The lotus flower and its symbolism has been relentlessly archived in humanity’s culture and traditions. Its meaning is deeply imbibed in Eastern beliefs and mysticism.
As a matter of fact, it is known as one of the most sacred flowers even today. Its place in symbolism can be traced as far as pre-Greek civilization.
Needless to say, there are many reasons why even at the present time, lotus flower meanings are still being talked about and that is exactly what we will cover too in this article.
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Lotus flower fun facts
Before we go to the nitty-gritty, supernatural or even philosophical meaning of the lotus flower, it would be interesting to indulge with sole lotus flower fun facts first.
- Lotus flower seeds could survive for a hundred years and more and could still bloom.
- It is considered as the national flower of India.
- Lotus flowers were used for medical purposes in ancient civilizations specifically as pain reliever and in helping avoid muscle spasms.
- While its habitat are lakes and ponds, it thrives most during warm seasons.
- It can grow tall (twenty inches above water).
- Lotus flowers do not only come in white and pink, there are also blue, red, yellow and purple lotus flowers.
Lotus flower meaning
As have been mentioned, not only is the lotus flower ancient, it is also remarkably meaningful and sacred.
There is a whole threshold of meanings associated to this flower but we could encapsulate them concisely.
Universally, the lotus flower is a symbol of resilience. Philosophers agree that the lotus flower is the perfect symbolism to our universal human condition: we are tested in muddy waters but with resilience, we are always going to bloom beautifully in the end.
As such, lotus flower meaning is also associated with inner strength, will, courage, purpose, longevity, optimism, purity, enlightenment and rebirth.
In certain cultures and traditions like Buddhism and Hinduism, the lotus flower is associated with luck, fortune and prosperity. These are all the reasons why the lotus flower is common in hospital beds to signify optimism and recuperation, to friends who are at the moment downward spiraling and a loved one who is far away to symbolize future reunions.
Lotus flower meaning in Buddhism
For the Buddhists, the lotus flower is one of the most sacred flowers.
Preceding the meaning that lotus flowers are symbols of prosperity and fortune, Buddhism raises its meaning to a higher pedestal. For them, this flower means purity of the soul or spirit, the mind and body.
It is so sacred to them that it is even a part of the eight most sacred symbols that compose the Buddhist mandala.
The complete mandala symbol means cosmic harmony or the oneness of everything that vibrates energy.
The lotus flower for them also symbolizes a thousand rebirths or the capacity of men to polish their lives for the better regardless of how many times.
The Buddhists also have the symbol of thousand-petalled lotus which means spiritual illumination; the achievement of nirvana. No wonder, it is a mainstay in Buddhist myth, art and scriptures often illustrating the Buddha surrounded by lotus flowers.
Lotus flower meaning in Hinduism
Speaking of high pedestals, Hinduism does not fall far with regards to the lotus flower and its place in Hinduism.
Ultimately, the lotus flower means purity and also divinity. Two of the three most important gods of the Hindu tradition are illustrated with the lotus flower on them. For example, the god Brahma is known to have been born out of a giant lotus flower while the god Krishna is fondly called as the Lotus-Eyed One.
Furthermore, like Buddhism, the Hindus also believe that the lotus flower is the perfect representation of indomitable will; being able to bloom beautifully in very muddy waters.
But beyond that, it represents that the way to perfect enlightenment is to detach oneself from material things as represented by the mud.
Thus, it is not a shock as to why the lotus flower occupies the highest part of the chakra system. It is the symbol of the crown chakra, of enlightenment, the center of ultimate spiritual consciousness and human awareness.
Lotus flower meaning in Meditation, Yoga
The first two traditions we have just discussed are deeply into practicing meditation and yoga as they are anchored in consciousness, enlightenment and spirituality.
If you do yoga or meditation, you have gotten acquainted with how the lotus flower is infused in them.
For example, in hatha yoga, the Lotus pose is a hip-opener to awaken the cosmic energy bottled in self-awareness and cosmic connection and it is called kundalini.
It is used for deep breathing assuming the position of the body seating with the ankles crossed and the soles of the feet face north to the sky.
There is another lotus position in yoga; a hand gesture called Padma Mudra. It is done by touching the heels of the hands together and spreading the fingers resonating a blooming lotus.
The Padma Mudra is said to activate the heart chakra which inspires empathy, gratitude and unconditional love.
Lotus flower meaning in Christianity
Commonly called the water lily, the lotus flower holds a lot of meaning for the Christian tradition.
