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)