Lotus is one of the most beautiful flowers, regarded as a symbol of beauty throughout the world. This is not just because of its vibrant colors, but also because of its quality to bloom beautifully in muddy water. The lotus plant originated in parts of Middle East and Asia, hence gaining importance in many cultures emerging from these parts. The symbolization is different in different cultures; however, all of them are associated with the life cycle of this flower.
Lotus Flower Symbolization in Various Religions
Symbolism in Hinduism
Lotus flower has a spiritual as well as religious significance in the Hindu religion. Hinduism regards it as the symbol of youth, beauty, and life. These meanings are quite common, but did you know that one of the symbolism associated with this flower is non-attachment? This symbolization is based on the characteristic of the lotus flower itself. As we all know, it grows in muddy water, but in spite of growing in dust and filth, the flower has never been seen with a drop of mud on it. Hindu religion regards this as the symbol of aloofness. This has been quoted in the Bhagavad Gita, the holy book of Hindus.
"Those who dedicate their actions to God, abandoning all attachment, remain untouched by sin, just as a lotus leaf is untouched by water."
― Bhagavad Gita 5.10
As explained in the aforementioned stanza, lotus teaches us all that whoever does his duty without expecting any rewards, by leaving the results in God's hand, is never affected by the sinful actions surrounding him.
It is believed that Lord Brahma emerged from the navel of Lord Vishnu, sitting on a lotus. Goddess Lakshmi, who is the goddess of wealth, is always shown with a lotus flower, and that is the reason why lotus is included in the major ceremonies regarding goddess Lakshmi. As the lotus is unaffected by its dirty surroundings, one should also grow spiritually and do only the right things, in spite of the bad forces present in the surroundings.
Symbolism in Buddhism
According to Buddhism, lotus stands for purity, spontaneity, and beauty. In many paintings, Lord Buddha is depicted seated on the lotus. Though lotus grows in muddy water, it is beautiful and brings a smile on anyone's face who sees it. Similarly, one should try to smile in unfavorable conditions and try to make others' life beautiful. In Buddhism, the symbolism of this flower varies depending upon its color. Let's take a look at these.
- White Lotus: White lotus stands for purity of mind and spiritual perfection. It is generally shown having eight petals just as the eight-fold laid by Gautama Buddha. White lotus is also regarded as one of the Four Noble Truths.
- Red Lotus: Red lotus is also a symbol of purity, but purity of the heart. It is regarded as a symbol of passion, love, and compassion, which are the qualities of the heart.
- Blue Lotus: Blue lotus is a symbol of victory over senses. It signifies knowledge and wisdom.
- Pink Lotus: Pink lotus stands for Lord Buddha and his teachings.