The lotus flower grows, which is an aquatic perennial, in muddy ponds all over South East Asia. But the flowers are offered to the gods and kings, despite such humble origins. That a muddy dirty pond should give rise to such a beautiful and majestic flowers- a flower that is the national flower of a country, India- is not a contradiction. In Buddhism, the lotus flower is held up as a symbol of how one can transform life’s trials and tribulations into beauty, compassion and wisdom.
The lotus flower is also unique in the sense that seeds and flowers are to be found almost simultaneously in it, as a metaphor for the Buddhist belief that cause and effect are to be found together.
The lotus flower is also held up a symbol of longevity. Seeds of a lotus flower which bloomed 1300 years old in a lake in northeastern China ago were made to flower. The lotus flowers are to be found in ancient Egyptian murals as well as many countries of Asia- China, India, Japan and Korea- testifying to the universal sense of wonder that one experiences when seeing them. Now they are grown all over the world.
So next time you see a lotus flower, enjoy its beauty but also think about the various metaphors associated with it that might help you in life!