A celebration of Theosophists celebrated May 8, anniversary of the passing of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky  founder of the theosophical society.

White Lotus Day is a celebration that encourages meditation about the metaphor of the lotus plant. The lotus is born under mud and grows through muck and water to surface for air and sun. This growth is identified with man's life, born in earth but desiring growth.

Lotus (Gr.). A most occult plant, sacred in Egypt, India and elsewhere; called “the child of the Universe bearing the likeness of its mother in its bosom”. There was a time “when the world was a golden lotus” (padma) says the allegory. A great variety of these plants, from the majestic Indian lotus, down to the marsh-lotus (bird's foot trefoil) and the Grecian “Dioscoridis”, is eaten at Crete and other islands. It is a species of nymphæa, first introduced from India to Egypt to which it was not indigenous. See the text of Archaic Symbolism in the Appendix VIII. “The Lotus, as a Universal Symbol”. (Theosophical Glossary by H.P.B.)

WHITE LOTUS DAY In her will, HPB suggested that her friends might gather together on the anniversary of her passing (May 8, 1891) and read from Sir Edwin Arnold's The Light of Asia and from The Bhagavad-Gita. Lotuses grew in unusual profusion one year later. Hence, May 8 became known as White Lotus Day. ONE of the symbolic figures for the Dual creative power in Nature (matter and force on the material plane) is Padma, the water lily of India. The Lotus is the product of heat (fire) and water (vapour or Ether); fire standing in every philosophical and religious system as a representation of the Spirit of Deity, the active, male, generative principle; and Ether, or the Soul of matter, the light of the fire, for the passive female principle from which everything in this Universe emanated. Hence, Ether or Water is the Mother, and Fire is the Father. Sir W. Jones (and before him archaic botany) showed that the seeds of the Lotus contain—even before they germinate—perfectly formed leaves, the miniature shape of what one day, as perfect plants, they will become: nature thus giving us a specimen of the preformation of its production ...the seed of all phanerogamous plants bearing proper flowers containing an embryo plantlet ready formed. The Lotus, or Padma, is, moreover, a very ancient and favourite simile for the Kosmos itself, and also for man. The popular reasons given are, firstly, the fact just mentioned, that the Lotus-seed contains within itself a perfect miniature of the future plant, which typifies the fact that the spiritual prototypes of all things materialised on Earth. Secondly, the fact that the Lotus plant grows up through the water, having its root in the Ilus, or mud, and spreading its flower in the air above. The Lotus thus typifies the life of man and also that of the Kosmos; for the Secret Doctrine teaches that the elements of both are the same, and that both are developing in the same direction. The root of the Lotus sunk in the mud represents material life, the stalk passing up through the water typifies existence in the astral world, and the flower floating on the water and opening to the sky is emblematical of spiritual being. (The Secret Doctrine I, 57-58.) THEOSOPHY, Vol. 89, Issue 4, May/June 2001 (Pages 165-166)

(Primarily sourced from Wikipedia)

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Comment by Leila Raven on May 10, 2011 at 1:55pm
oh, okay dominic, I know what happened now, when I first posted it I had forgotten the title, about 3 seconds after I hit post I saw that, and then edited it, but it didn't matter if I edited it right away, the initial mail out would have said untitled so people getting a message at home would get the original untitled.... that's what must have happened. :)
Comment by Leila Raven on May 9, 2011 at 3:14pm

My pleasure Joe. :)

dominic, titled it?

Comment by Leila Raven on May 8, 2011 at 2:39pm
So beautiful Joaquim, thank you.
Comment by Joaquim Soares on May 8, 2011 at 1:39pm

Dear Leila, John, MKR, Peter, all friends,

Thank you!

As we celebrate the passing of HPB, I would like also to share one more beautiful passage from the “Light of Asia” by Sir Edwin Arnold:

 

“If ye lay bound upon the wheel of change,
And no way were of breaking from the chain,
The Heart of boundless Being is a curse,
The Soul of Things fell Pain.

