The symbolism of the LOTUS

There is something sacred and evolutionary about the lotus flower since the beginning of time.  The elevation with the lightness of the flower above the water symbolises openness and fulfilment in the face of light, purity and self-fulfilment.

During the night the petals close and they open again at dawn.

The Lotus flower has its roots in the depths of the water and blooms, in complete transparency, on the surface of the water. It expresses the relationship between darkness and light, the invisible and the visible, the inner and the outer; it is a flower associated with immortals and thus with human purity and virtue.

The imagery around the lotus is strong. The throne of the deities is nothing other than a blossoming lotus flower, an ode to the blossoming of the soul: thus the symbolism associated with it is also revealed through the purity of the body, prosperity, fertility, longevity and even the eternity of life due to the very long germinative period of lotus seeds. Having drawn the resources for its blossoming from the mud of suffering, the lotus blooms above the water like karma leading to enlightenment.

The lotus blooms only during the day. At night, the flower returns to its shell and closes. The lotus can survive for thousands of years. It can also lie dormant for many years before being reborn.

The significance of the lotus flower itself

  • The evolution of existence: the fact that the lotus produces its seeds and flowers simultaneously makes it a strong symbol. It represents the ten states of the Buddha, which also often manifest instantaneously. This means that human spiritual evolution is not linear.
  • Purity: The purity of the lotus is evoked by the fact that it is born in dirty and muddy environments, but the flower remains immaculate. Its colours do not fade. For Buddhists, the same applies for spiritual awakening. Indeed, this means that like the flower, we can remain pure (in mind and spirit) even if we live in a dirty and polluted environment.
  • Awakening: the purity of the lotus also leads us to spiritual awakening. This means that even if you start from rather unfavourable conditions, you will always have the opportunity to rise, to develop beyond your initial condition. It means that humans should not allow themselves to be overwhelmed by negative instincts and impulses that lead to suffering. One should try to look beyond what causes suffering and try to make the best of it.
  • Renewal: It also signifies renewal. Each evening the flower closes in its shell to bloom again the next day. It sheds its petals to make new ones bloom. Like the flower, when the evening comes, we also have to get rid of all our worries and our negative energies accumulated over the day. The following day we wake up with renewed energy.

In absolute terms we all have the God’s power within us and everything has always been within us. However, at this present time, to remain in full attention and intention despite the constant aggressions linked in particular to radiation, has become a feat of a great master.


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Photographies: Robin Nyfeler | paodesign