The Lotus is a flower that grows in deep mud, far far away from the sun. However, when it reaches the light, it blooms into one of the most beautiful flowers you ever did see.
The Lotus, in a lot of cultures, is a symbol of enlightenment, rebirth, and self-generation and they are a great analogy for the human condition.
Even in the dirtiest waters, their flowers are beautiful. This article looks at this symbolism, as well as its meaningful botanical characteristics, tattoo symbolism, and some fun facts.
So, keep reading to find out all you need to know about the Lotus flower.
What Does The Lotus Mean?
Growing in deep mud and far from the sun, the lotus grows into beautiful flowers and is often used for decorating and in many different religious ceremonies. They are extremely important flowers in Eastern cultures, yet each culture describes a different meaning.
The flower has layered petals that are arrayed around a central core. A few different plants from different families make up this category, yet they all have similar meanings when it comes to their symbolism.
The plants appear to be similar and share similar characteristics such as medicinal and edible value and in general, the flower exudes grace and beauty.
Most types of the flower grow in the water of ponds and creeks and this lends them a quality that is mystical enough to be used in religious ceremonies. In the Victorian flower language, the Lotus represents eloquence.
The Padma is the Hindu name for the iconic Lotus flower and this plays an important symbolic role in Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, and Sikhism. Buddhists see the flower as a metaphor for life.
The mud symbolizes suffering and any obstacles in life and the flower represents the journey you take to overcome these obstacles. You could interpret this as a progression from a state of vexation to a state of purity.
Though we face challenges in life, we learn from these challenges and gain wisdom, kindness, compassion and we learn how to rise above the mud.
The flower reminds us to stove and become the best version of ourselves as we grow and overcome obstacles, just as the Lotus opens their petals one at a time.
Etymological Meaning Of The Lotus
The name ‘Lotus’ is given to different plants, coming from the Latin, lotus, from the Greek lotos, and this was a name given to several plants before it ended up meaning the Egyptian white lotus. It might be Semitic and bears a large part in the mythology of China, Egypt, and India.
The Homeric lotus was later a North African shrub from which wine could be made. The name has also been given to many species of water-lilies and a bean growing in the water. Moreover, it was once believed to induce forgetfulness, linking to the name, the lotus-eater, and this means the one who finds pleasure in a listless life.
This comes from Greek lotophagoi and is mentioned in Odyssey.
The Symbolism Of The Lotus
As such beautiful flowers, the Lotus is often associated with inner strength, tranquility, and purity. Given its deep symbolic meaning and its ties to religion, the flower is considered sacred.
Due to its unique growing conditions, the flower hosts a whole range of symbolic meanings. It represents spiritual enlightenment. Despite its dirty environment, the lotus rises above it and blooms into a beautiful flower to face the sun. This is symbolic of overcoming the material world and emerging from muddy waters of suffering.
The flower also symbolized detachment as the flower detaches from the water and muddy environment. This reminds us to keep ourselves separate from things that might dampen our soul and to instead focus on only the things that matter.
Lotuses symbolize new beginnings and resurrections. The flower emerges in the morning and closes at night to go back into the water. A new blossom appears in the morning and this cycle repeats, making it a common flower to be seen in funerals. This also relates to Egyptian symbolism.
The lotus also links to purity and cleanliness as it can emerge from murky waters. It represents the purity of the human soul, as the center of the lotus is not tainted by its journey or exposure.
As the flower opens one petal at a time, this resembles the steps to find spiritual enlightenment. In this sense, the flower symbolizes personal progress in life. The symbolism relating to enlightenment is also enforced by how the middle of the plant is yellow.
The flower reminds us of not only enlightenment but to always stay true to ourselves. Despite the murky waters, the flower reminds us to stay grounded and be proud of where we come from.
The lotus bud in the past has also symbolized a virgin and the flower has been linked to womanhood and nature. A fully grown flower is a sexually experienced female.
Lotus Color Meanings
In Hinduism, the religion often uses white lotus, yet Buddhism reminds us of all the different colors of the flower and their symbolic meanings.
Blue often represents how important spirit is over knowledge, whilst also representing wisdom, common sense, and knowledge. The white lotus is linked to Bodhi. This is a stage of enlightenment. When you have reached your full spiritual enlightenment, this is represented by the gold lotus.
The color white also represents purity. The lotus with eight petals is purple and this represents Buddha’s eightfold path to the truth. This is also recognized as the path to self-awakening.
Due to its association with such as path, the purple flower is seen as spiritual and mystical. The red lotus symbolizes the heart and links to love but the most important lotus is the pink lotus. This is the true lotus of Buddha and represents the whole essence of Buddha himself.
Meaningful Botanical Characteristics Of The Lotus
Most cultivators of the flower exist with different shades of pink to white and single, semidouble, or double flowers, as well as different plant sizes.
The woody seed pods are also used in floral arrangements. They have primitive characteristics and these date back 15 million years into the records of fossils.
The most well-known feature of the flower is the ice-cream-cone reproductive structure. The yellow receptacle has ovaries or carpels and these develop into seeds. They are embedded separately in round holes through the receptacle.
