I open my heart to you… THE LOTUS SYMBOL
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
In my attempts at writing prose poetry this week, I became involved in symbols and their history. I start the discussion of symbols with the lotus flower as it is perhaps one of the best known international symbols.
Where did the lotus symbology originate?
The lotus is a member of the tropical water lily family (Nymphaeaceae) (Note the interesting root of this word… ) Lotus is native to northeastern Africa, Persia, India, Russia, Japan, China, and North and Central America.
The lotus has held a sacred position in the Far East since ancient times with its symbolism dating back over 5000 years. In ancient Egypt, the flower grew along the Nile river and was dedicated to the god of the sun, Horus, because it bloomed with the sunrise and sank down into the water at sunset. The lotus flower represented the fertility of the Nile valley and hence became a symbol of reproduction and fertility.
The history of the lotus symbolism is extensive. In brief, here are the main points.
1. Used as an architectural decoration for thousands of years throughout the Mediterranean and Asian countries.
2. Persia: symbol of sun and light
3. Nepal and Tibet: emblem of mystery
4. Hinduism: Brahma was said to be born in the lotus
5. Lotus is included in mantras (om mane padme hum) and Buddhists might see their paradise as a place where colorful, lotus buds and flowers rain down amid incense and melodies.
6. Most cultures view the lotus as a symbol of purity and perfection because its lovely flowers can grow in muddy waters
7. For the Mayans, the lotus symbolized the sacredness of the Earth
8. Yoga postures involve the half-lotus and the full lotus, difficult to achieve and beautiful in their performance.
PROMPT FOR TODAY:
Write a short story or a prose poem revolving around the lotus. Use the symbolism within the story. If you wish, post it in the comments section of this blog.
See you next time.