Lotus Flower Meaning2018-05-24T20:57:51+00:00

The Lotus Flower: Its Meaning & Symbolism

Lotus Flower

Flowers often pick up religious and spiritual meanings because they rise from dirt and only show their beauty for a brief amount of time each year. The Lotus Flower is no different from the rest of the blooms used for decorating and religious ceremonies. Few flowers are as important to Eastern cultures as the Lotus, and each culture ascribes a slightly different meaning to the flower. Dive into the depths of the Lotus blossom meaning by looking at every aspect of this fascinating plant.

General Meaning of the Lotus Flower

The Lotus is a delicate flower with many layered petals arrayed around a central core. A few different plants from separate families all make up this category, but they all have similar meanings when it comes to symbolism. The plants also look alike and share other characteristics like medicinal and edible value. In general, all the Lotus flowers exude beauty and grace. Most varieties grow in the water of ponds and creeks, lending them an otherworldly quality that makes them mystical enough for religious ceremonies. In the Victorian flower language, the Lotus represented eloquence.

Types of Lotus Blossoms

Flowers commonly called Lotus around the world include:

  • The Egyptian lotus flower: With the scientific name of Nymphaea caerula, the Egyptian blue lotus is actually more accurately described as a water lily. These blooms sport light blue or purple petals and played an important role in spiritual events.
  • The Japanese lotus flower: Also known as the sacred Lotus in China, Bali, and other tropical countries in Asia, this plant’s scientific name is Nelumbo nucifera. It is the flower you see being used as the seat of Buddha and many Hindu deities too.
  • The American lotus flower: A bright yellow Lotus, the Nelumbo lutea, is native to North America and was used as a food crop by many Native American tribes. It is not as well known symbolically as the other varieties, but it is still a beautiful addition to a water feature.
  • Other Lotuses: Most white and red Lotus flower varieties also fall into the Nymphaea water lily family. This means they held the most power in Egyptian and other ancient Asian cultures.

Lotus Flower Color Meaning

The color of the Lotus certainly affects its general meaning as well. The white lotus flower and pink lotus flower from the Nelumbo family are seen as meaning purity and devotion. More passionately colored red, purple, and blue Lotus flower blooms can take on a spiritual meaning of ascension, enlightenment, or rebirth. A green Lotus flower is a beautiful gift for anyone trying to improve their life and start good habits.

Lotus Flower

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Spiritual and Religious Lotus Flower Symbolism

Aside from the Victorian and contemporary meanings for the Lotus, there is a wealth of symbolism tying these flowers to Hinduism, Buddhism, and the ancient Egyptian’s religious practices. The ancient Egyptians used the plant extensively as a symbol in the paintings and carvings left on the walls of temples and tombs. Scholars believe the Egyptians viewed the Lotus as a symbol of rebirth because it appeared to sink at night and rise again in the morning. It is now known the plant simply loses old blooms and adds new ones on a daily cycle, but it is still a potent reminder of reincarnation and the mysteries of the afterlife. The priests and other religious leaders also brewed the flowers to make a tea with sedative and mild psychotropic effects, which heightened their sense for ritual work.

The Lotus meaning in Hinduism is a little different. As ideas were exchanged with Buddhists for thousands of years, Hindu religious leaders began to use the flower as a symbol of peace and eternity. White lotus flowers are usually seen under the feet of deities like Lakshmi, Ganesha, and Saraswati. Brahma, the ultimate creator, emerges from a Lotus as well. This sense of purity arises from the flower’s growing habit of rooting in mud and pushing up through the water to bloom.

The flower’s meaning in Buddhism is similar, but still unique again from the other meanings. The Buddhist Lotus represents:

  • Patience
  • Purity
  • Mysticism
  • Direct Spiritual Contact
  • Emptiness from Desire
  • Victory over Attachments
  • Enlightenment and the Bodhi State
  • Love and Compassion for All Things
  • Self-Awareness
  • Faithfulness During Spiritual Development
  • Rising Out of Suffering

These deep spiritual meanings gave rise to a way of sitting known as the Lotus position. The legs are crossed and tucked in a way that makes the bent knees look like the petals of a lotus. It is an important position in both Buddhist meditation and Hindu yoga practices. The soles of the feet are tucked away, which makes it a respectful position to sit in when visiting a temple where exposing the bottom of your feet is considered rude. Another example is the use of the lotus in mandalas, which are spiritual and artistic representations of divine energies and meditation aids in Buddhist traditions.

Edible and Medicinal Uses of the Lotus Flower

Aside from decorating thrones and acting as seats for enlightened beings, both main types of Lotus are surprisingly useful for edible and medicinal purposes. The blue lotus family, or Nymphaea, is useful for making a sedative tea that helps you beat insomnia without feeling drowsy the next day. The sacred lotus, or Nelumbo family, is also grown for edible seeds and roots. The American version of the flower also primarily found use as a source of food.

Also, the Lotus can be used by men 40-50 years old for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. According to researchers in the US and Asia, Lotus oil has a positive effect on the blood pressure in a man’s penis if you rub this oil into the penis shortly before intercourse. But the best and most effective means to improve the potency is still Viagra. Sildenafil (Viagra) was synthesized by a group of pharmaceutical chemists working at Pfizer’s Sandwich, Kent, research facility in England and patented in 1996. Later on, a cheap generic viagra appeared on sale. Today anyone can buy viagra online or in any available pharmacy with a prescription. The use of Lotus For this purpose is a thing of the past.

