dais that support gods, kings and mystics in sacred art. But the eloquence of the wateryabyss of chaos that is stilled by the lotus bearing the fire god strikes at some centralthemes of creation and matter that coalesce into Indian science, cosmology and alchemy.The yogi beholds emergent flower of supreme consciousness that blossoms in themicrocosmic churning oceans of the mind when one is rooted into the yoga of the lotusposture.As noted below in the botanical portion, the lotus has a unique reproductivefeature that makes it seem “self-born” and thus Gods, by nature self-generating or electof themselves, are self-born (
) like Bhrama who is also called lotus-born(
) (Basu 2002). Thus it makes sense that gods are seated upon the lotus andindeed many myths describe the earth itself floating on a lotus leaf. The TaittriyaAranyaka states “Prajapati saw in the midst of the heaving sea the wide one (
=Earth), the stability of the moving one (
=world), That was indeed born of thesupport of the lotus.” Basu makes a thorough study of the “stabilizing” force of the lotusin Vedic cosmology, and I would speculate that it is this association that is behind thename of the lotus position, as in terms of stabilizing the body for long term meditation,that the entire symbolism evolved. This creation era association culminated into lotusborn gods seated in the lotus position on top of a lotus dais. One is rooted in meditation,exerting the
(root lock) that incites the blooming of a chakra lotus in themind of the yogi. Divine consciousness is thus by effort (
) self-created and bloomsup the stem of the spine over the murky mundane traps of
.The lotus is self-generating and a symbol of creation and fertility and fecundityand Basu (2002) traces the Agni-lotus association into the World-Wheel where Agni “isthe nave of the movable and immovable worlds and also the nave of immortality.” Hequotes the numerous instances in the Rig Veda and from the Atharva Veda “Where godsand human beings are fixed like spikes around a nave, oh Flower of waters, I ask thee,where they are set into motion by supernatural power” with mythical associations of
states “And theimmortal element, which is the flame that is glowing, is the lotus leaf. Having laid downthat which is lotus leaf he (one, who offers) piles up fire (constructs a fire alter). On thathe prepares an immortal existence for himself…” and the Atharva-Veda recordsimmortal invocations to be born on a lotus leaf. Additionally, Basu follows the womb asimagined as a lotus and traces the lotus-born narratives into various Buddhist and Jainasources. A sexually attractive woman is referred to as a lotus maiden
(whomenstruates either on the full moon or the new moon) (White 1996).
Shiva in lotus position, with consort Parvati, on a lotus in a primordial expanse of water.