‘Offering his action to God, he is free of all action; sin rolls off him, as drops of water roll off a lotus leaf.’ ~ The Bhagavad Gita
The above verse comes from chapter 5 of arguably the most seminal ancient texts on yoga from the Vedic era, originating from the part of the world that is now called ancient India. Yet the lotus flower is a symbol of spirituality within many philosophical, religious and spiritual traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Baha’i, Confucianism and Christianity. In Hindu iconography, deities are often depicted as being seated on lotus flowers. The numerous unfolding petals of the lotus flower represent the expansion of the soul, the self as unfolding. Within Tantric and Yogic traditions, the lotus symbolises the potential of an individual to harness the flow of energy that is mobilised along the spinal column and moves through the chakra, the seventh chakra is depicted as a flowering thousand-petaled lotus at the crown. The word lotus is padma in Sanskrit while padmasana is the Sanskrit word for the lotus pose. In Buddhism, the lotus flower represents the purity of body and mind. In traditional Chinese literature, Confucian scholar Zhou Dunyi said: ‘I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained’ (予獨愛蓮之出淤泥而不染).
‘No mud, no lotus.’ ~ Thich Nhat Han
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