Hindu Lotus

(Nelumbo nucifera) This is the Sacred Lotus (Brouk), introduced to Egypt about 500 BC, and believed to contain the secrets of the gods. In particular, it was consecrated to the sun. The Egyptians both worshipped it, and worshipped with it, offering the flowers on their altars. One Egyptian creation myth relates how a lotus flower rises out of the waters; when its petals open the calyx of the flower is seen to bear a divine child, who is Ra. Another version is that the lotus opens to reveal a scarab (symbol of the sun); the scarab then transforms itself into a boy, who weeps; and finally, his tears become mankind. As the lotus is a flower that opens and closes every day, so it could easily be associated with the cult of the sun god (Larousse). It no longer grows beside the Nile, but it is still venerated in all countries to the east, and representations of it appear in the structure of temple buildings, in decorations, prayers and songs from Syria to Tibet, through Indonesia, China and Japan (R Hyatt).

It is one of the emblems of Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and beauty, and it is worn as a talisman for good luck and fortune, and to avert all childish diseases and accidents (Pavitt). As in China, it is the

Japanese symbol of purity. Buddha is often depicted as seated on a lotus (Savage. 1954).

Hippocrepis comosus > HORSESHOE VETCH

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