The Lotus Flower (Padma)

image of a lotus flower (padma)

Symbol of: beauty, lightness, floating, out of reach, stillness, also considered the ‘flower of light’.

The lotus flower is used in different religions and countries as a symbol of something to strive towards whether that is beauty, spiritual attainment, an open heart or overcoming obstacles. In Buddhism, the lotus also represents a heart opening. To the Chinese it represents past, present and future since the plant bears buds, flowers and fruit at the same time.

 “The flowers of both the water lily and the lotus are associated with exceptional beauty but, because they float on the surface of the water, they are not easily within reach. Their roots are in the mud and they grow up through the muddy water. Likewise, the waters of selfishness are muddy and slippery, and the flowering of consciousness in the aspirant sometimes seems impossible to attain.

Not only the flower of the lotus, but the posture itself, appears so glamourous that its achievement seems worthwhile, regardless of its difficulty. It is called the “royal posture” and one who can do Padmasana with ease is fortunate. It is as if one assumes, with the lotus posture, the beauty, the grace, and the divinity of the flower.” [1].

“In the East the lotus represents levels of consciousness, and the fully open flower is associated with the Buddha, as well as with most other important religious figures and deities… For both Hindus and Buddhists the lotus is symbolic of spiritual attainment, the flowering of human potential." [2].

Notes: 1 & 2. Hatha Yoga - The Hidden Language by Swami Sivananada Radha.

More Quotes:

  • "Like the lotus, you experience three primary stages of evolution. The first is marked by ignorance and darkness, when you lie below the dense mud - a closed chysalis - which, by nature of existence, will eventually be pulled upwards by the warmth of the Sun. The second is exemplified by the climb through the clouded waters of your emotional experience, yet still the flower reaches to the Sun, knowing no other destiny ... no other purpose. The third brings full illumination in the splendour of the light. The Lotus flower blossoms, baring its exquisite beauty to all those who are aware, enough to recognise God unfolding.”~ Patricia Cori
  • "As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world.” ~ Buddha (563 - 483 BC)
  • "A pristine waterlily undiscouraged by its surroundings, rises from the depths of a murky pond. It's lotus petals perfume the air, as it flowers and blooms brilliantly, purely, divinely, despite and probably because of its origins. Becoming a spiritual person does not mean you to leave your prior life behind, but instead you integrate, learn, remember, and respect what brought you to this point in the first place." ~ Jacquelene Close Moore
  • “The lotus grows in muddy waters but this flower does not show any trace of it; so we have to live in the world. “ ~ B.K.S. Iyengar.
Article by Martine Ford