] dwells in the lotus within the heart

Sant Kabir – the 15th century singer-poet says

Do not go to the garden of flowers
My friend, Go not there –
In your body is the garden of flowers-
Take your seat on the thousand petals of the lotus-
and there gaze on the infinite beauty


The leaves are coated with a film – upon which water forms beautiful ready-to-roll-off glittering droplets.

Lotus comes in different colours – namely white, red, blue, pink and purple

The flower rising above the leaves, appear one at a time. Each flower lasts for just 2 to 5 days only and darkens soon after.


a withered lotus –
bee lingers around
the fresh one


padmaasan . . .
a distinct squeak
of the synthetic mat


Kala Ramesh

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Anonymous said...


over my midday nap
the scent of lotuses
meanders


hasu no ka ya hirune no ue o fuki meguru

.蓮の香や昼寝の上を吹巡る

by Issa


Tr. David Lanoue
http://cat.xula.edu/issa/

Anonymous said...

Ein Paradies ist
Die rote Lotusblüte
Dem jungen Mädchen

Shiki


Taken from the book "Haiku, Japanische Dreizeiler - Neue Folge" (Reclam Verlag)

Translation from Japanese to German by Jan Ulenbrook

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I just realized, that I didn't give the english translation. Here it is:


Ein Paradies ist
Die rote Lotusblüte
Dem jungen Mädchen

Shiki


translates as:


A paradise is
The red lotusflower
To the young girl

Shiki

Gabi Greve said...

dear anonymous,
and the Japanese of this haiku is?

GABI

wikipedia said...

In Greek mythology, the Lotophagi (lotus-eaters) were a race of people from an island near North Africa dominated by "lotus" plants.
MORE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotophagihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotophagi

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

蓮の香を目にかよはすや面の鼻
hasu no ka o me ni kayowasu ya men no hana

the fragrance of lotus
reaches the eyes -
(through the ) nose of a Noh mask

Matsuo Basho
Tr. Gabi Greve

Written in Genroku 7 元禄7年夏
Basho visited the home of the Noh actor Honma Shume 本間主馬.
The Noh mask has holes in the nose part for the actor to see just a little bit in front below him. So the fragrance indeed comes through the nose for him to see.
A simple man like Basho can only feel the fragrance with his nose.

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Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

HASU Lotu hokku by Matsuo Basho

手向けけり芋は蓮に似たるとて
tamuke keri / imo wa hachisu ni / nitaru tote

瓜の皮剥いたところや蓮台野 
uri no kawa / muita tokoro ya / Rendaino


rendaino is a place for burials.

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Hokku sequence by Issa

onboo no mutsuki hoshitari hasu no hana

graveyard watchman
hanging out a loincloth -
lotus flowers


ashi arau hyooshi ni hiraku hasu no hana

Opening to the rhythm
as I wash my feet -
a lotus flower

Tr. and comment by Chris Drake

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Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

べら坊に日の永くなるはすの花

beraboo ni hi no nagaku naru hasu no hana

the day's getting
way too long for you
lotus blossom

Read the comments by Chris Drake

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

咲花も此世の蓮はまがりけり
saku hana mo kono yo no hasu wa magarikeri

even the blossoms!
in this world only
crooked lotuses

This hokku is from the last part of Issa's diary for the sixth month (July) of 1819, the year depicted in Year of My Life. Issa's young daughter Sato died on 6/21, so this hokku was probably written soon after her death. By "this world" Issa surely means the perceptible, impermanent world lived in by various beings, including humans, as opposed to the other world of Buddhas and the souls of the dead.

In a famous hokku in Year of My Life Issa refers to the present impermanent, changing world as the "world of dew," and in the hokku translated above he may also be referring indirectly to the impermanence of this world's lotus blossoms, which bloom only in the morning and live only four or five days. In contrast, lotuses are also a symbol of ideal spiritual purity and of Buddhism itself, and souls who reach the Pure Land are said to be reborn on lotuses, while Amida Buddha and other Buddhas and bodhisattvas sit in meditation on great throne-like lotuses. Unlike the lotuses in the Pure Land, however, ordinary lotuses on earth are imperfect, just as ordinary humans are. Lotus roots bulge, their leaves are slightly uneven, their tall stems, while impressive, aren't quite straight, and even their blossoms tilt at slight angles on top of their stems.

In the back of his mind, is Issa fervently praying that his daughter's soul will reach the Pure Land even though she didn't have a chance to consciously learn about Buddhism or go beyond merely imitating her parents gestures of respect for Amida Buddha?

Chris Drake
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