Today I hopped on the ashram bus to tour the ashram’s land on Lake Ousteri. As Darshan (Sri Aurobindo’s birthday) is in two days, there was a small ceremonywhere we planted lotuses in one of the small ponds on the property. In three months the pond will be covered with the giant round leaves. The land is beautiful, and produces some fruit and the flowers that are used to decorate the samadhi everyday.
At this time of year, right before monsoon season, the lake is really dry. Krishna said that in some seasons all you can see is the pink expanse of lotuses.
Hetal, Sushanto, and Krishna (my roommate
Sushanto, pictured below in the pond, is an artist for the society and always has a twinkle in his eye. He comes here with students to teach them watercolor painting. Maitreyee, my colleague who I’m helping with the ecology project, brings students regularly to the lake to learn about nature.
Lotuses are a sacred flower in the religions of Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. It is a symbol of divine beauty and purity, its unfolding petals representing the expansion of the soul. The fact that it grows out of the mud holds a divine spiritual promise of prosperity and potency. The god Vishnu is often called the Lotus-eyed One, from whose bellybutton the lotus sprung out of.
There is a lotus pond at the beach office, and I love to inspect the pond each day, because there are always different buds popping their head up out of the water, white, pink, periwinkle blue. The lotuses close up to rest during the heat of the day and when the sun goes down, just like humans.
There were lotus ponds everywhere!
I also came upon these beautiful red beetles, which look velvety and so bright crimson. Even all the insects in India wear bright colors.