Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

the Golden Lotus -

This inscription is on the grave of Sylvia Plath.

"Even amidst fierce flames the Golden Lotus can be planted."

Ted Hughes said the quotation was from the Bhagavid-Gita (the Hindu scriptures), but according to a site on Sylvia Plath,  it is not there.....

Instead it seems to have come from the book 'Monkey' written by Wu Ch'Eng-En in the middle of the sixteenth century. It is on page 23 of the penguin classics edition. It is spoken by a Patriarch who is teaching Monkey the way of long life. The full quotation is :-

"To spare and tend the vital powers, this and nothing else is sum and total of all magic, secret and profane. All is comprised in these three, spirit, breath and soul; guard them closely, screen them well; let there be no leak. Store them within the frame; that is all that can be learnt, and all that can be taught. I would have you mark the tortoise and snake, locked in tight embrace. Locked in tight embrace, the vital powers are strong; even in the midst of fierce flames the Golden Lotus may be planted, the five elements compounded and transposed, and put to new use. When that is done, be which you please, Buddha or Immortal."


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