Thamarai

Lotus

There are numerous flower bearing plants and creepers on this earth. Among them some can be adorned, while some may consider rose to be superior. Similarly, among water borne flowers, lotus is considered superior, between the white and the red lotus the red is considered superior. We shall discover why the lotus is considered superior most to that of other flowers.

We consider the Supreme Lord to be in the human form. Lotus is always attributed while describing Perumal’s physical beauty. Since Bhagavan’s divine feet appears like  lotus, we are told to worship His lotus feet, glorified as Padaravindam, his hands are described as Karakamalam denoting lotus hands. He is hailed as Padmanabha as he bores the lotus on his divine navel. While Bhagavan’s heart resembles a lotus, called as Hridaya kamalam. Similarly, every one of us has a heart to that of Hridya Kamalam where He resides eternally and hence he is celebrated as “Hridpadma Madhye Sadatam Vayavasthitam”.  Bhagavan’s divine face is also compared to that of Lotus and is described as Mukaravindham. He is also eulogized as Senthamarai Kannan, Kamala Kannan, Aravindalochanan and Kamalkshan.

We shall look into the relation between Goddess Lakshmi and lotus. She is described as “padmodhbhavam” as she appeared from lotus, “padmalayam” denotes that she resides on lotus, “padmamuki” refers to Her beautiful lotus face,“padmamaladharam” is the one who adorns lotus garland, “padmasini” who is seated on a lotus, “padma hastam” is the one who bears lotus on both the hands. “Padmagandhi” refers to her form that emanates the fragrant lotus. She is celebrated as “Padmanabhapriyam” as she is the consort of Lord Padmanabha. She is glorified as “Padmadhalyadakshi” since her eyes are as wide as a lotus petal. She bears the glorious thirunamas like Thamaraiyal, Malarmaghal, Alarmelmangai.

Lotus is also called as ‘Pankajam’. Pankam means mud since it originated from mud it is called as Pankajam. Though lotus is a water borne flower yet lotus stays afloat. Similarly, though we are in this samasaric ocean we should meditate upon Bhagavan, and treat joys and sorrows to that of the ocean waves, bear it all to that of taking a dip in the waters during auspicious occasion, should think that all things are Bhagavan’s divine acts, praise and worship Him everyday. Like how it is not possible to swim without waves, it is equally impossible for one to relinquish this worldly afflictions and then mediatate and chant upon Perumal. So bearing this in mind one should not waste this human birth in mindless pursuits.

The ‘Paramaikanti-s’ adorn both lotus and thulasi bead garland called as ‘Tulasinalinakshamala’. Adorning this garland they engage in chanting and worshipping the Supreme being potraying the trait of an exalted Sri Vaishnava. Such are the glories of the Superior Lotus!.

Original article is written in Tamil by Sri U Ve Vidwan Vangipuram Rangaswamy Iyengarswamy Thiruchanur and can be read here. English translation by Smt Jayashree Ramanujam.

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