Last updated on May 22nd, 2023 at 03:48 pm

If you’re a Buddhist, you’re probably familiar with the symbol of the unalome lotus flower. If you practice yoga, you’re probably already familiar with it because someone in the class has the unalome flower tattooed on them.

A hundred variations of the symbol were most likely already etched into your mind. Nowadays, everyone wants it tattooed on them as the symbol has grown in popularity among tattoo enthusiasts with each passing day.

It is still considered one of the most sacred flowers today. Its significance in symbolism dates back to pre-Greek civilization.

The unalome, also known as only ‘unalome,’ is a Hindu and Buddhist symbol appearing in their scriptures and artwork. It is thought to have originated in ancient India, though how and when is unknown.

What does the Unalome Lotus flower symbolize?

The unalome lotus flower meaning stands for wisdom and the path to perfection. It is a graphic representation of Shiva’s third eye.

The Spiral represents the beginning of the path when there is no knowledge or clear direction, and one must learn through mistakes. It eventually becomes a straight line, leading to enlightenment, often depicted as a point, a circle (sun), or a lotus. The lotus flower represents triumphing over adversity and integrating a sense of unalome.

The unalome lotus flower is associated with inner strength, will, courage, purpose, longevity, optimism, purity, enlightenment, and rebirth. It is associated with luck, fortune, and prosperity in some cultures and traditions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism. 

This is why the lotus flower is commonly found in hospital beds, as they represent optimism and recovery. Also, friends who are currently in a downward spiral and a faraway loved one to symbolize future reunions are given these flowers.

To become mature, wise, and enlightened in Buddhism, a person must endure many trials and sufferings. They believe in reincarnation as well, not just in this lifetime.

Buddhists believe that to achieve nirvana, the ultimate state of enlightenment, one must go through many cycles of death and rebirth (called samsara), during which they will suffer greatly. Only then will they be able to put out “the three fires” of greed, aversion, and ignorance and become enlightened.

Meaning of the Unalome Lotus flower colors

Color varies

In Buddhism, the unalome lotus flower meaning stands for a person who must take to achieve mental clarity and enlightenment, which runs parallel to this core tenet of the faith. At the bottom of the symbol is a spiral. This spiral represents the beginning of one‘s path to enlightenment. Any fears, doubts, or weaknesses that may exist at this time.

The spiral, on the other hand, has a secondary meaning. It also represents our struggle as humans to let go of our earthly desires and possessions.

Curves, loops, zigzags, or endless knots follow the spiral before the line finally uncoils. These loops, curves, and zig zags represent the ups and downs, twists and turns, and obstacles that a person’s life will face before finally reaching enlightenment.

Then there are the dots at the unalome‘s conclusion. The meaning of the dots can be interpreted in a variety of ways. While some sources believe the dots represent the end of one’s journey to enlightenment, that is, finally achieving enlightenment and clarity, others believe the dots represent a person’s death, which could also be thought of as ‘the end of one’s journey’ in a literal sense.

Interesting facts about the Unalome Lotus flowers

  • The symbol can be male or female, depending on its placement. If the unalome’s base (the spiral bottom) faces right and outwards, it is considered masculine in Buddhist culture. If the spiral bottom of the Unalome faces left and inwards, it’s considered feminine.
  • Most of the image’s lines represent your life’s path as you progress toward enlightenment. There are no straight lines in life. It is full of twists and turns, lessons to be learned, and challenges to overcome. Our lives sometimes go back because we must retrace our steps to grow wiser.
  • As we gain more awareness, our consciousness expands, and the loops that make up the unalome lines tighten toward the top.

Best time to gift Unalome Lotus flowers

The unalome lotus flower’s meaning and symbol make it an excellent gift. Flowers have always been an excellent option when we think of gifts. Someone going through a difficult time in their life’s journey is a reminder that everyone’s path is different. 

We can all achieve enlightenment or a desired goal with effort and intention. A traveler about to embark on a journey is a metaphor for pursuing one‘s goals and objectives. A graduate to remind them of their unique path and to encourage them to keep moving forward toward their objectives. 

It’s also a reminder that your path may appear tangled at times. Sometimes we need to back up, but that’s okay because it’s your journey.


Depending on which way the spirals of the image face, the unalome lotus flower can represent both female and male energies.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!