Thailand’s Lotus Lake: A Secret Red Flower Galaxy
Reminiscent of the Buddhist tradition and hidden from the eyes of the world, lies this lake, overflowed with red lotus flowers.
In the Buddhist tradition, the red lotus flower symbolizes the nature of the heart: it is called the Avalokitesvara lotus, and it stands for love, compassion, passion, activity and all the qualities of the heart. According to this ancient philosophy, the lotus grows in the marshlands like a jewel of light, and like man, it can rise from the earth towards enlightenment.
Thousands of loti glimmer in these Thai marshlands, as if they were a constellation of red and pink dots. The galaxy is so big that the borders that separate it from the rest of reality are hardly perceivable. Part of its exquisiteness is, precisely, that it remains hidden behind the tall grass of the rice crops, and only the local farmers sometimes row their small boats in to pick snails and cut a few stalks to eat.
This is where the real Lotus Eaters, (mentioned in The Odyssey) live, those who surrender themselves to the world of dreams after eating these flowers, losing all interest in returning home or even in telling others what they saw in that fantastic land.
As Lord Tennyson’s poem The Lotos-eaters illustrates:
To dream and dream, like yonder amber light
Which will not leave the myrrh—bush on the height;
To hear each other’s whisper’d speech;
Eating the Lotos day by day.
An allegory of oblivion and beauty, the Red Lotus Lake in Udon Thani, in Eastern Thailand, seduces us from afar with its intoxicating aroma. It invites us to come and venture in —at the risk of never wanting to leave.
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