It’s the first pure white lotus ever to bloom at the monastery. It’s from Bali (Hinduism Today is sending our journalist Rajiv from New Delhi to Bali soon to do a story).
This is the physical manifestation of the deeper insight from our beloved Gurudeva:
“Visualize within yourself a lotus. Have you ever seen a lotus flower? I am sure you have. Now visualize this lotus flower centered right within the center of your chest, right within your heart. You have read in the Hindu scriptures that the Self God dwells in the lotus within the heart. Let’s think about that. We all know what the heart is, and we know what happens when the heart stops. Try to mentally feel and see the heart as a lotus flower right within you. Within the center of the lotus, try to see a small light. Doubtless you have read in the Hindu scriptures that the Self God within the heart looks like a brilliant light about the size of your thumb — just a small light. This light we shall call an emanation of your effulgent being. We could also call it your atomic power, the power that motivates, permeates, makes the mind self-luminous. It is dwelling right within. The Self God is deeper than that. The lotus is within the heart, and the Self God dwells deep within that lotus of light.”
The experience of ananda in savikalpa samadhi has to cease before you can have the deeper nirvikalpa samadhi. Agitations of the mind are released by the attainment of shanti in the anahata and vishuddha chakras. Only man can experience Satchidananda, the all pervasiveness of God. Understanding where we are in consciousness. The realization of one's self as a soul is the first stage of Self Realization, then Satchidanada, then Parasiva.
Master Course, Merging with Siva, Lesson 365
Master Course, Dancing with Siva, Lesson 1
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Cessation of Bliss