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Name : Padma
Botanical Name: Nelumbo nucifera
Species: N. nucifera
Other names: Blue lotus, Indian lotus, sacred lotus, bean of India, and sacred water-lily.
Bengali Name : Padma Phul
Lotuses are 5 species of water lilies, three in the genus Nymphaea and two in Nelumbo; both genera are members of the water-lily family, Nymphaea lotus, the Egyptian white lotus, is believed to be the original sacred lotus of ancient Egypt. It and the Egyptian blue lotus, N. caerulea, were often pictured in ancient Egyptian art.
The common Egyptian “lotus” is actually correctly called a water lily: the white lotus opens at dusk, the blue water lilly opens in the morning.
The white lotus is a shallow-water, night-blooming plant with a creeping rootstock (rhizome) that sends up long-stalked, nearly circular, dark green leathery leaves, which float on the surface. The flowers, up to 25 cm (10 in) across, remain open until midday. The blue lotus is a smaller, less showy day-blooming plant.
Habitat: Grows along lakes and rivers in wet soil.Now lotus flower is grown in most of the countries in the world.
The lotus flower appeared in legends originating from ancient Egypt. It played an important part in ancient Egyptian religion. The pure white lotus flower, the only plant to fruit and flower simultaneously, emerges from the depths of the muddy swamp. Growing from the mud at the bottom of ponds and streams, the exquisite Lotus flower rises above the water and is usually white or pink with 15 or more oval, spreading petals, and a peculiar, flat seedcase at its center.
The lotus flower has been featured extensively throughout the art of ancient Egypt. In various works of art, you may see it held in the hand of a god or human, serving as a border to outline a section of the artwork, unfolding to reveal various gods or humans, and many other depictions. The ancient Egyptians from the 4th dynasty greatly valued the sacred lotus, in religious ceremonies and funerals. The ancient Egyptians developed the art of counting to a high degree, but their system of numeration was very crude. For example, the number 1,000 was symbolized by a picture of a lotus flower, and the number 2,000 was symbolized by a picture of two lotus flowers growing out of a bush.
Hindus associate the lotus (Padma) blossom with creation mythology, and with the gods Vishnu, Brahma, and the goddesses Lakshmi and Sarasvati. From ancient times the lotus has been a divine symbol in Hindu tradition. It is often used as an example of divine beauty, for example Vishnu is often described as the ‘Lotus-Eyed One’. Its unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise. Particularily Brahma and Lakshmi, the divinities of potence and wealth, have the lotus symbol associated with them. In Hindu iconography, deities often are depicted with lotus flowers as their seats. In Hindi it is called à¤•à¤®à¤² (Kamal) which is also a popular name for men, the female form is Kamala.
The lotus flower is quoted extensively within Puranic and Vedic literature, for example:
One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water. Bhagavad Gita 5.10
Borrowing from Hinduism, in Buddhist symbolism, the lotus represents purity of body, speech, and mind, floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. The Buddha is often depicted sitting on a giant lotus leaf or blossom. According to legend, he was born with the ability to walk and everywhere he stepped, lotus flowers bloomed.
Drawing in turn on these Hindu and Buddhist beliefs, the international BahÃ¡’Ã community adopted this symbolism in the design of the Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India.
The Chinese also revere the sacred lotus as a symbol of purity and elegance, and it is a common motif in ancient Chinese poetry. A famous statement about the lotus’ symbolism in Chinese culture is made by Confucian scholar Zhou Dunyi: I love the lotus because, while growing from mud, it is unstained.
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Lotus offers one of the highest spiritual vibrations amongst other flowers. It is a water plant growing in shallow ponds, lagoons, marshes and flooded fields. Of immense spiritual essence its unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise. It is found in parts of the Middle East, Asia, Australia, New Guinea and throughout India.
The long stemmed lotus plant with its base on the muddy bottoms of the ponds bloom full to its glory above the water. It is usually white or pink with large attractive petals and a flat seedcase at its center. Leathery textured leaves, dark green in colour they are disc-shaped and up to 90 cm wide. It blooms at night. This plant is an aquatic perennial, but if its seeds are preserved under favorable circumstances, they may remain viable for many years. Lotus plant should be planted in spring, in sunny areas in medium or clay loam. Lotus is considered sacred among Buddhists and Hindus. It is the symbol of sun, of creation and rebirth and one of the important flowers used for the worship of Devi Durga.
The roots of Nelumbo nucifera are planted in the soil of the pond or river bottom, while the leaves float on top of the water surface. The flowers are usually found on thick stems rising several centimeters above the water. The plant normally grows up to a height of about 150 cm and a horizontal spread of up to 3 meters, but some unverified reports place the height as high as over 5 meters. The leaves may be as large as 60 cm in diameter, while the showy flowers can be up to 20 cm in diameter.
There are a number of different cultivars, the flower colours varying from snow white to yellow to a light pink. It is hardy to USDA Zone 5. The plant can be propagated from seeds or rhizomes. One of the oldest seeds that have yet been germinated into a viable plant was an approximately 1,300-year-old lotus fruit, recovered from a dry lakebed in northeastern China.
The various parts of the lotus are prepared in many ways. Leaves are often used fresh to staunch bleeding and reduce fever as a poultice, and have been prepared in various ways to treat a wide variety of ills. These preparations include decoctions, alcohol extraction, boiling to paste and dried in tea.
Traditional medicine has used the lotus leaf, stamen, stem, flower and root to treat a wide variety of ills. Modern science has identified at least seven different chemical actions that support the traditional uses. The most potent of these are the astringent qualities and antibacterial action of the flowers and leaves. Lotus leaves also have an unusual quality that has been widely studied in Western science * the ability to remain dry in water. Among the conditions that the lotus leaf has been used to treat are piles, leprosy, parasites, fever, vomiting, infection, ringworm and sexually transmitted diseases.
The lotus is widely consumed as a food throughout southern Asia. There are no cautions connected with its use.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider