Thousand-petalled lotus

Opens only after considerable inner work

October 27th 2013
The thousand-petalled lotus that blossoms at the top of an initiate’s head is a symbol of great beauty, and it understandably fascinates all those who aspire to spiritual realization. But the path that leads to illumination and bliss is long and arduous. Before the petals of the sacred lotus open, disciples must overcome everything in themselves that might give rise to a disturbance. If they try to develop the lotus before having neutralized the impure elements they carry within them, they will receive shocks that tear its petals. What is meant by this image is that the functioning of their spiritual centres will be disrupted, and instead of experiencing heavenly joys they will be living in hell. A disciple’s inner world starts out by resembling a garden where thorny plants, thistles and brushwood grow; these are the negative thoughts and feelings they harbour. When they have cleared the garden, there will be nothing to hold them back on their way up towards the light, and then they will feel the lotus’s thousand petals opening one by one at the top of their head.