Pastoral - Ode to Malaysian Rice Fields and Farmers
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Image above: In my private collection. Seven Lotus.
Batik in Silk. Painter : JonBagul

The influence of a lotus flower painting is to open us up to beauty and light. A good lotus flower painting can act as a reminder of the miracle of beauty, light and life. This reminder, communicated on an emotional level, is said to aid both spiritual and practical understanding of the world and our place in it.

Symbolic characteristic of the lotus flower leads from the observation that the plant's stalk is easy to bend in two, but is very hard to break because of its many strong sinuous fibres. Poets use this to represent a close unbreakable relationship between two lovers or the members within a family, showing that no matter how far away they might live nothing can really separate them in heart.

They are thought of as being like a gentleperson, who keeps themselves clean, alive and healthy in a dirty environment. Essentially the lotus flower represents creative power and purity amid adverse surroundings. The mind grows out of the darkness of ignorance and self-ness. The mind transforms this murky darkness into a sort of Enlightenment-Consciousness. One who has grown out of greed and hatred must not let them be stained by that upbringing. They must search for the light. When they find that light they will bloom into a beautiful and harmless creature, which is capable of perfect understanding.

So the life of just one plant can be traced as a cyclical pattern. This concept is all the same. The idea of life and rebirth are conveyed through the imagery that the lotus plant lends itself to.
Lotus {loh'-tuhs} 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, Nymphaeaceae. Lotus is also the name of a genus in the pea family, Leguminosae, which contains such plants as the bird's- foot trefoil, Lotus corniculatus. 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 lotus is an Asian water lily known for the delicate beauty of its water flowers. It possesses an amazing ability to flourish in a variety of environments ranging from clear ponds to muddy marshes. It is also known for its exceptionally hearty seed pods, which often plant themselves far from its source, bringing the beauty of the lotus blossoms everywhere.

The lotus plant starts with the development of its roots in the darkness and mud in the bottom of a lake or pond. As the stem grows it becomes strengthened, it remains bendable, but maintains the rigidity that is needed to grow towards the surface. It eventually grows out of the water and is graced with brightness, light, and sunshine.

The lotus grows out of the mud and murky waters and is actually nurtured by these very elements. As the plant grows out of the water and reaches brightness and air it blooms into a beautiful flower. It is said that during their development, the plants filter and purify the body of water in which they find themselves, making the water transparent. According to tradition, the muddier the water was to start with, the more beautiful the lotus flower is when it arrives. This flower bears no resemblance to the environment in which it was raised, nor has its environment stained it.

Most seeds remain quiescent during a cold or dry season and germinate only with the coming of favorable growing conditions. Seeds that require special treatment to germinate, even when presented with adequate water and oxygen and favorable temperatures, are said to exhibit DORMANCY. Seeds with thick or waxy coats, which inhibit the entry of water and oxygen, may remain in a prolonged quiescent state. Seeds of the Indian lotus can germinate 200 years after they are shed. Most seeds, however, lose the ability to germinate within several years of shedding. Following the return of the rains, primitive peoples witnessed the rise of the undefiled water lily from the bottom of dried-up watercourses and considered the living blooms symbols of immortality and resurrection.

The lotus plant will eventually perish, but before it does so it will pass on seeds of itself, which will regrow at some point in time.

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. The Indian blue lotus, N. stellata, differs from the blue Egyptian species largely in its leaves. Nelumbo contains but two species. The American lotus, N. lutea, is found in the eastern half of the United States into southern Canada. It has thick, spreading rootstock and large bluish green circular leaves, up to 60 cm (2 ft) across, which are usually raised above the surface of the water. The pale-yellow flowers, up to 25 cm (10 in) across, usually open on three successive days. Both the seeds and the rootstock (rhizomes) were eaten by the Indians.