Last updated on May 21st, 2023 at 06:42 pm
The scientific name of the lotus flower is Nelumbo nucifera. The precursor of the word “Lotus” is the Greek word “lotos” of Semitic origin. It was first used in the 15th century when several plants and trees followed this name. It also mentions in Greek mythology that the “lotophagi” are a group of lotus eaters who were using the plant as a narcotic to induce forgetfulness.
The lotus flower has meanings at different points in history—a genus consisting of upright leguminous herbs, a clover used as horse food, a bean, or a jujube.
What does the Lotus flower symbolize?
Different civilizations and religions have incidentally had one common feature in their myriad versions of interpreting the flower and weaving stories or traditions around it. They have always associated lotus with purity. Sometimes, certain characteristics of its anatomy or growth habit were used as an ideal model for spiritual seekers to learn from.
For example, we can emulate the lotus stem concerning its ability to be flexible without breaking or how it manages to bloom in the filthiest of waters. The latter example symbolizes a ‘constant itch for purification,’ which Buddhism prescribes as the way to reach nirvana, indicated in the “successful blooming” of a lotus.
Thousands of Hindu devotees throng to temples with lotuses as offerings to deities. The Egyptians were familiar with the two different colors of the lotus, and they often drew it in their paintings. Interestingly, the flower, when drawn in combination with papyrus flowers, will represent the integration of Egypt. This fact is based on the premise that both flowers are associated with different parts of the country and, when painted together, uphold their unity.
All in all, the lotus flower’s symbolic meanings are:
Meaning of Lotus flower colors
Buddhists call the white lotus the “Womb of the World.” For the Hindus, the white lotus flower means fertility. It’s a favorite of the Hindu goddess Saraswati—the preserver of wisdom. The Hindu god Brahma contemplates while sitting on his white lotus seat, and Vishnu has the flower arising right from his navel.
According to Buddhist principles, each petal of a white lotus coincides with one of the paths among the Noble Eightfold paths of Good Law. An eight-petaled white lotus will perfectly align with the goal of spiritual enlightenment—a state of Bodhi, which is linked to a white lotus.
White pacifies, so the zen Buddha is always depicted sitting in calm meditation on a white lotus. In Ancient Egypt, white lotus means strength and belief in the incredible power of creation.
The central core of a fully opened white lotus is the pinnacle of purity. The unopened bud signifies a folded soul that can unfold and open itself to the holy truth. When it does so, it resembles an open white lotus flower. Like it, this soul, too, has reached the end of its cleansing process and found meaning. It is pure now.
The meaning of the blue lotus flower is rebirth. In his cosmic chant, Paramahansa Yogananda addresses the Divine Mother through her blue lotus feet, attributing her origin to the Kutasha Intelligence, which links with the color blue.
The flower prevails in a space where the spirit has achieved mastery over the senses. Unlike the idealization of the open-core symbolism of the white lotus, the blue lotus is often drawn as a half-open flower. It emphasizes that as beautiful as the destination might seem, the path has a charm of its own. Maybe that is why the Chinese call it “The Rising Soul.”
For the Egyptians, no plant is more sacred than the blue lotus of the Nile. They call it by various names—Blue Water Lily or Sacred Narcotic Lily of the Nile.
Followers of Buddha connect it with qualities like intelligence and wisdom. It denotes the three jewels of Buddhism.
The pink lotus is the true flower of Buddha. These flowers were believed to materialize on every surface Buddha would put his foot on. The pink lotus flower means complete devotion to Buddha. It can also indicate a sense of nurture or love between individuals.
Traits like passion, affection, and tenderness are amalgamated in this flower. It can also be said that the pink lotus represents almost all the generic symbolism seen in the white lotus, but with more intensification.
This flower shade is again subdivided into a transitional range of tones—soft to bright to vibrant. In China, the pink lotus symbolizes the perpetuation of creativity in the unlikeliest of places, while Hindu mythology mentions the flower being dearest to goddess Laxmi—the guardian of wealth and prosperity. This flower had a comparatively late entry into the Egyptian world and wasn’t as popular as its counterparts.
The purple lotus flower means the Eightfold path. It’s associated with royalty and reverence. It rouses a sense of mysticism but has sadly not aroused as much interest as the other color variants.
When we exchange red lotuses, it usually means that the other person is someone we want to keep close to our hearts. This flower compounds passion and love, their intensity more towards the end. It is an amplified version of all the qualities that a pink rose has.
By any means, this flower forms the strongest connection with the beautiful world of emotions.
If the white lotus stands for hope, the black one shuts out every possibility. The flower could have any meaning—from death to darkness, and its meanings carry a common theme of strong impact.
It is sometimes connected with power too. It helps us understand the role of the dark in a person’s life in pursuit of light. As much as its existence might be considered a bane, it’s necessary to help build mental strength.
Interesting facts about the Lotus flower
- It is an extant species. It propagates by vegetative means through stolons which are also harvested for food. Dried starch-rich rhizomes are ground to make flour. It has black seeds used to make moon cake and wine with healing properties. The petals are used for garnish. The flowering plant presents a very sustainable example of food resource utilization in the best way possible. Japan and China are their biggest consumers.
