Studying Symbols: Lotus Flower
At Bead World we love our symbols! In addition to being beautiful, they can be a fantastic way to infuse extra meaning and significance into your jewelry designs. One of our most popular symbols is the lotus flower.
The lotus symbolizes purity, beauty, grace, eloquence, and rebirth. It grows in shallow, murky waters, roots in the mud, and then blooms in the sunlight. This juxtaposition of something that has bloomed from the mud and becomes so stunningly beautiful gives the lotus flower inherent symbolism. It’s like a metaphor for persevering through the muck of life and not letting it dull your shine. Confucius even said, “I have a love for the lotus, while growing in mud it still remains unstained.”
While the beautiful meaning of the lotus flower is universal, it has appeared most commonly in ancient Egypt, Buddhism, and Hinduism. It is seen in paintings, artifacts, statues, and more. Ancient Egyptians focused mostly on the physical “rebirth” quality of the lotus and equivocated it to the sun. They noted that it would retract into the water at night and reemerge fresh each day. This led them to believe that lotus flowers may even help resurrect the dead.
Buddhists emphasize the spiritual side of the lotus as a symbol of purity, spiritual enlightenment, and achieving nirvana. The lotus image was adapted in the designing of the chakra symbols. It was fabled that Siddhartha Gautama, the original teacher of Buddhism, left a trail of lotus flowers with his steps.
The lotus flowers’ significance in Hinduism stems from spirituality also, but the specific qualities are slightly different from those in Buddhism. Instead, the focus is placed on the lotus as a symbol of beauty, fertility, prosperity, peace, and eternity. They believe you should strive to be like the open lotus flower and to have a good heart. The lotus is rather important in Hindu culture, often shown with deities in paintings, statues, etc.
So tell us – what’s your favorite quality of the lotus symbol? Stop by Bead World to see all of our beautiful lotus flowers.