Growing Lotus Flowers

If you have a deep fountain, barely flowing creek, or healthy pond, you can try growing your own Lotuses. Pick from the various colors and bloom types of both true Lotus and the similarly named water lilies at a reputable water plant nursery, then root them in pots or at the bottom of a muddy pond. Make sure there is at least four inches of water over the top of the pot or mud and not much more than ten inches. You can plant them in the spring or fall, and there is no need for fertilizer or pruning. The plant will start growing vigorously when temperatures warm up to about 60 degrees F, then go dormant as winter arrives again.

Lotus Flower Tattoo Meaning

Getting a Lotus flower tattoo is a beautiful way to show your dedication to a Hindu or Buddhist faith. It is also a reminder to stay humble and focus on developing inner peace. You can also develop more balance in your life with a tattoo of this flower because the eight petals represent all eight parts of a spiritual path. A colorful or pure white lotus sends a message of gracefulness and love to everyone that sees it.

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  1. V Sonia May 29, 2016 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    Well explanation

  2. wombat September 9, 2016 at 8:16 am - Reply

    Most of the photos on this page are of waterlillies, not lotusesw

    • YZ2D February 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm - Reply

      same thing wombat

      same family wombat

      • Vishnu May 5, 2017 at 7:59 pm - Reply

        Not at all. Far from being in the same family, Nymphaea (waterlilies) and Nelumbo (lotus) are members of different orders (Nymphaeales and Proteales, respectively).

      • Jkr August 6, 2017 at 1:56 pm - Reply


        • Jkr August 6, 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

          Dedicated to YZ2D

    • Carol January 3, 2019 at 4:37 am - Reply

      I am sorry to inform you but all of these are in the Nelumbonaceae family and are water lilies which actually the Lotus flower is as well. I know this because I am a specialist in water lilies.

  3. MAC February 18, 2017 at 4:02 am - Reply

    Good explanation. But I don’t agree that Hindus began to use it from Buddhism. Hindu religion is almost 1500 years older to Buddhism.

    • Pickled Thyme November 10, 2017 at 6:30 pm - Reply

      Hinduism may be older, and Buddhism may have branched off of Hinduism, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that Hinduism wasn’t affected by Buddhism in any way. If religions never changed over the years, then there would still be Israelites sacrificing in the Temple. I know it can be hard to take in the fact that sometimes our traditions have been affected by other cultures; I mean, we Jews don’t exactly pride from the fact that we only give presents on Hannukah because we didn’t want our kids to feel left out when Christmas came around, but that’s sometimes how religion works, and we should be proud of our religions, and appreciate the way they have changed over the years, in spite of what caused these changes. I’m not implying that it is the case that the use of lotuses in Hinduism is derived from their use in Buddhism; rather, I’m saying that there is nothing wrong with this if it is the case.

  4. Weaboo October 5, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Niscu document.

  5. Rob November 20, 2017 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    If anyone needs a lotus flower tattoo for its deep meaning, its the hateful commentors above.
    They are clearly in conflict with themselves byt trying to be “right”, rather than take the information
    provided for what it is. The author took his or her time to share and does not deserve any hatred or anger.
    Clearly, these poor souls are not at peace with themselves.

    • Daly December 19, 2017 at 5:33 am - Reply

      Well said 👍

    • John Jones March 13, 2018 at 2:14 am - Reply

      Agree, completely.

    • Christy November 28, 2018 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      Yes spread love and not hate that’s translated of being politically correct

  6. LeAnn January 12, 2018 at 2:07 am - Reply

    Thanks you

  7. cheesee January 13, 2018 at 11:40 am - Reply


  8. Dan February 12, 2018 at 10:27 am - Reply

    Please don’t let lotus and water lily mix together, they are different plants! They are different! Please don’t stick together both complete unlikely plant, make public confuse. Lotus is lotus and water-lily. They have their own words, this is evidence. I say different many times because I still can’t understand many people can’t able separate them clearly. I’m not happy with that wrong name. They have own name.

  9. Tessie April 22, 2018 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    How do start growing .com seeds

  10. Kit July 9, 2018 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    While Water Lilies and Lotuses are very different plants, ancient people might not have known that and attributed the same meanings to the plants. So please be kind to the author who worked hard on this article.

    • Michal September 8, 2018 at 6:37 pm - Reply

      They probably could tell waterlilies form lotuses quite well because they ate lotuses 😉

  11. Carol January 3, 2019 at 4:38 am - Reply

    I am sorry to inform you but all of these are in the Nelumbonaceae family and are water lilies which actually the Lotus flower is as well. I know this because I am a specialist in water lilies.

  12. Roger February 9, 2019 at 7:05 am - Reply

    Here on the path to Eternity
    Eight Lotus flowers grow
    All this I am
    And this I know
    Here ,
    In the Spring time
    Of the Soul

  13. shravak jain February 16, 2019 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    i need a blue lotus , not a waterlily , can anyone have it /.

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