The Lotus Symbol
A symbol is a thing the value or meaning of which is bestowed upon it by those who use it. We say “thing” because a symbol may have any kind of physical form; it may have the form of a material object, a color, a sound, an odor, a motion of an object, a taste.
People of all millennia have attached mythical and religious meaning to flowers. The lotus flower is sacred for the oriental world, especially the Buddhists; however, for the occidental world this flower contains little more than satisfying beauty since the rose is to the occidental world what the lotus is to the Asia and Middle East cultures- a foremost feminine, mystic and sacred symbol, mythologically expressing the mother archetype.
The symbol has its origin in the ancient Egypt as a symbol of life and the sun, immortality and resurrection. The Egyptian thought that at night the sun passed through the lower world and each morning was reborn in the form of a new disk.
The lotus is one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols of the Buddhist philosophy. The roots of the lotus are in the mud, the stem grows up through the water, and the heavily scented flower lies above the water in the sunlight. It symbolizes the progress of the soul from the mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment. It is one of the most recognizable Buddhist motives and it appears in all kinds of Buddhist art often embellishing ceramics, textiles, statues and architecture. Important Buddhist deities are associated with the lotus flower by being seated on a lotus or holding the flower in their hands. The color of the lotus represents different meanings: white lotus symbolizes total mental purity and the state of spiritual perfection; pink lotus is the supreme lotus and is associated with Buddha himself; blue lotus represents wisdom of knowledge and the victory of the spirit over senses; and the red lotus symbolizes purity of the heart, love and passion.
In India the...