Usage of Mkhaan in Hindu Ritual

  1. Significance of Lotus in Hindu mythology

The meaning of the lotus, India’s national flower, has a long history and plays a significant role in Hindu mythology. This precious flower holds a special place and is valued for its significance. The lotus flower, also known as “kamal ka phool” in Hindi, is a Hindu deity venerated for being the goddess of riches and represents eternity, abundance, and good fortune. A lotus blossom is always included in the artwork of Goddess Lakshmi. In addition, this blossom represents innocence and illumination in the face of ignorance (the smutty swamps in which it grows). The fact that the lotus flower never gets wet despite being submerged in water is a highly intriguing fact.

Lotus is also revered by the Hindus as the flower is associated with Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, both portrayed on a pink lotus in iconography. Historically, quite a few Indian deities are always depicted sitting on a stylized Lotus throne.

Lord Vishnu, also known as ‘Padmanabha’ (Lotus navel), it is said it was with the lotus that the entire universe was made and this sacred flower came out from the navel of Lord Vishnu. 

Lord Vishnu, also known as ‘Padmanabha’ (Lotus navel), it is said it was with the lotus that the entire universe was made and this sacred flower came out from the navel of Lord Vishnu. 

Lord Vishnu is also often described as ‘Pundarikaksha’ or the”Lotus-Eyed One”. The Lotus’s unfolding petals personify the expansion of the human soul. The growth of the pure flower from the mud symbolises the ability of a human soul to remain good, pure and bloom despite the hardships around. In Hindu iconography other deities, including Ganga and Ganesha are often depicted with lotus flowers as their seats.

The lotus plant is widely cited in various ancient puranic and Vedic literature in Hindu mythology.

2. Lotus Symbolism in Hindu Mythology

The Lotus flower symbolises divine or immortality in humanity, and it is also a symbol of divine perfection. The lotus flower also symbolises the realisation of inner potential and in Tantric and Yogic traditions the lotus symbolises the potential of an individual to harness the flow of energy moving through the chakras.

Also, in Hinduism, the white Lotus is associated with eternity, spirituality, beauty, fertility and prosperity. Lord Brahma, or the creator of Universe is also portrayed as emerging from a lotus that protrudes from the navel of his sustainer, Lord Vishnu.

The Lotus seed or Mkhaan also symbolise spiritual knowledge and power. Also known as Kamal gatta. Kamal gatta (Lotus Seeds, they are used in the Hawan Kund ( Holy fire) to please Goddess Maha Lakshmi . Kamal gatta seeds are used in many other religious ceremonies and rituals too.

3. Role of Lotus in ancient medicinal systems

Phool Mkhaan or lotus seeds have been used as a food, gathered and eaten from prehistoric times across Asia. It is an important part of both Ayurveda as well as Traditional Chinese medicine. It is also used as a traditional fasting food which supplies fiber and energy when Hindu rituals forbid eating grains. It also adds unique flavour to dishes. Last but not the least the revered flower also provides numerous medicinal benefits.

Parts of the lotus plant including the leaves have been used in various Ayurvedic medicines for having numerous beneficial properties. Lotus leaves are also considered as a good vasodilator, they assist in lowering the blood pressure considerably.

4. Mkhaan usage in Panch-Mewa

Panch Meva or Five dry fruits are an important part of any Hindu religious ceremony. Since ancient times these five dry fruits have been an important part of every religious ceremony in different parts of India. The word ‘Panch’ means five and ‘Meva’ means dry fruits. It is said and is a popular belief that these five dry fruits also represent the ‘Panch Tatva’ or the ‘Five elements’ Akash (Sky or Space), Vayu (Air), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire) and Prithvi (Earth). These five types of dry fruits include Almond, Raisins, Dry coconut, Mkhaan or Lotus seeds and dry dates and are popularly used as an offering in pooja thali during the fast or worship. These panch mewa or dry fruits are also an important part of religious fasting as devotees also get a lot of energy during the fasting period

5. Phool Mkhaan

Phool Mkhaan or Lotus seed is one of the Panch mewa or five dry fruits that is used during religious offerings to God and also a staple during fasting. The health benefits of Mkhaan are superior to any other to dry fruits including almonds and walnuts. Lotus seeds or fox nuts are a complete source of protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc. Mkhaan are also recommended for the diabetic patients. Those who are weight conscious must eat mkhaans because it aids in weight loss.

6. Mkhaan use in Panch Amrit

Panchamrit or Charnamrut is a holy concoction used during religious ceremonies in different parts of India. The word, ‘Panch’ means ‘Five’ and ‘Amrit’ means ‘The Elixir Of Gods’.It is essentially made from five holy ingredients including Mkhaan or lotus seeds. Panchamrit is used as an offering to God and then taken as prasad by all devotees at the end of the religious ceremony. 

7. Various use of Mkhaan during religious ceremonies

Phool Mkhaan or lotus seeds have been used in different religious ceremonies across different parts of India. These include its specific association with :-

  • Used during marriage rituals in different parts of the Indian subcontinent.
  • Used while taking ‘Parikrama’ for maintaining counts during ritualistic circumambulation around a temple or tree.
  • Used during the ‘Shraddha Karma’ or last Hindu rites of a human being when he/she leaves for the heavenly abode.
  • Used as a devotional offering to deities or distinguished persons in the form of non-flower garlands.
  • Used as a ‘Prasaad’ or edible offering to deities.
  • Sacred thread ‘Yajnopavita’ as stiffening item.
  • Used as a fasting food during Navratri and other festivals.
  • Used as a ‘Havan Samagri’ and as an important component of ‘Panchamewa’ during religious ceremonies.
  • Used in the making of a specialised headgear ceremonially worn by the bridegroom during the Indian wedding.

It is therefore clear that Mkhaan or lotus seeds have been an important part of the Indian Hindu religion and have been used as an important ingredient as part of the various religious ceremonies since ancient times.

Mkhaan -The Indian Superfood

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