“May I live like the lotus, at ease in muddy water”
It is not a coïncidence that I chose the lotus flower for my logo, I have always been fascinated by it. Not just because of its beauty, but mainly because of the deeper symbolism behind it. But what exactly is the meaning of the lotus flower?
History of the lotus flower
The influence of the lotus flowes reaches far, through time as well as around the world. The symbolism of the lotus flower was already recognised by the Old Egyptians. They used the lotus flower to symbolise rebirth, but also to depict numbers. One lotus flower stood for 1000, two lotus flowers for 2000 and so on.
The symbolic meaning of the lotus flower has also taken its place in Hinduism and Buddhism. Where the flower symbolises prosperity in Hinduism, in Buddhism is stands for purity and enlightment. In Buddhism the story goes that the Buddha is born out of a lotus flower.
How the lotus flower grows and blooms
“No mud, no lotus”
The meaning of the lotus flower is closely tied to the way it grows and blooms. The lotus flower is the only plant to fruit and flower simultaneously. It grows from the mud at the bottom of ponds, raises above the water, has 15 or more oval, spreading petals and a flat seedcase at its centre. The stems of the lotus flower can be 5,5 m long and they stop growing as soon as they reach the surface of the water. Once at the surface, the lotus leaves start growing and the flower starts blooming. The flowers can become 25 cm in diameter and the leaves can grow up to 60 cm.
But the real magic happens at night when all the lotus flowers close and sink under the water. Then as day awakens, at dawn, they rise and bloom again.
Meaning of the lotus flower
In our modern society the lotus flower mainly stands for purity. This has to do with the hydrophobic quality of the flower. Hydrophobic means ‘water-repellent’ and refers to the water-repellent quality of the flower petals.
When it finally opens it flower, it can bloom almost a year long. Therefore it is sometimes seen as a symbol for life.
When the seeds are ripe, the flower bows to drops the seeds in the water. The seeds nestle in the bottom of the water, after which a new flower will make its way to the surface. This cycle stands symbol for inner growth and the path to enlightment.
As soon as the lotus flower reaches above water, it is united with the four elements. It was already connected with water and earth, but now it will also connect with air and fire (the sun). An ultimate connection arises, unity and balance with nature.
The lotus flower and her colors
The lotus flower comes in different color. Each color is associated with its own specific meaning.
White lotus flower
The white lotus flower symbolises peace, purity, perfectness. Although ‘perfect‘ is an illusion, it is often a symbol for striving towards a specific goal.
Pink lotus flower
A representation of the Buddha himself, the pink lotus represents the history and legends of the Buddha. The pink lotus flower stands for human growth and contact with the soul.
Red lotus flower
The red lotus flower is associated with love and passion, but also with growth, loyalty and friendship.
This color symbolizes emotional attachments of the heart. It represents love, compassion, passion and other heart-centered emotions. It is usually depicted with its petals open to represent the heart being open and filled with love.
Purple lotus flower
This is the color that represents mysticism and spirituality. It is shown in several ways such as one stem or three stems. Its petals are shown both opened and closed. It is sometimes a bud and sometimes fully bloomed. All of these differences represent the different mystical and spiritual journeys taken on the path to enlightenment.
Blue lotus flower
As a representation of wisdom and common sense, the blue lotus flower is often seen as only partially open. It symbolizes knowledge, learning and intelligence. The blue lotus flower is never fully opened, and its center is not seen. This represents the continual need to gain wisdom, learn and expand the mind in order to reach enlightenment.
The lotus flower and the 7 chakra’s
The lotus flower is also extremely symbolic in regards to a person’s chakra system. These seven major energy centers located within a person’s body are represented by a lotus flower, each with a specific number of lotus petals for each individual chakra.
The lotus flower was chosen long ago to symbolize the chakras because of the way it rises through the most difficult circumstances to become a thing of pure and unadulterated beauty. The lotus flower is rooted at the base of our spine at the root chakra. It grows up through the spine to its crowning glory at the seventh chakra – the 1,000-petaled lotus flower which represents the expansion of our ever growing soul. The more lotus petals a chakra contains, the higher the vibration or frequency of that particular chakra.
- Chakra One (Root): 4 petals
- Chakra Two (Sacral): 6 petals
- Chakra Three (Solar Plexus): 10 petals
- Chakra Four (Heart): 12 petals
- Chakra Five (Throat): 16 petals
- Chakra Six (Third Eye): 96 petals
- Chakra Seven (Crown): 972 petals (also known as “the thousand-petaled lotus”)
When each chakra becomes activated, each lotus petal of the chakra can be thought of as opening and “blooming” along with a person’s energy.
Why I chose the lotus flower for my YogaThings logo
For me personally, the fact that such a beautiful flower grows out of the mud, has always spoken to me. Sometimes we have to go through hard things in life, but we always learn from it and we always become a better person for it. That is why I always knew that I wanted to have the lotus flower as my logo.
And you? Does the lotus flower has a special meaning to you too? If so, please share!