Gardening: The Lotus

The Lotus

The Lotus
The Lotus

The Indians hold the red lotus as a sacred symbol for their religion. Hindus associate the lotus with the

mythology of creation, and the Gods Vishnu, Brahma, and Lakshmi. It is also linked to the idea of divine beauty (for example Sri Krishna is called the 'lotus-eyed-one'), and the opening of it's petals is linked to the expansion of the soul. It occurs in often in Puranic, and Vedic literature:

'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.' Bhagavad Gita 5.10

Buddhism evolved as a reaction to Hinduism, and Buddhists have used the symbolic meaning of the lotus in different, yet similar ways to their Hindu contemporaries. In Buddhism, the lotus represents purity of body, speech and mind, and because it floats on the surface of water, while it's roots are in the ground, this is said to symbolize an escape from muddy desire and attachment. For more about Buddhism, check here.

the lotus position (wikipedia)

The Lotus position, which is what many a would-be Orientalist associates with the 'mystical east', is also linked to these symbolic meanings explored so far. The lotus posture (or Padmasanam) is said to resemble a lotus, and encourage proper breathing and physical stability. It is used in the Hindu Yoga tradition, Zen, and other meditative disciplines. Religious figures such as Shiva (from Hinduism), and Buddha (the founder of Buddhism) are often seen in this ascetic posture.

a Lotus racing car (wikipedia)

And in the West, we have adopted the beauty of the lotus in to a whole range of things. Lotus Cars is a British racing and sports car manufacturer. Dark Lotus, is a disturbing band from the Psychopathic Records label supergroup, which includes bands like Insane Clown Posse, Twiztid, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, and AnyBody Killa. Lotus software is a software company in Massachusetts. Tesco lotus is a Thai chain store.....the list goes on.

So we can see the symbolism is rich, and varied, in the humble lotus.

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