Leading life like that of a Lotus – Pleasant yet Powerful
Did you ever think about a Lotus ?
A lotus shoots from the mud below, rises above the swampy water level and blooms pleasantly under the Sun, without itself getting muddy or dirty in the process.
The Lotus teaches us a beautiful lesson. To lead a good life is more important than our place of birth however inferior.
Just like how a lotus blooms appealingly, although arising out of swampy waters, and yet never has any mud attached to it; Similarly, we need to lead a life that spreads brightness, irrespective of the circumstances of our birth and place. Our lives must inspire and help others to lead an affable life themselves. This is when our own lives begin to have a meaning and purpose.
This is the message we can draw from a lotus. But this is not all what a Lotus can tell.
It glazes beautifully when the Sun appears and fades when the Sun sets! So the Sun is the source and cause of its shine and lustre. And the Sun makes the Lotus blossom brighter and brighter every moment. And yet, the Sun gradually parches a Lotus if it comes out of its Swamp.
“kamalam jala:dape:tham so:shayithi ravihi: na tho:shayithi”
The Sun can never keep a Lotus alive if the Lotus leaves its swampy home and yearns to be in the presence of the Sun alone!
If we look at this analogy, we begin to wonder – What is important for a Lotus? Is it the mucky water ? Or the Sun which is the cause of its efflorescence ? It is the water. The Sun aids the Lotus only when the Lotus remains in the mud.
All of us are like beautiful Lotuses in our own ways. God is the source and cause of illumination in our lives. Mother gives us a form at birth and nourishes us. But who and what keeps us sprouting and blooming like the flower? It is the knowledge provided by a Sath-Guru. As long as we are in association with a Guru, and keep receiving Acharya’s grace, our lives shall shine brightly.
We must hold on strongly to a Guru. So what does that mean ? Renounce family, home and job and always live under the shadow of an Acharya in His Ashramam ? No. If that really happens, Acharya must then start doing a job or beg to feed his followers!
Here goes the poetic story of the Lotus.
One day, the Lotus received a praise!
Lotus, Oh! Lotus – you are a shine ever seen. You live in the swamp, yet you are the queen!
The Lotus deeply pondered and felt:
The Sun is my God, the Sun is my lustre. It is the reason I blossom day brighter. I ever would love to rest with my shine. The merk and the mud I fret and repine!
So thinking the Lotus left its swamp to live with the Sun:
Then the Sun said:
Oh! my dear Lotus! you went all wrong; Why have you left your waters and pond? The fire and my heat shall burn you beyond; Bear you cannot the pyre that long I shall not parch you but give you my glow; as long as you live in your waters below!
The Lotus thought and said:
Yes. Oh! my God you woke me to seeing- “I can’t leave the place of my living” The swamp is my guru, I strongly must hold; If I should always, nicely unfold. The water like knowledge is what I need; to keep me afloat and happy indeed. Then, I know, You shall always pour; the blessings I need for my brightness and more
So what is to “hold” on strongly to a Guru ? The “hold” here does not mean a physical control of a person. We cannot clench on to any one for more than a period of time as we are soon overcome by our own physical limitations. Instead we need to engage in a bond through the medium of mind. We must hold on to our Acharya’s divine feet and feel Acharya’s presence with our minds filled with atmost faith and perseverance.
And then, when we achieve this state of mind, we will be able to receive Acharya’s grace even when it is not possible for Acharya to be physically present sometimes. We will become like the Lotus flower in a merky pond. Then God like the Sun, will shower our lives with brightness all the time. This will make all our actions pure and every deed becomes a service to the society and in turn God Himself; Our actions will become exemplary for others.
Everything about a Lotus is pleasant – its color, its fragrance, its honey. When one receives Acharya’s grace, the person radiates with Lotus like qualities and actions. Our deeds would be like the fragrance emanating from a flower. The compassion we show towards living beings would be like the sweet honey of the Lotus and when we start becoming an example for others to follow, we are like the pleasing color of the Lotus itself. This is how we should lead our lives.