Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Jewel in the Lotus...is Nanotechnology

The lotus symbolizes the co-existence of pure and impure, mundane and eternal, mortal and divine, and offers a promise that earthly things can aspire to perfection.

On a less exalted plane, observers at ponds have always marveled how water droplets skitter across the surface of the lotus leaf like blobs of mercury.

Now, a scientist in Germany has revealed that the secret of the lotus is nanotechnology.

Jewels don’t have too much to do with it.

The Buddhist chant Om Mani Padme Hum, traditionally translated as “The Jewel in the Lotus” (padme is “lotus” in Sanskrit), is perhaps the most common religious invocation on this planet. Every time a prayer wheel is spun, the chant is repeated millions of times through copies of the chant inscribed on paper rolls inside.

I found a website that alerted me to the karmic benefits of an Om Mane Padme Hum screen saver and could even turn my disk drive into a high tech, 5400 rpm prayer wheel.

Another site, www.omanipadmehum.com stated, “we are asking for your help in two ways, 1) install the OmMaNiPadMeHum files on your computer and every computer you can, 2) contribute financial support as you may so that we can convert internet servers into massive prayer wheels”. Remembering that Arthur C. Clarke short story, The Nine Billion Names of God, I declined to turn my PC and sympathetic servers across the Internet into an Om Mani Padme Hum-chanting machine.

The Jewel in the Lotus mantra invokes the intercession of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who renounced Buddhahood in order to take the universe and its creatures under his/her care.

Avalokitesvara appears in a myriad forms, from a multi-tasking thousand armed and headed deity solving everybody’s problems at once; to a feminine form—Kuan Yin—sometimes described as the Chinese Virgin Mary; to the Dalai Lama, whom the Tibetan Buddhists regard as the bodhisattva’s incarnation.

The lotus is one of his/her most commonly-depicted attributes. Buddhists revere the sacred lotus (nelumba nucifera) as a symbol of the Bodhisattva and expression of their creed because it rises from the muck but still retains its purity, just as the soul can arise from the muck of human existence and achieve Buddhahood.

Science now intrudes on the scene.

As reported by Adam Summers in Natural History magazine, the leaf of the sacred lotus is one of the most water repellent materials known to science. Water that strikes the surface of a leaf balls up to a contact angle of 140 degrees—almost a perfect sphere.

But that’s not the whole story.

Wilhelm Barthlott, a German botanist, examined lotus leaves under an electron microscope and discovered that the leaves are not smooth. In fact, exactly the opposite is true. At the microscopic level, the surface is a wild landscape of tiny mountains and valleys that offer water droplets virtually no foothold to cling to.

[A water drop] touches only the peaks of the little wax mountains, leaving such a tiny area in contact with the surface that the adhesive forces between the drop and the leaf’s contours are vanishingly small…cohesive forces…hold the droplet in a nearly spherical shape as it rolls off the leaf.
Adam Summers, Secrets of the Sacred Lotus, Natural History, April 2006

The utility of the arrangement to the lotus is this: when water strikes the leaf, dirt adheres to the water droplet. When the leaf sheds the soiled water droplet, the leaf is cleansed, achieving that wondrous purity that inspires Buddhist practitioners while ensuring that a lotus sitting in a muck-filled pond still has plenty of clean, unobstructed leaf surface available for photosynthesis.

The ingenious Dr. Botthold has patented the lotus leaf micro-pattern as the Lotus-Effect and licensed it to a coatings manufacturer for an exterior paint that needs only dousing with water to keep it clean.

An eye-popping computer visualization of the lotus leaf’s nano-landscape is available here.

You might think That’s the jewel in the lotus.

However, according to Donald Lopez, there never was a jewel in the lotus at all.

