Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Lotus Root-Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 321 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: Lotus Root-Khenpo Sodargye
« on: January 11, 2017, 08:15:21 am »
Lotus Root

My friend bought several lotus roots and left them on the table. These whitish roots looked tender and appetizing. To satisfy my curiosity, my friend told me about the growth conditions and usage of lotus root. I learned only after listening to him that the root has remarkable medicinal value. Eaten raw, it clears heat and nourishes the lung, cools the blood and promotes circulation; eaten cooked, it tones the spleen and stimulates appetite, it is antidiarrheal as well as blood-enriching, mood-calming, and brain-invigorating; finally, it can promote a long, healthy life. I am happy to be in the company of such a knowledgeable friend. Confucius says: “We can learn something from anyone.” I did learn a lot from him.

The lotus root grows in the mud but is unsullied; it is hollow and straight and has no lateral branches or tendrils. The hollow center signifies its virtue of humility; its straightness symbolizes its upright and firm personality; its lack of lateral branches and tendrils illustrates it has no discursive thoughts or outward clinging. The lotus root has been well appreciated since ancient times and it is very popular among famous personages. Poet Hanyu praised it in this way: “Cool as frost and sweet as honey, imbibe one piece and all ailments are gone.” Sima Xiangru of the Han Dynasty had this description in his the Ode to Imperial Garden (Shanglin): “Flocks of water birds alight on the surface of the river and drift gently with the tide, some other birds perch on the sandy islets thick with weeds. They twitter and chirp while pecking at algae and water grass, or enjoy chewing water chestnuts and lotus roots.”

In addition, the lotus root was the food that had sustained many ancient practitioners through their ascetic discipline.

The Great Biography of the Buddha tells that when the Buddha was a Brahmin ascetic practicing in the mountains, his main source of sustenance was the lotus root.

Indeed the lotus root is an amazing thing endowed with magical potency. Eaten as a food, it is a healthy diet; emulating its spirit, we are uplifted. What other food is superior to it, conferring two benefits in one? From now on I’ll eat more lotus root, as it is a food blessed by the Buddha.

26th of March, Year of RenWu
May 7, 2002

 


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