The lotus flower in bloom signifies enlightenment in our tradition.
The lotus plant, its growth pattern and conduct in the pond signifies how we should live.
Buddhists and Hindus delineate us as “members of the Lotus Family”.
All imagery pointing to our spiritual beings in our heaven are associated with lotuses of different colours.
The main teaching about The Way and how we should live our lives revolves around the lotus plant and to this effect the famous Wayist mantra Om Mani Padme Hum (the gem of truth lies in the lotus) is universally known and loved. It is said that more than 50% of people on earth recognize the mantra and about 35% partake in it, in one or another form.
God the Heavenly Father, Amitabha is depicted as sitting on a lotus bloom. Avalokiteshvara is associated with salmon coloured lotus. Green Tara, with her half-open blue lotus, represents the night, and White Tara, with her lotus in full bloom, symbolizes the day. Green Tara embodies virtuous activity while White Tara displays serenity and grace. Together, the Green and White Taras symbolize the unending compassion of the goddess who labours day and night to relieve suffering.
The final chapters of WAYISM: Primary Text is devoted to how we should follow the lotus plant in utility, simplicity, compassion and humility. There is a world of learning in this concept alone. Master this, and you will have mastered the purpose of life.
Om Mani Padme Hum
Not to hurt our humble brethren (the animals) Is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission: To be of service to them whenever they require it.
St. Francis of Assisi
Ethanol seed extracts exhibited hepatoprotective effects against production of serum enzymes and cytotoxicity caused by carbon tetrachloride. The extract also protected against the genotoxic and cytotoxic effects of aflatoxin B1. Armepavine, an active compound in sacred lotus, has antifibrotic effects in rats by activating the anti–NF-kappaB pathway. Armepavine yielded better results compared with silymarin (ie, milk thistle) in reducing certain metabolic parameters in hepatic fibrosis. A dose of 300 and 500 mg/kg of lotus leaf extract in rats was comparable to 100 mg/kg of silymarin against liver-induced injury by carbon tetrachloride. Hepatitis B has been treated with a combination Chinese herbal product containing sacred lotus leaf.
Everything about the lotus plant is used, mostly for food. Roots, stems, leaves, floewers, seeds are all harvested for food. An important food source for poor countries.
The starch in the rhizomes is comparable to maize and potato starch, with a fresh rhizome containing 31.2% starch. Vitamin content includes: thiamine (0.22 mg per 100 g), riboflavin (0.6 mg per 100 g), niacin (2.10 mg per 100 g), and ascorbic acid (1.5 mg per 100 g). An asparagine-like amino acid (2%) has also been isolated in the rhizomes.
Lotus plants are of immense value to the environment. They give back much more than what they consume. Ponds are filtered by the roots, the plant eats the muck and flows clean water back. Roots grow fast and dig deep, making way for mud lodgers and dislodging food for them. Leaves provide habitat for small fish, tadpoles and algae. Flowers are beutifully decorative, are great in soups and stews, and the seeds have many, many uses ranging from medicine to mala beads.
Ethanol seed extracts inhibited herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) multiplication in HeLa cells without cytotoxicity by inhibiting gene expression of HSV-1. Alkaloids and flavonoids from a 95% ethanol leaf extract had anti-HIV activity. Antifungal activity against Candida albicans and antimalarial activity was found for various leaf constituents with no observed cytotoxicity. Antibacterial activity is documented for rhizome extracts against Staphylococcus aureus , Escherichia coli , Bacillus subtilis , Bacillus pumilis , and Pseudomonus aeruginosa . A rhizome extract had antifungal and antiyeast activity comparable with griseofulvin against 5 different strains of fungi and yeast, including C. albicaus , Aspergillus niger , Aspergillus fumigatus , and Trichophytum mentagopyhtes.
Sacred lotus leaf extract has been used to treat obesity in China. The effects of the leaf extract on obesity, digestive enzymes, lipid metabolism, and thermogenesis were studied in mice induced with a high-fat diet. The extract inhibited intestinal absorption of carbohydrate and lipid by inhibiting alpha-amylase and lipase; up-regulated lipid metabolism in adipocytes; prevented increases in body weight; and increased thermogenesis. An antiobesity herbal product that included sacred lotus inhibited fat accumulation by down-regulating major transcription factors in the adipogenesis pathway and lipid metabolizing enzymes utilized for accumulation of fat in adipocytes.
An ethanol rhizome extract reduced the blood sugar level of normal rats and glucose-fed hyperglycemic and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. In normal rats, the rhizome extract improved glucose tolerance and increased the effectiveness of injected insulin. The activity of the extract was comparable with that of tolbutamide, a sulfonylurea oral hypoglycemic drug, at 73% and 67% in normal and diabetic rats, respectively. Neferine, isolated from the green seed embryo, was comparable with rosiglitazone in enhancing insulin sensitivity and improving fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, and inflammatory cytokines in insulin-resistant rats.