The Lotus Flower Signifies Purity in One's SpiritThe lotus flower signifies purity in one's spirit for even when it is grown in the dirtiest water it is supposed to produce clean and beautiful petals. Even when we try to put water on the petal of a lotus flower the water will just roll down symbolizing freedom rather than sticking to it. The lotus flower is also defined as a symbol of "self-regeneration" or svayambhu in Sanskrit for it means existence without creation and independent. The Lotus flower has lot of religious significance in Hinduism and also in other religions like Buddhism. Lotus forms the throne of Lord Buddha which shows the roused mind of self-existent, substantive, and self-regenerating. It gets continuously reproduced from its own matrix. This is a type of water lily and is considered sacred powerful image and a spiritual symbol among lot of world's religions and cultures.
Omnipresent Consciousness as the Lotus Flower-This symbol of unbidden procreation also represents divine birth, spiritual development and creation itself. The bud of lotus symbolizes possibility highly of a spiritual nature. The individuals mind is compared to that of the lotus flower which has to go through its initial stages of development in murky water before it establishes itself as a beautiful flower. The person's knowledge also goes through the same stages on its path to enlightenment. It is the heart- lotus which is the definition of the endless, ubiquitous consciousness which connects with the consciousness of the universe and man is gifted with this power of intuition to probe into the infinite, omnipresent consciousness as the lotus flower within him. The spiritual illumination is signified by the thousand petaled lotuses where each opening of the petal is the progressive unfolding of the consciousness on the path of enlightenment. The chakra system or the energy centers within the human being is compared and associated to that of the varied number of petals of the lotus. The crown chakra is the thousand-petaled lotus, and so its blossoming indicates enlightenment.
Lotus- the Sacred symbol of Hinduism
-Being the sacred symbol of Hinduism and Indian culture, there is lot of mentions about the lotus in almost all the Hindu scriptures. Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu who are respectively the creator and the preserver of the universe are portrayed as sitting in a lotus. According to the Hindu religion Lord Brahma is said to have been born from the lotus that was growing out of the navel of Lord Vishnu. There are lot of heavenly comparisons made to this divine flower and in Vedic scripture, the body of Lord Krishna, an embodiment of Lord Vishnu, is explained as being like a bluish new-grown lotus flower.Purankalsa is one of the eight propitious symbols of Indian classical art which represent opulence and creativity, and depicts overflowing foliage consisting of lotus buds, lotus flowers and lotus leaves. The lotus motif which is quite prominent plays a major place in the Indian legacy, Taj Mahal.
Lotus Flower isan Offering Made to the Almighty-Traditionally the lotus flower is used an offering made to the Almighty. This symbol of Bhakthi for God states that people should not let their love go behind the worldly likings for a true devotee can only let his or her mind flow towards God who is nowhere but in their own heart. We are all aware that God is present everywhere but in the human being it is the heart which is our spiritual centre that He manifests as Param-Atma or the Super soul. Thus the temple in every individual is nowhere but it is the heart of the devotee where the Param-Atma resides. Thus the sacred lotus flower represents the spiritual heart. The same factor is explained in the Mahanarayana Upanishad as In the citadel of the body, there is the small sinless and pure lotus of the heart which is the residence of the Supreme". Not only history but also eastern poets, sages, saints, masters and gurus have compared lotus flower to that of an image of the divine feet of the Gods and other noble spiritual beings.
The Lotus Flower is Significant with Brahma and Goddess Laxmi
-The Lotus flower is significant with Brahma and Goddess Laxmi and the religion of Hinduism depicts it more as a symbol of beauty, fertility, wealth, spirituality and immortality. The Lotus flower is associated with many gods and goddesses according to Hinduism especially the god of prosperity Laxmi is always portrayed as being occupied atop a completely open lotus flower. Most of the major ceremonies which includes Goddess Laxmi will never miss to have a Lotus flower. Lotus being an example of spiritually enlightened person also represents those who carry out their work with no concern for appreciation and with a full freedom from attachment. Both the opened lotus flower and the unopened lotus bud are beautifully compared to that of the human soul which has the ability to unfold and open itself up to the divine truth. The lotus also states that inspite of bad influences in the surrounding one should be able to grow spiritually without being affected by these bad factors or forces. This sacred symbol of non attachment and aloofness in the Hindu religion is been quoted in the following verses of Bhagavat Gita, "One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water."
This Flower of Purity is Said to Bring Smile
-According to Buddhism Lord Buddha is always depicted to be seated on top of a lotus flower. This flower of purity is said to bring smile on the face of those who see this flower. Buddhism teaches that just like a lotus one should be able to bring happiness in others in spite of any difficulties or unfavorable situations prevalent around them and make their life meaningful and beautiful. Also according to Buddhism every color of a flower is said to depict different meaning like the white lotus which is considered as one of the four noble truths - stands for purity of mind and spiritual perfection. White lotuses are also always seen with eight petals just as the eight-fold laid by Gautama Buddha. Red Lotus represents purity of heart and its qualities are symbolized by characters of ardour, love and compassion. Blue lotus is a symbol of victory, victory over the senses. It signifies knowledge and wisdom. The magnificent pink lotus represents Lord Buddha and his teachings by itself.
Lotus as a Sun-The Buddhist mantra "Om mani padme hum" is said to be very powerful and occult with relating to a spiritual truth in its words. This mantra refers to the "jewel in the lotus". This mantra clearly states that "I am in You and You are in me," expressing the unity and brotherhood of all beings, as well as their inner divine potential. The spiritual teachings of ancient Egypt literature shows lotus as a sun and thus creation and rebirth. Because of the fact that during night the lotus flower closes all its petals and goes underwater and only next morning after the sunlight comes out the lotus also rises up and opens the petals at dawn, lotus is believed to be given birth by the sun. There are also mentions and pictures of lotus in the iconography of the Greek and Roman Christian Churches, where the Archangel Gabriel is portrayed holding a spray of water lilies in every picture of the Annunciation when he appears to the mother of Jesus.
The Lotus in different cultures
-The art and architecture of Egypt predominantly in the temples depict lot about the lotus where one particular myth associates lotus with the newborn sun god rising out of a floating lotus. Apart from the religious significance the blue lotus according to the Egyptians is said to be valued for its rich perfume and narcotic power to produce heightened awareness and repose. The native Americans considered the seeds of the Lotus as a sacred bean which was once an important diet of the people there. Thus according to them the flower symbolized the sun's power to transform energy into food. The lotus is also highly esteemed by Taoists. Among the Eight Immortals of Taoism is Ho Hsien Ku, her symbol the open lotus blossom, signifying openness and wisdom. The Chinese poets compare the stalk of the lotus to that of friends and family members for the stalk of the flower can be bent but cannot be broken so easily.