Ye are not bound! the Soul of Things is sweet,
The Heart of Being is celestial rest;
Stronger than woe is will: that which was Good
Doth pass to Better -- Best.

I, Buddh, who wept with all my brothers' tears,
Whose heart was broken by a whole world's woe,
Laugh and am glad, for there is Liberty!
Ho! ye who suffer! know

Ye suffer from yourselves. None else compels,
None other holds you that ye live and die,
And whirl upon the wheel, and hug and kiss
Its spokes of agony,

Its tire of tears, its nave of nothingness.
Behold, I show you Truth! Lower than hell,
Higher than heaven, outside the utmost stars,
Farther than Brahm doth dwell,

Before beginning, and without an end,
As space eternal and as surety sure,
Is fixed a Power divine which moves to good,
Only its laws endure.” [1]

 

Best regards, Joaquim

 

NOTE:

 

[1] The Light of Asia” by Edwin Arnold, at www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/books/lightasi/asia-8.htm

 

Comment by Leila Raven on May 8, 2011 at 12:56pm

Peter, I thought so too when I learned about it, one of the most beautiful holiday origins and practices I've encountered really.

MK, thanks so much for the additional info!

John, that's so beautiful... thanks for sharing. :)

In meditation, and with love to all. Leila.


Moderator
Comment by M K Ramadoss on May 8, 2011 at 12:49am
On this day, the White Lotus Day, theosophists around the world remember H P Blavatsky for her sacrifices that brought theosophy to the modern world. Let us all join in remembering and feeding the poor in our neighborhoods.

At this time it is very timely to recall her statement:

'My doctrine is not mine but His that sent me, but – take the doctrines for what they are worth, in and of themselves, without regard to their source or authority. No doctrine is to be accepted because of any authority lying back of it or suffered to the back of it.'

In today’s world there is a tendency among some theosophists to act like cults and blindly stick to one personality or another or one book or another. It is the free inquiry without fear or favor that makes us grow and
be self-reliant in our understanding. Many brought up in traditional thinking cannot see the real value of independent thinkers as they will be pioneers in moving theosophy forward.

Peace

Moderator
Comment by M K Ramadoss on May 8, 2011 at 12:48am

Glad you posted the message. Many newbees do not even know much about the day.

++++

Here is the proclamation of H S Olcott about White Lotus Day. It appeared
in the supplement to Theosophist, May 1892

EXECUTIVE ORDERS.

THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
PRESIDENT'S OFFICE,
ADYAR

17th April, 1892

WHITE LOTUS DAY.

In her last Will, H. P. Blavatsky expressed the wish that yearly, on the aniversary of her death, some of her friends "should assemble at the Headquarters of the Theosophical Society and read a chapter of "The Light
of Asia" and [extracts from] " Bhagavat Gita," "; and, since it is meet that her surviving colleagues should keep green the memory of her services to humanity and her devoted love for our Society, the undersigned suggests
that the anniversary be known among us as White Lotus Day* and makes the following official order and recommendation:

1. At noon, on 8th May, 1892, and on the same day in each succeeding year, there will be held a commemorative meeting at the Headquarters, at which extracts from the before-mentioned works will be read and brief addresses made by the Chairman of the meeting and others who may volunteer.

2. A dole of food will be given in her name to the poor fishermen of Adyar and their families.

3. The flag will be half-masted from sunrise until sunset and the Convention Hall decorated with White Lotus flowers.

4. Members living outside Madras can arrange for their food by applying to the Becording Secretary at least one week in advance.

5. The undersigned recommends to all Sections and Branches throughout the, world to meet annually on the anniversary day, and, in some simple, unsectarian, yet dignified way, avoiding all slavish adulation and empty compliments, express the general feeling of loving regard for her who brought us the chart of the climbing Path which leads to the summits of Knowledge.

H. S. OLCOTT, P.T.S.

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