What is the meaning behind the Lotus Flower Symbol?
The Lotus flower grows in muddy, swampy areas and is commonly known for its booming trait. It blooms every morning, one petal at a time and by the time the sun is rising, you will find that it has fully bloomed and is truly a magnificent sight to behold.
It has a clean and pure look which contrasts with its muddy background, and, as such, is associated with purity in Buddhism and beauty in Hinduism. The Lotus takes three days to emerge from a pond and blooms from morning till noon. In ancient Egypt, scholars associated the flower with the Sun and rebirth because of this trait.
It is, therefore, safe to say that the lotus flower meaning is different in the respective cultures.
Significance of Lotus Flower in Buddhism
In Buddhism, the lotus is considered pure because it emerges from the mud yet it retains its clean look and, as such, it is associated with spiritual awakening, faithfulness, and purity. In the part of the world where Buddhism originates, you find lotus flowers in different colors. Each color is symbolizes something different in Buddhism.
Blue Lotus: In Buddhist art, the blue lotus is normally partially partly open and you never see its center. It symbolizes victory of the spirit over knowledge and wisdom.
White Lotus: This represents Bodhi, a state of purity of the mind and perfection of the spirit. This flower is viewed as the womb of the world.
Purple Lotus: It can be shown as either open or closed and is normally associated with esoteric sects. One of the Buddha teachings is the eightfold path, a path believed to lead to self-awakening, and is represented by its eight petals
Pink Lotus: This is believed to be the true lotus of Buddha.
Red Lotus: It is linked to the heart and love.
The significance of Lotus Flower in Egypt
Two types of lotus grew in ancient Egypt, the blue and the grey lotus. The pink lotus was later introduced to Egypt but in this case, the blue lotus is more common.
Just like the sun appears in the morning and disappears in the night, the lotus appears in the morning and retracts in the night. This is why the Egyptians associated the lotus to the sun and the creation. Hieroglyphics works portray the lotus as emerging from the primordial water believed to bear the god of the Sun, Nun. It is also linked to death and there exists an Egyptian book which contains spells that can transform a person into a lotus.
The significance of Lotus flower to Hinduism.
In Hinduism, the lotus flower is associated with prosperity, beauty, fertility, eternity and spirituality. Here, the white lotus is most common. It is linked to Laxmi, the goddess of prosperity, Brahma, the god of creation, among others. Brahma is normally portrayed as emerging from a lotus and Laxmi is normally depicted as sitting on an open lotus. The way the lotus emerges from the mud and is still clean, to Hindus, is a sign of wisdom.
It is interesting to find that one flower can mean different things in different parts of the world, but the most amazing thing about all this, is the fact that the flower is so clean yet its environment is so dirty.