Lotus Flower : The meaning behind it.
The lotus flower is an aquatic plant commonly found in ponds and rivers, and is a healing flower with medicinal and spiritual significance. Its cultural importance dates all the way back to Egyptian mythology, where the lotus flower represented reincarnation and was believed to have given birth to the sun. Many find mystical significance in the fact that such a beautiful flower sprouts from mud, and emerges untainted out of murky darkness. It is particularly revered in Eastern spiritual practices like Hinduism and Buddhism, where it plays a central role due to recurring themes of purity and rebirth.
While few clinical studies have been performed on the health properties of the lotus flower, every part of it has been used medicinally for centuries. It’s a common part of the Asian diet, because it’s full of minerals and nutrients like vitamin C and potassium.
Different parts of the plant have different medicinal uses. The root, for example, contains fiber and complex carbohydrates that help lower blood sugar and cholesterol. The seeds can help stop diarrhea, and seeds of red and white lotus flowers in particular can help relieve inflammation. The leaves can be used to treat various bleeding disorders, and are major ingredients in Chinese antioxidant beverages. The rhizome has been used to treat a variety of disorders, such as hemorrhoids, dysentery, and dyspepsia.
The ancient Egyptians viewed the Sacred Lotus as a symbol of rebirth because of its daily cycle. The flower appeared to infinitely renew itself, losing old petals every night and blooming new ones each morning. Such a process lent itself to metaphorical associations with reincarnation and the afterlife. It is a common symbol in the paintings and carvings of Egyptian temples and tombs.
For Buddhists, the Sacred Lotus is a symbol of fortune, and symbolizes strength among adversity—rising out of suffering into full enlightenment and self-awareness. All are born into the muddy, physical world, but they can reach spiritual purification through dedication and faithfulness to the Buddha. In one sense, the growth of the lotus flower represents the process of spiritual rebirth. One has roots in the dark earth, but ascends through struggle and perseverance to float above baser yearnings like attachment and desire. In another sense, the lotus represents reincarnation—a soul leaving its current world and form for rebirth in another.
In Hinduism, the lotus flower symbolizes peace, eternity, purity, rebirth, and divine beauty. It is also a symbol for chakra centers, or centers of consciousness in the body. In some texts, Brahma, the ultimate creator, is believed to have emerged from a lotus, and used different parts of the lotus plant to recreate the universe after a flood. The flower holds significance with other Hindu deities as well. Ganesha, Vishnu, and Saraswati, for example, are often seen standing in white or pink lotus flowers. Lord Krishna, the embodiment of love and joy, is referred to as the Lotus-Eyed One due to his divine beauty.