- It is extremely popular among Asian countries as a food source—interesting examples include seed noodles, embryo/flower/leaf tea, stem salad, and rhizome pickles.
- Its medicinal properties are well documented—it treats diarrhea, diabetes, inflammation, and hematuria. With a high albumin and globulin content, it also shows tremendous potential as a nutraceutical.
- It’s a belief among Egyptians that humans transform into the lotus flower as soon as they die – this bit of information is also present in the “Book of the Dead.” They even bury their dead with lotuses.
- Lotus is the National flower of India and Vietnam. The Vietnamese make soup out of it. They consume it as a vegetable too. Even the leaves come in handy. When wrapped around rice, they impart an aroma to it. The ‘kamal kakdi sabzi’ is famous in North India, particularly Kashmir. It’s made of lotus stems.
- In India, a shrine of worship called The Lotus Temple opens its doors to people of all faiths and religions. It is architecturally designed to look like a half-bloomed lotus flower and is located in the capital city of New Delhi.
- The lotus plants can germinate after centuries of drought. The climatic resilience of their propagation structures is unparalleled. It is a symbol of longevity.
- A lotus can have coverage as wide as 10 feet.
- It mimics homeothermic beings in their ability to regulate their temperature.
- The flower stays open all day long but closes by night.
- Even though it is consumed in several ways, it must always be cooked long enough to kill all the parasitic and fungal organisms that frequently find refuge in its parts.
- The Egyptian white lotus is not a member of the lotus genus. Rather, it belongs to the family of water lilies.
- A poem written by Homer in his work “The Odyssey” tells a tale of how Ulysses and his soldiers usurped the island of the lotus eaters.
- Another fascinating use is the creation of lotus silk from plant fibers.
- The flower is popular among tattooists as it equates with many good virtues. There is a company named after it too. The padmasana, aka lotus position in yoga, is also inspired by this flower.
- The canopied structure of the floating leaf blocks a steady supply of sunlight to microbes underwater and prevents their proliferation which, if unchecked, will lead to eutrophication.
- The pods of lotus seeds are used in flower arrangements.
- Egyptians think that the lotus has given birth to the sun. Some other legends talk about a love affair between the sun god Ra and the flower.
- The scent of the flower resembles that of myrrh.
- There are three kinds of lotus – rhizome lotus, seed lotus, and flower lotus.
- It is also grown as a fundamental part of the food chain in aquaculture, where various marine organisms are reared in its presence.
How to grow Lotus
It is better to grow lotus from tubers. The seed-sown plants don’t flower soon.
- Take the tuber and place it in a bowl of water. Now place the bowl in a warm and sunny place that doesn’t get direct sun. Lotus plants need six hours of sunlight per day.
- Remember to change the water every 4 – 7 days.
- When the tuber germinates, place it on a pot with a 3:2 clay: sand potting mix, leaving a 1-4″ distance between the pot edge and soil level.
- Remember not to bury the tuber completely. Just put enough sand on it to prevent it from floating up when you put it in the pond.
- Place the pot in the pond and wait. Fertilize the plants in summer.
How to take care of Lotus flowers
- Allow your lotus plants to obtain 8 hours of sunlight each day to grow.
- Before you sow lotus seeds or tubers in the soil, test the ph and type of the soil.
- Utilize pond tablets designed specifically for aquatic plants to fertilize your lotus plants.
- Cut the decomposing stems to the ground using gardening implements like cutters, shears, and blades.
- If you want your lotus flowers to blossom quickly indoors, keep the water at a temperature of about 70F.
- Water often keeps the soil moist but only soggy once the seed sprouts.
- When lotus plants are put in the ground during their growing season, keep pets (dogs and cats) away since they can prevent the blooming of lovely blooms.
The best time to gift someone an Lotus flowers
Not all countries have olive trees, so if one wants to put forward a gesture of reconciliation, a white lotus can be a great alternative to an olive branch.
Lovers in love can look for more exotic flowers to give as a gift to each other when they get bored with red roses. Red lotuses come in handy.
Sometimes it pains us to see the suffering that our loved ones go through. A morning greeting accompanied by white lotuses soothes the nerves and instills a feeling of calm in the troubled soul.
Blue lotuses are an ideal present for an individual or organization working hard for a cause. It will help them appreciate the process’s relevance to reaching the end goal.
A lot of flower enthusiasts lust after rare varieties of flowers. Black or purple lotuses can be the best choice when considering their gift options.
Pink lotuses will contrast well with white ones. They can be weaved together in bouquets and be presented to anyone—they are universally likable.
Mystics will love a purple lotus, Spirituals will fawn over a white one, and children will be equally ecstatic about all of them.
The lotus is associated with only positive symbolism that promotes moral behavior and seeks out a higher purpose in life.
By having lotuses in your pond, you can give it an exotic look and draw purity, wealth, spirituality, and beauty. Come spring; this might make a nice addition to your pond.
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