For one, it stands for piousness but also of fertility. As such, it is firmly associated with Mary being the queen of paradise. It is also associated with rebirth or resurrection.
While it was associated with the story of Job, it is more significantly associated with Saint Thomas, illustrated with a lotus flower in Jesus’ cross and was the one of the firsts who announced that Jesus has been resurrected.
Lotus flower meaning in other cultures and countries
There are a few other cultures which we could find the significance of the lotus flower meaning. And here are some of them.
In the Egyptian art, myth and scripture, the lotus flower stands for peace, rebirth, creation and the god Ra. But more than that, it holds political significance as it is the symbol representing the union of upper and lower Egypt during the pharaonic era.
Since the flower blooms in the sun and wilts in the dusk, Japanese tradition looks at it as the symbol of the life cycle: life, death and rebirth.
It is the symbol of Mary and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is firmly associated with St. Thomas who announced that Jesus has risen.
In Chinese feng shui, the lotus flower means prosperity and the continuity of wealth for many generations.
In the Odyssey, Odysseus and his men meet with lotus flower eaters who showed signs of weakness and hallucination. It stands for strength but also of weakness and being strong from temptations.
Korea and Vietnam
These two countries have Lotus lantern festivals in summer and in spring, respectively. It represents national healing, the symbol of the untainted nature of human beings through enlightenment.
For the Celts, the lotus flower is tied with the Celtic knot. With it on, it represents, untethered bond, anchoring oneself in a center and rebirth.
In the Spanish culture, the lotus flower stands for chastity, elegance, purity and spirituality.
Lotus flower tattoo meaning
When used as tattoo design, the lotus is usually inked in full bloom. It represents compassion, unconditional love, resilience and moving forward.
There is an alternate design which is the sacred lotus flower or the padma. This lotus flower tattoo stands for divinity and spiritual purity.
Lotus flower color meanings
As they say, various colors, multitudes of meanings and the lotus flower is not an exception. You will particularly need these when you intend to buy or gift lotus flowers to friends and loved ones in the future.
This one stands for fortune, wealth and extravagance but also of creativity, wisdom and human dignity.
Since it represents the absence of color, this one represents rebellion and death but also of sophistication and power.
It represents compassion and also of pure love.
For Buddhism, this color represents the Buddha himself. As such, it also means enlightenment and perfection.
Yellow and gold lotus are seen in the same vein and that is the achievement of true spiritual enlightenment.
It stands for total spiritual awareness and connection; of spirituality taking over the senses but also of rest and tranquility.
In Buddhism, it means total enlightenment, peace and purity. For Chinese feng shui, it means joy and a secured fortune for many generations.
It stands for ascension and rebirth.
It represents the achievement of a state of enlightenment.
It is also clustered in the line of yellow and gold lotus flowers which means total enlightenment.
It stands for purity and having an evolved, more enlightened perspective.
Dots above and below lotus flower meaning
With dots above and below, the lotus flower becomes the Buddhist symbol unalome. This symbol illustrates the path to true enlightenment.
It does not only have dots, it also has spirals and straight lines which illustrates human struggles. The dots below the lotus represent death or the moment we fade to nothing.
Lotus flower meaning of it when someone gives it to another person
Depending on the color and the purpose, the meaning of a lotus flower given to a person may stand for personal meanings. For example, giving it to a friend who is moving out of town may mean wishing him luck and fortune.
If it is for a loved one who got sick, it means recuperation and healing.
If it is for someone who has been in a bad lot recently, it means moving on and getting up. It does not veer away from its associated meanings that is why, when giving lotus flowers to another person, its meaning is truly intimate and personal.
Symbolism of the Lotus flower
The lotus flower is many things indeed and so are its symbolisms.
At a sacred perspective among the Buddhists, Hindus and Christians, it symbolizes divinity, purity, enlightenment and resurrection.
From a philosophical perspective, it represents the life cycle and the entire human condition of life, death and rebirth. As a gift, it covers a lot of personal symbolisms revolving around fortune, luck, wisdom, resilience and moving on to better things.
Message of the Lotus flower
Generally, the lotus flower is the perfect representation of what life is. It is a metaphor that life will not always be rainbows and butterflies but we can rise from them if we choose to.
And just because it is fleeting would not mean that we cannot make the most out of it and find purpose in it all.
To conclude, the lotus flower is more than just one. It has witnessed civilizations rise and fall and its sheer beauty and cosmic significance and interesting aesthetics made it not just a beautiful flower thriving in a mud but a pure representation of sanctity and the meaning of life.