The stigmas stick through the holes when the flower is fresh and the male reproductive organs known as the stamens, ring the receptacle in several rows. These look like a fringe around the receptacle and at the end of every stamen, there is another, that is used to produce pollen.
The Lotus can grow up to around 150 cm and spread around 3 meters horizontally. Some have cited that the flower can reach a height of over 5 meters. The diameter of the flower reaches 20 cm, yet the diameter of the leaves is around 60 cm.
The Lotus also has a great way of regulating the flower’s temperature. This ability is compared with warm-blooded animals and with human beings. Though the air temperature is reduced to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the Lotus could maintain the temperature at 86 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Special Occasions For The Lotus
As a result of their beauty and their exciting features, the Lotus has become a popular flower to be used in floral arrangements on several different occasions.
Most commonly, they are used as a ‘pick-me-up’ flower for those feeling down, or to say ‘Get Well Soon’, ‘Thank You’, or simply that you are thinking of someone during a hard time.
Moreover, since they come in a range of different colors, there are plenty of options and there is a color to suit every occasion or celebration.
They are used to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, a new beginning such as a new job or a new home, a birth, graduation, and a whole host of important life events. You could even use them to decorate your home or office or at a wedding.
Lotus Cultural Significance
Lotus flowers were depicted in Ancient Egypt, where it was common to spot white and blue lotuses. In Egypt, the flower was known as Seshen and this was associated with the Egyptian gods.
As the lotus emerges from the water following the sun, before closing up and returning to the water, the flower was linked with the sun god. The Egyptians thought the flower symbolized creation, rebirth, and power.
During childbirth, women used to wear amulets of the flower with an image of Heqet, the goddess of fertility. The Lotus was also present in hieroglyphics, art, and paintings that were symbolic of new beginnings.
The lotus was found in Ancient Greece and Indian regions and in Greece, the flower was closely associated with modesty, purity, and innocence.
Lotuses being used in Hinduism dates back to 1400 BC through Vedic texts that show Hindu gods who were holding or standing on the flower. Early references can be found in Buddhism and the Buddha is often seen sitting on a Lotus.
In Hindusim, religious leaders used flowers as a symbol of peace. White lotus flowers were seen under the feet of deities such as Ganesha, Saraswati, and Lakshmi.
Brahma, the ultimate creator comes from a lotus too. Purity oozes from the flower’s growing ritual of rooting in mud and pushing through the water to bloom.
Lotus Flower Facts
- The oldest seeds of the Lotus were found in northwestern China in a dry lakebed. They traced back 1300 years earlier.
- The flowers originated from Queensland, Australia, and Tropical Asia.
- The Lotus hold status in India and Vietnam and these countries, it is their national flower.
- The Lotus is cultivated mostly for the water garden and it’s an aquatic flower.
- The river bottom and the soil in the pond feature the Lotus roots and the leaves float on the surface. The flowers are just above.
- The edible parts of the Lotus include the young leaves, the rhizomes, the seeds, and the flowers.
- Whilst the leaves can be used to wrap food, the petals are used for garnish.
Lotus Flower Uses
The lotus has not only been used for decorating thrones or acting as places of rest for enlightened beings. It also has some important medicinal and edible properties.
The Nymphaea, which is the blue lotus family is great for making a sedative tea and this can help with insomnia. The Nelumbo family, otherwise known as the sacred Lotus is used for their edible seeds and roots. The American Lotus is also used as a food source.
Middle-aged men can also use the flower to treat erectile dysfunction. Lotus oil, according to research has a positive effect on blood pressure in that region, and rubbing the oil before intercourse, can help performance.
However, since Sildenafil (Viagra) is now a prescribed medicine for this condition, this use is has become outdated.
What Is The Symbolism Of A Lotus Flower Tattoo?
As the lotus is so beautiful, with so many delicate and bright colors, it makes for a gorgeous tattoo design. The flower is regarded as sacred all over the world, especially in Eastern cultures and if you see someone with a tattoo, you know there is a rich symbolism behind it.
As the flower grows in muddy water but remains clean and pure, the tattoo can symbolize purity of the mind and can represent one’s life journey of rising above struggles, to bloom at the end. The tattoo can also symbolize rebirth as a result of the flower’s ability to resurrect itself.
The tattoo serves as an inspiration for those who are recovering from a traumatic experience. As a flower of enlightenment, the tattoo can show the wearers stage of their spiritual journey.
If the tattoo is a flower in full bloom, it is thought to link to full enlightenment but a closed bud links with someone who is still figuring out their spiritual path.
A partly open bloom signifies a spiritual awakening beyond sight. The flower can also serve as a reminder of the commitment of the wearer’s values since the Lotus rises above mud and will not accept defeat.
It shows us how to remain the best version of ourselves and rise above temptations. Finally, as the Lotus is rooted in mud but can bloom and rise above water on its own and can withstand thousands of years without water, the tattoo can symbolize strength and independence.
We hope after reading this article you know all you need to know about the Lotus flower and how it’s rooted in deep symbolism. The flower is a beautiful and powerful symbol of enlightenment with endless religious connections.
The symbol of the Lotus has transcended to become universal and can be used by anyone, regardless of their religious background. Overall, the flower is one of the most beautiful and meaningful flowers in the world, with a rich history and equally rich symbolism behind it.
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