The Importance of a Lotus Flower in Hindu Iconography

The Importance of a Lotus Flower in Hindu Iconography

Both in worship and in the depictions of the divine, Hindus are known to be enamoured with flowers. The most revered being the Lotus. Therefore, Hindu mythology and culture is inundated with references, symbolisms, admiration and reverence for them, with the Lotus or Padma as the most popular amongst them all.

Chosen as one of the Ashtamangalas or eight auspicious symbols, it is a venerated polyvalent symbol that appears as an endemic dais upon which Hindu deities rest and indeed upon which the Indian religious iconography is founded and therefore associated with several Indian gods Vishnu, Brahma, Ganesh and the goddesses Gayatri Lakshmi and Saraswati.

The modest pink aquatic flower, floating meekly above the muddy waters, is considered sacred for its representation of eternal beauty, prosperity and fertility. In Hinduism, it is believed that each human being is gifted with the true spirit of the lotus, which when channeled correctly will lead to purity of the mind and liberation of the soul.

A popular comparison in the Bhagavad Gita praises the Padma for its defying rise to become a flawless beauty despite its murky surroundings and in doing so showing us the path to transform our own clouded thoughts and consciousness will lead us to spiritual liberation.

Therefore in the ancient practice of Yoga, the cross-legged seated pose is referred to as the lotus position or Padmasana and is best suited for those striving to reach the highest levels of consciousness during meditation.