Out of all the beautiful flowers that cover the earth there is probably no bloom imbued with more symbolic meaning than our dear friend the lotus. Indeed, when it comes to symbolically meaningful objects the lotus is right up there with the four leaf clover, Pandora’s box, or even the Holy Cross.
I’ve been learning about Lotuses for many years now I was recently delighted to discover that the lotus actually has several different symbolic meanings depending on it’s color (according to ancient Buddhist tradition.) According to the Buddanet website “Lotuses are symbols of purity and ‘spontaneous’ generation and hence symbolize divine birth.” And while this is probably the best known symbolic meaning that is attached to the lotus there are several other meaning that I will outline briefly in the next paragraph.
The white lotus, which is the most common variety symbolizes “Bodhi” which is described as a state of absolute spiritual perfection. Furthermore, the white Lotus’ 8 glorious petals represent the 8 fold path, which is apparently another important aspect of the religious practice of Buddhism.
The pink lotus (my personal fave) is known as the Buddha’s lotus or the “supreme lotus” anong practitioners of Buddhism.
Working towards the darker side of the color spectrum we get to the vibrant red lotus, which logically corresponds heart and is a symbol of love, passion, and compassion.
Next we get to the rare and mysterious purple lotus. I know I said that the pink ones are my favorites, but really its a close call between pink and purple. Its a tough call! I had a bit of a hard time finding much good information on the meaning of the purple lotus, but evidently it is only represented symbolically among lesser known esoteric Buddhist sects.
Rounding out our selection of colorful lotuses we have the glorious blue lotus – a symbol of knowledge and wisdom.
While I enjoy learning all about these traditional symbolic meanings associated with lotuses, and honoring the past, I think that it can also be a good idea to assign your own meanings that are personal and meaningful to you.