The pink lotus flower that is considered to be the supreme lotus; the true locus of the Buddha. Lotus, rising and blooming above the murky water and visited by a bee. Photographed at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, DC.
Lotuses are found in white and pink colors in general and they grow in shallow and murky waters. Lotus flowers enjoy warm sunlight and are intolerant to cold weather. The floating leaves and Lotus flowers have long stems, which contain air spaces to maintain the buoyancy. The Lotus is native to Asia and flourishes in a wide range of climates from India to China.
The Lotus plant is an aquatic perennial, native to southern Asia and Australia and most commonly cultivated in water gardens. The plant has its roots firmly in the mud and sends out long stems to which their leaves are attached. The leaves are sometimes, and Lotus flowers always, raised above the water surface. The beautiful and fragrant Lotus flower opens in the morning and petals fall in the afternoon.
In ancient Egypt there were two main types of lotus that grew, the white, and the blue (scientifically a waterlily, but symbolically a lotus) The lotus is known to be associated with rebirth. This is a consequence of it supposedly retracting into the water at the night, and emerging a fresh in the Sun the next day. The Egyptians therefore associated the lotus flower with the sun, which also disappeared in the night, only to re-emerge in the morning so the lotus came to symbolize the Sun and the creation. In many hieroglyphics works the lotus is depicted as emerging from Nun (the primordial water) bearing the Sun God.
As something that is associated with rebirth, it is no surprise that the lotus flower is also associated with death, and the famous Egyptian book of the dead is known to include spells that are able to transform a person into a lotus, thus allowing for resurrection.
In Buddhism the lotus is known to be associated with purity, spiritual awakening and faithfulness. The flower is considered pure as it is able to emerge from murky waters in the morning and be perfectly clean. Therefore in common with Egyptian mythology the lotus is seen as a sign of rebirth, but additionally it is associated with purity. The breaking of the surface every morning is also suggestive of desire, this leads to it being associated with spiritual enlightenment.
The white lotus, in Buddhism, is symbolizes Bodhi (being awakened), and represents a state of mental purity, and that of spiritual perfection; it is also associated with the pacification of one's nature. This lotus is considered to be the womb of the world.
Perhaps one of the strongest associations of the lotus flower with religion is that that is observed in Hinduism. In this religion the lotus flower meaning is associated with beauty, fertility, prosperity, spirituality, and eternity.
The most common lotus form seen in Hinduism is the white lotus flower.
Many of the gods and goddesses of Hinduism are linked to the flower, for example the goddess of prosperity, Laxmi, is usually depicted as being seated atop a fully opened lotus flower. Likewise Brahma, the god of creation is depicted as emerging from a lotus that crawls from the Naval of the sustainer Lord Vishnu.
As a lotus is able to emerge from Muddy Waters un-spoilt and pure it is considered to represent a wise and spiritually enlightened quality in a person; it is representative of somebody who carries out their tasks with little concern for any reward and with a full liberation from attachment.
It is very interesting how the open flower and the unopened Lotus bud forms are associated with human traits. The unopened bud is representative of a folded soul that has the ability to unfold and open itself up to the divine truth.
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July 6th, 2014
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