December 28, 2010 Comments Off on flowers
The lotus (Sanskrit & Tibetan padma) [Lotus (padma) – mental & spiritual purity] is one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols & one of the most poignant representations of Buddhist teaching. The roots of a lotus are in the mud, the stem grows up through the water, & the heavily scented flower lies pristinely above the water, basking in the sunlight. This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, & into the bright sunshine of enlightenment.
Though there are other water plants that bloom above the water, it is only the lotus which, owing to the strength of its stem, regularly rises eight to twelve inches above the surface.
According to the Lalitavistara, “the spirit of the best of men is spotless, like the lotus in the muddy water which does not adhere to it.” Also, “In esoteric Buddhism, the heart of the beings is like an unopened lotus: when the virtues of the Buddha develop therein, the lotus blossoms; that is why the Buddha sits on a lotus bloom.”
The lotus is one of Buddhism’s best recognized motifs & appears in all kinds of Buddhist art across all Buddhist cultures. The lotus does not grow in Tibet & so Tibetan art has only stylized versions of it, yet it appears frequently with Tibetan deities & among the Eight Auspicious Symbols.
Every important Buddhist deity is associated in some manner with the lotus, either being seated upon a lotus in full bloom or holding one in their hands. In some images of standing Buddhas, each foot rests on a separate lotus.
The color of the lotus has an important bearing on the symbology associated with it: White Lotus This represents the state of spiritual perfection and total mental purity (bodhi). It is associated with the White Tara deity & proclaims her perfect nature, a quality which is reinforced by the color of her body. Pink Lotus This the supreme lotus, generally reserved for the highest deity. Thus naturally it is associated with the Great Buddha himself. Red Lotus This signifies the original nature & purity of the heart (hrdya). It is the lotus of love, compassion, passion & all other qualities of the heart. It is the flower of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. Blue Lotus This is a symbol of the victory of the spirit over the senses, & signifies the wisdom of knowledge. Not surprisingly, it is the preferred flower of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom. tags: flower, lotus, Buddhism
Lotus Flower in Hinduism – Significance and Symbolism Lotus Flower is one of the most popular symbols in Hindu religion. It is believed that Lord Brahma emerged from the navel of Lord Vishnu sitting on a lotus. Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of learning, is shown sitting on a lotus. Lotus flower is a symbol of eternity, plenty and good fortune and Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, is usually depicted with a lotus flower.
HINDUISM Tags: flower, lotus, Hinduism image source
ANCIENT EGYPT: The lotus is used as a metaphor or symbol in many religious traditions.
To the ancient Egyptians, a lotus bud or sesen was a symbol of rebirth, . It closes in the evening and falls to the water, but in the morning it opens and is lifted above the surface. Its behaviour emulates that of the sun. Because of this rising and setting, it is also a symbol of the sun and creation.