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Bahai Temple in Delhi Sacred Symbol Researches on India and Indian architecture clearly show that, despite the outward dissimilarities to be seen between various temples, we can sometimes discover significant and sacred symbols regarded as holy and divine by all the Indian religions, symbols which have even penetrated to other countries and other religions such as Islam. One of these symbols is the sacred flower of the Indians, the Lotus.
The Lotus In art - As regards its application in religious art, the lotus figures, with the rise of that art in India, on all the Buddhist monuments which came into being in different parts of the country from about 200 B.C. onward. In its simplest form the expanded lotus is very frequent as a circular ornament in the sculptures at Sanchi, Bharhut, Amravati, and Bodh Gaya, as well as in the rock-cut temples of Western India, being introduced as a medallion on pillars, panels, and ceilings. Very elaborately carved half-lotuses sometimes appear thus, or, in Sri Lanka (Ceylon), as so-called moon-stones -- semi-circular stone slabs at the foot of staircases. Lotuses growing on stalks also occur in the sculptures of Bandhara and of Mathura, and often figure in elaborate floral designs on pillars of Sanchi or the panels of A
The lotus was especially identified with the sun. This association doubtless rested upon natural observation that the flower opened when the sun rose and closes at sunset, so as to suggest to the primitive mind the idea that the flower might be the residence of the sun during its nocturnal passage through the underworld, or that it might be the re-vivifier, resurrector, or regenerator of the fresh or refreshened sun of the next day. Its very large multi-rayed flowers would also contribute to this association. It is probably from its association with the sun that we find the lotus-flower in the Gandhara sculptures, and often subsequently, taking the place on Buddha's footprints of the 'wheeled disk of the sun with its thousand spokes'." This possibly was the Aryan queen of heaven, the Brah-prints.
The Independent Investigation of Truth Baha'u'llah emphasizes the fundamental obligation of human beings to acquire knowledge with their "own eyes and not through the eyes of others." One of the main sources of conflict in the world today is the fact that many people blindly and uncritically follow various traditions, movements, and opinions. God has given each human being a mind and the capacity to differentiate truth from falsehood. If individuals fail to use their reasoning capacities and choose instead to accept without question certain opinions and ideas, either out of admiration for or fear of those who hold them, then they are neglecting their basic moral responsibility as human beings. Moreover, when people act in this way, they often become attached to some particular opinion or tradition and thus intolerant of those who do not share it. Such attachments can, in turn, lead to conflict. History has witnessed conflict and even bloodshed over slight alterations in religious practice, or a minor change in the interpretation of doctrine. Personal search for truth enables the individual to know why he or she adheres to a given ideology or doctrine. Bahá'ís believe that, as there is only one reality, all people will gradually discover its different facets and will ultimately come to common understanding and unity, provided they sincerely seek after truth. In this connection, 'Abdu'l-Bahá said: Being one, truth cannot be divided, and the differences that appear to exist among the many nations only result from their attachment to prejudice. If only men would search out truth, they would find themselves united.1 And further:1 The fact that we imagine ourselves to be right and everybody else wrong is the greatest of all obstacles in the path towards unity, and unity is necessary if we would reach truth, for truth is one.22