This post gets its inspiration from Judith’s post Waking In The Night. Like Judith’s ducks, we use the lotus leaf in India to illustrate the need for detachment.
Hindu scriptures often use the lotus flower and its leaf as metaphors. The plant though thriving in water, its leaf never gets wet. This symbolises the nature of a Jnani or a realised person who is ever blissful, untouched by the sorrows and the changes which is characteristic of the world.
The lotus flower is also one of the most beautiful that nature has given us and the metaphor for that is that though its roots are in the mud, it comes out so pure and beautiful.
The Bhagwat Geetha explains thus:
Brahmany ādhāya karmāni
sańgam tyaktvā karoti yah
lipyate na sa pāpena
BG V – 10
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.
There is another metaphor using the lotus leaf. If a rain drop falls in a lake, there is no separate identity for that drop. If however, it falls on a lotus leaf, it shines like a pearl. We can therefore choose where we wish to fall on, as separate human beings.