The Lotus Flower Symbolism
For a very long time, I’ve always loved the Lotus. One because it is a Water Flower, but also grows from mud, two it is Beautiful despite where it comes from, and three I love that it is sacred; there are so many spiritual things / symbolism associated with it.
The lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is an ancient and polyvalent symbol in Asian culture. Hindus revere it with the gods Vishnu, Brahma and to a lesser degree Kubera, and the goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati . Often used as an example of divine beauty and purity, Vishnu is often described as the “Lotus-Eyed One”. The lotus springs from the navel of Vishnu while he is in Yoga Nidra. The lotus blooms uncovering the creator god Brahma in lotus position. Its unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise. Particularly Brahma and Lakshmi, the divinities of potency and wealth, have the lotus symbol associated with them.
The lotus flower is one of the Ashtamangala of Buddhism, representative of creation and cosmic renewal and “primordial purity” (Wylie: ka dag) and shares in the chakra and mandala symbolism of the Dharmacakra, is also cited extensively within the Puranas and Vedas, for example:
One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus is untouched by water.
— Bhagavad Gita 5.10:
This has also taken root in Chinese cultures with a famous statement made by the 11th century Confucian scholar Zhou Dunyi: “I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained.” (Exactly – I love this)
The padma is held to be a flower with a thousand petals and is therefore associated with the Sahasrara and indeed all the chakra. The padma appears as an endemic dais upon which deities rest and indeed upon which Hindu iconography is founded.
In Buddhist symbolism the lotus is symbolic of purity of the body, speech, and mind as while rooted in the mud, its flowers blossom on long stalks as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. It is also symbolic of detachment as drops of water easily slide off its petals.
It is also to be noted that many Asian deities are depicted seated on a lotus flower. According to legend, Gautama Buddha was born with the ability to walk and everywhere he stepped, lotus flowers bloomed.
I like the “history” above. I think it is very interesting.
Here is something I found as well that I think is very well explained:
The lotus flower symbolizes rising from a dark place into beauty and rebirth, as this is exactly how a lotus flower grows. Lotus flowers grow directly out of muddy and murky waters and produce beautiful white and pink blossoms. Lotus flowers are often referred to in Buddhist studies and they are a symbol of strength among adversity. Buddhist studies use the lotus flower in guided meditations. The meditation instructs practitioners to imagine themselves as a tiny lotus seed that is deeply buried in the mud. While the mud is dirty and uncomfortable, the seed’s journey is to move calmly through the darkness and into the light. Once the seed completes the journey, it blossoms into the next stage of life.
The lotus symbolizes growth and determination.
The lotus flower is a daily reminder that perseverance and inner strength results in light and beauty.
Here are some more associated symbolist about the Lotus that I love:
“The lotus is to the East, as the rose is to the West.” – Ted Andrews
There is a whole lot more to Lotus Symbolism, but I think this sums it about up. The Lotus Flower is Awesome.