A quarterly specialized journal
The Message Of Folklore from Bahrain To The World

Lotus tree, what could it be?

Issue 24
Lotus tree, what could it be?

‏In our popular proverbs, we liken a person who is generous and charitable to the abundant and shady lotus tree. The lotus’ branches extend far, like a kind-hearted mother who wishes she had multiple long, strong arms to help, protect and embrace those dear to her, unwounded by the carelessness of people who sit in her shade, or those who swing, hang, climb and use sticks and stones to get to her fruit.

 ‏Perhaps it pleases the tree to experience such things, giving its existence deeper meaning and the ability to give generously. When a tree is cut down, it grows again and continues to give; it is a tree that gives unceasingly. The tree is both generous and hardy. It grows in even harsh conditions without support or care, it can defend itself against any pest, it protects its fruit until they ripen, and it is always green.

‏The lotus generosity, strength and love for life can be viewed as holy; some societies - especially people who were poor, sick, hungry, fearful, homeless and those who went astray or who were fleeing evil - worshipped the tree.

‏People conveyed their love, respect, and loyalty to the tree in a variety of ways.

‏On the other hand, the lotus tree frightens evil people, those who
‏abuse the weak and those who have no faith. To these people, the tree was a bad omen.

‏There are those who believe that Adam and Eve ate the lotus’ fruit in Paradise before they were cast out. The lotus is both the tree of Genesis and the Tree of the Utmost Boundary.

‏In the shade of the lotus tree, people struck deals, armies rested, and there were parties and rituals. The lotus tree protected lovers, inspired poets and decorated palaces. It grew beside temples and it guarded cemeteries; it grew in forests, and provided for tribes and nations. These people worshipped the lotus tree, and made sacrifices to it in an attempt to curry favor.

‏The lotus is useful to brides, cradles were fashioned from its branches, and parts of the tree have been used to make amulets, spells and balms.

‏The lotus was thought to be a good companion, and people used to bury their dead with lotus branches so that they wouldn’t be lonely. Is there any other tree that keeps a human company before birth and after death?
‏This study investigates the mystery, secrets and superstitions surrounding the lotus tree.

Bizza Al Batini

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