Meaning of the Lotus Flower
Lotus and its Symbolism
What is so mysterious and magical about the lotus flower?
Is it the beauty of the flower itself and how it grows in mud and water?
Is it the story and symbolism attributed to the lotus?
I don’t have answers to these questions.
I do have a love of creating drawings, painting and images of this historical blossom. It often appears in my artwork.
Here it is as the base of a totem animal painting I am working on. It’s been at this stage for a while. I haven’t made enough time for painting lately. It’s in the messy middle stage, the lotus is definitely hiding in the mud at the moment.
I consider the lotus flower to be a powerful symbol for what is happening today with Covid-19. I trust that there will be sunlight, renewal and open doors again. But right now, our lives are in waiting, we are in hiding as we shelter in place, hopeful, prayerful and believing that times will change.
I found this brief description from Binghamton University to be a good snapshot:
The Symbolic Meaning of the Lotus Flower
The Lotus Flower grows in the deep mud, far away from the sun. But, sooner or later, the Lotus reaches the light becoming the most beautiful flower ever. The Lotus flower is regarded in many different cultures, especially in eastern religions, as a symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth. Its characteristics are a perfect analogy for the human condition: even when its roots are in the dirtiest waters, the Lotus produces the most beautiful flower.
The Meaning the Lotus Flower in Buddhism
According to Buddhism, every person has the potential to become perfect and enlightened, and it is just a matter of time until each human reaches the light. Buddhists believe that it’s necessary to be reborn thousands of times, polishing one’s being through many incarnations, until one reaches nirvana – the highest state of consciousness that humans can access. So, the Buddha is sometimes depicted sitting on a Lotus flower, symbolizing the one who overcame the pain of that prevails in the material world and became enlightened, just like the Lotus flower which starts to grow in the dirty and muddy water but manages to surpass the water and produce a perfect flower. Many Hindu gods are depicted sitting or standing on a Lotus flower for the same reason.
In my painting, three of my favorite animals stand tall and strong atop the Lotus flower. There is a deeper story to this painting and I am waiting for it to unfold.
Do you have a favorite flower or a favorite symbol that often shows up in your life or work?
**Lotus Flower Photo by Marina Logvin on Unsplash
I think of the lotus flower as two hands cupped together with the fingers up as if holding a bowl up to the sky. To me, it is a symbol of being uplifted.
That is a beautiful Doug, what a great way to look at it. Definitely a symbol of upliftment!
The image of the lotus flower that grows even in the most polluted, inhospitable place is very encouraging during this time when we are all shut in for fear of the pandemic.
Thank you Alice, it is isn’t it!
I never know that about the lotus flower! Imagine such a beautiful flower growing in mud. Your painting is as beautiful as the flower. I love all flowers but my favorite is a rose. My mom loved roses and everytime I go to our garden and see a beautiful bloom I know my mom is watching over and guiding me from above.
I have the same fond memory of roses and my grandmother Martha!
Images like this uplift no matter how many times we see them, and the various states in your creations let us see that we, too, are in “various states.” Thank you!
Thank you for the Kathleen! I agree about seeing ourselves in various states, especially right now.