The Lotus Flower; a powerful spiritual symbol within the realm of yoga, viewed much like a phoenix who goes against all reason to rise from the ashes; so too does the Lotus flower grow against adversity to become a beauty to behold. Also known in Sanskrit as Kamala, its roots run deep in mud at the bottom of ponds and streams.
The symbolism of The Flower
In Buddhism, the first meaning is that of fortune, which literally comes from darkness into enlightenment. The second meaning relates to the first, that of purification, where the spirit is purified as we too once came from murkiness much like the flower. The third meaning refers to faithfulness. You must be faithful if you wish to rise from the murkiness.
In Buddhism, the white flower relates to the purity of the mind and the spirit. When a lotus flower is red, it refers to love and compassion, for ourselves and for others. A blue flower relates directly to common sense, which uses knowledge and reason to create enlightenment. Find a pink flower and you will see the history of Buddha and his historical legends. Finally, purple describes mysticism as well as spirituality. Lastly, gold means the achievement of enlightenment.
We, as humans, are born into a world where there is constant suffering. Although a negative aspect, it is one that is necessary and serves a purpose. Not only does it make us stronger, but it also teaches us to resist evil temptations and strive to be good. As we eliminate evil thoughts and deeds, we break free from the muddy confines which trap us and we are able to become one with Buddha. The mud helps us see what is wrong and choose the path to enlightenment.
The Stages of Growth
There are different stages of growth within the lifespan of a lotus flower, each relating to a different stage of enlightenment within the individual. If the flower is closed, this represents a time where the follower has not yet discovered Buddha or enlightenment. However, if the flower is completely open, then so too is the person who has found enlightenment.
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Literally and figuratively, this flower helps showcase the rebirth within us. In the latter sense, it can be the rebirth of ideas, a finding of Buddha, the light that comes after a dark day, or the ability to understand and see past wrongs within ourselves. In the former sense, it demonstrates a rebirth or a reincarnation, that which is seen in the Buddhist belief system. When a soul leaves our present world, it is reborn into another being in the future.
The lotus flower can survive thousands of years and can even revive itself after years of dormancy. It teaches us not to give up, to attain the highest and best part of ourselves, and that we too can overcome our darkest hours. Its delicate nature yet incredible strength is something we can all inspire to achieve at the worst and best times of our lives.