In a teaser for his book, Prisoners of Shangri-La: Tibetan Buddhism and the West, Lopez writes:


Here is something for the initiated: The most famous of all Buddhist mantras, om mani padme hum, does not mean "the jewel in the lotus." It means instead, "O Jewel-Lotus." Nineteenth-century European scholars of Sanskrit misread a vocative ending as a locative ending, thus thinking that the jewel (mani) was in the lotus (padme). The mistranslated mantra took on a life of its own, probably because of its sexual symbolism; for instance it has been the title of scores of books, many of which have nothing whatsoever to do with Tibet or Buddhism. The mantra is actually a prayer, calling upon the bodhisattva of compassion—of whom the Dalai Lama is the human incarnation—who is depicted holding a jewel and a lotus in two of his one thousand hands. One of his epithets is thus (Mr.) Jewel-Lotus, so the mantra could be roughly translated, "O, Mr. Jewel-Lotus. Please give us a hand."

But to me, there’s still a jewel in the lotus where science, nature, and spirit intersect.

10 comments:

Dailey said...

I’m rushing to catch a plane back to Indy this morning so I can’t go into too much detail ,diets lose weight

weight loss diet
hypnosis tapes

Anna said...

This plant is enigmatic! Clenbuterol

dfadf said...

Microsoft Office
Office 2010
Microsoft Office 2010
Office 2010 key
Office 2010 download
Office 2010 Professional
Microsoft outlook
Outlook 2010
Windows 7
Microsoft outlook 2010

happyoutlet said...

vibrams 5 fingers
?With these shoes, it's important to change not witnessed on the road or really feel

Gucci Messenger Bags
Beats by medical professional dre - In the dojos of artists plus producers to fix the position for a very long time as well as the sound is perfect

vibram five fingers shoes for sale
Of course, the particular rich, these things really are barefoot, perhaps, a few serious injuries Vibram Your five Fingers of CSR activities of a simple and reliable advantage for the paws, which always appears like you're barefoot

Monster Beats Kobe Bryant
However in general, you can not tune in to music in the world along with regular headphones, which might be provided

S

Nike Free Run II Mens

dsadf said...

If we are a variety of oil in some of these backwater places, these are precisely wherever these small seafood backside,Inches Farling mentioned"I'm air jordan shoes allayed I am living, nevertheless I am terrified for anyone whom have not been found still," he said, incorporating that she intentions to Air Jordan stay in San Felipe through the research in addition to expectation others remain living The ocean King, that Bill jigs within the U Air Jordan Cheap Photos released because of the Asian deep blue exhibited numerous sunburned anglers in T-shirts as well as Bermudas waiting to have over a Cheap Nike Air Max coach Individuals are tired now," Henry Scott mentioned Company spokesman Alan Jeffers said there is simply no direct link in between all those Nike Air Max troubles along with the pipe failureIn William placed the hands on his / her tummy and also joked in relation to pigging Air Max 2011 out for the getawayThe particular 20-year-old Silvertip pipe supplied 40,500 casks a day to a refinery throughout Billings coupled some sort of route Ed Hardy Shop of which moves underneath the lake

A.J. Jacksoon said...

Discover out how to execute a turn around phone search before a cellular phone lookup otherwise yet a phone number reverse phone lookup lookup that uncover absent who is losing to facilitate persona so what time to has been calling you this whole instant ok.

educationalbabytoys said...

Reorder phone lookup web pages approximating this single will give you both kinds of telephone lookup specifics so that you can sooner or later find away from home their name, address, where they subsist, reverse phone lookup their current age along with much further. So once you require with the purpose of squander a cell phone number search nowadays, merely get amazing done sure so as to exhaust this beneficial tool with the purpose of uncover out each kinds of quash mobile phone lookup specifics trailing so when to someone these days.

peoplereverse said...

I enjoy this nice reverse mobile phone search or phone lookup or phone number search spot. I be able to learn much of cell phone lookup material concerning switch telephone lookup here nowadays at what time I check away this guide here.

sam danos said...

phone number lookup

Yahya said...

I visited this page to know about tracking a phone number, I found this page Very Good Job of acknowledgment and a marvelous source of info to chase pranksters.........Thanks Admin!
Phone Lookup