Lotus Flower Meaning, Symbolism

Meaning of Lotus Flower

Have you ever heard of Padma?

It is the Hindu name for the iconic Lotus Flower, which plays an important symbolic role in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism.

Lotus is one of the most beautiful flowers, which can only grow only in the mud and whose petals open one by one.

While the roots of the lotus grow in the mud, the flower itself blossoms and rises above the water.

Buddhists see it as a beautiful metaphor for our life:

Mud represents the suffering and obstacles of life, and the lotus flower symbolizes our journey of overcoming these obstacles.
You can interpret it as a progression from a state of vexation to the state of purity.

We will all face similar challenges in life: sadness, illness, loneliness, disappointment, failure and death.
Through these experiences we gain more wisdom, compassion, kindness and learn how to rise above the mud of the environment.

We should all strive to become better version of ourselves as we grow and overcome obstacles in life one by one – just like the lotus flowers opens each petal one by one.

So what is the deeper meaning of this metaphor and where did the Lotus Flower originate? 

This is what we shall explore in this article, and go on to understand its great importance in our life.

Boy holding Lotus Flower on the river

Lotus Sutra

One of the most important Buddhist scriptures is called the Lotus Sutra.

‘The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law’ (Saddharma-pundarika-sutra) was originally written in Sanskrit (sacred language of India) and translated into many languages.

Lotus Sutra consists of 28 chapters and brings to light one of the paramount and deepest teachings of the Buddha: the lotus flower, which grows out of the mud cannot be tainted by it. Without the mud, there can be no lotus.

In other words, our suffering (the ‘mud of life’) and happiness (manifestation of beautiful lotus flower) are not separate.

Ultimate goal of person who decides to follow Buddha’s teachings in this sutra is to keep the mind pure and awake, regardless of difficulties and hardships of life.

What is ‘The Threefold Lotus Sutra’?

Lotus Sutra is The Main Sutra which comes along with 2 other sutras: The Opening Sutra and The Closing Sutra.

Entire Lotus Sutra Trilogy consists of the following scriptures:

  • The Opening Sutra: The Sutra of Innumerable Teachings (3 chapters)
  • The Main Sutra: The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law (28 chapters)
  • The Closing Sutra: The Sutra of Beholding the Practices if the Bodhisattva Samantahhadra (1 chapter)

Lotus Flower Sutra Buddha Quote

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