Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Power of the Lotus


Lotus flowers are amazing and have strong symbolic ties to many Asian religions especially throughout India. The lotus flower starts as a small flower down at the bottom of a pond in the mud and muck. It slowly grows up towards the waters surface continually moving towards the light. Once it come to the surface of the water the lotus flower begins to blossom and turn into a beautiful flower.

Within Hinduism and Buddhism the lotus flower has become a symbol for awakening to the spiritual reality of life. The meaning varies slightly between the two religions of course but essentially both religious traditions place importance on the lotus flower.

In modern times the meaning of a lotus flower tattoo ties into it's religious symbolism and meaning. Most tattoo enthusiast feel that the a lotus tattoo represent life in general. As the lotus flower grows up from the mud into a object of great beauty people also grow and change into something more beautiful (hopefully!). So the symbol represent the struggle of life at its most basic form.

Lotus flower tattoos are also popular for people who have gone through a hard time and are now coming out of it. Like the flower they have been at the bottom in the muddy, yucky dirty bottom of the pond but have risen above this to display an object of beauty or a life of beauty as the case might be. Thus a lotus flower tattoo or blossom can also represent a hard time in life that has been overcome.


  1. The symbolism of the lotus in ancient Egyptian iconography represents the first of all flowers, generally blossoming on stagnant and murky waters with so sensual and imperious a perfection that it is easy to imagine the lotus as the very firt sign of life upon the undifferentiated vastness of the primeval waters.

    In Chinese erotic literature, where a love of metaphor is wedded to an underlying realism, the word "lotus" is used expressly to denote the vulva. Despite this, Hindu and Buddhist spirituality would read a spiritual and moral meaning into the lotus's spotless color, flowering uncontaminated by the grubby world below. The major writers of Hinduism make the lotus a symbol of spiritual fulfilment from its rising out of darkness to blossom in full sunlight. If the waters are taken as an image of the undifferentiated primeval state, the lotus will stand for mainfestation, which emanates from them and which blooms on their surface like the hatching of the World Egg. Indeed the tight bud is the precise equivalent of the egg, and the hatching of the egg corresponds to the opening of the bud. Both are the realization of the potential contained in the first seed, as well as the potential of every individual whose heart is also a lotus bud.

    The traditional flower has eight petals, just as there are eight major points of the compass in space, the lotus is the symbol of cosmic harmony. It is used in this sense when depicted in many mandalas and yantras.

    Japanese literature reduces the symbol to a more commonplace level by frequently making the lotus, flowering unsullied on the muddy waters, an image of moral standards maintained unsullied and unaffected by a sordid social enviornment, without the need for retreat into solitude.

    It should be noted that Indian iconography distinguishes between the pink lotus, or padma (a symbol of wealth) and the blue lotus, or utpala, an emblem of the Moon and of shiva.

    Definitions from the Dictionary of Symbols from Auntie Coco's bookshelf

  2. The "potential for cosmic harmony," both on the macro and micro level. To believe in the potential of things, situations, or someone is to have hope. As trite as it sounds, "hope" is what allows us to get up each morning and deal with the realism of our respective "sordid social environments," and strive for "fulfillment." Whether that is the internal or the external.

    Virtual hugs & appreciation,