Everything you will need to know about getting a Lotus Flower Tattoo
The Lotus Flower has grown in popularity for centuries. Within each religion and culture, some people believe in the symbolism behind this particular plant. Historically speaking, the Lotus Flower has been used as a natural source of food, a representation of women (fertility, beauty, etc.) as well as a psychedelic trip when brewed into a tea. This plant has also been used during childbirth, religious and spiritual ceremonies, as well as death. The Lotus Flower is a “life plant” because of its wide range of uses, meanings, and its widespread popularity. Each of these cultures and religions associates similar meaning behind this plant. They look at its coloration, its rising and setting action, and its development. Then they find meaning in it.
For example, the Egyptians witnessed the way the Lotus Flower rose from the muddy water from which it was born and blossomed above the water’s surface for the entire world to see. At night the Egyptians watched as the Lotus Flower closed its petals and sunk back down into the murky water. The Egyptians took this process and began associating the rising and setting of the sun with the Lotus Flower. The Legend of the Sun God was created, thus giving the birthplace of the sun and creation to the Lotus Flower. Of course, it was also the Egyptians who decided to make a tea from the Blue Lotus Flower, which resulted in a narcotic effect, intoxicating them and providing them with an ecstasy-like experience.
So, you are interested in getting a Lotus Flower Tattoo? Do you know why you want this image on your body permanently? Have you done your research? Do you feel a bond with a particular religious or cultural meaning behind the plant and therefore, you would like a tattoo of it? Alternatively, do you just think it is pretty? Well, regardless of your reasoning, you should know the meaning of something before you put it on your body for the rest of eternity. You should be aware of the significance of the color you choose as well as the position it is in (open, closed, or partially open) as each of these factors means something different to a particular religion or cultural group. Below are only the main religious or cultural groups that believe the Lotus Flower hold significance.
The defect of the body which leads to sin is the mud puddle, and this mind is the frog, which does not appreciate the Lotus Flower at all.”
Sri Guru Granth Sahib
The meaning of the Lotus Flower according to a Buddhist
Buddhism is a religion that is primarily practiced in Eastern and Central parts of Asia. The religion encompasses and follows the many teachings of Gautama Buddha. One of the many teachings of the Buddha is that human suffering is part of being human. A person can only live if he has suffered. However, a person should then be relieved of their suffering by following the path to enlightenment and purifying their mind, body, and spirit. Buddhists also believe in reincarnation (rebirth of the soul). With all of this in mind, we can begin to discuss the various Lotus Flower meanings in the Buddhism religion.
The Lotus Flower Meaning: Rising and Setting Action
Many of the first meanings of the Lotus Flower are associated with the rising and setting action that it performs each day. The Lotus Plant’s roots are firmly buried in the mud resting on the bottom of a calm lake, pond or river. From these roots develops a stalk or stem that is made up of various strong fibers. Atop the stalk are the plant’s leaves and flower bud. The flower bud always develops on the water’s surface. With the dawning of each new day, the Lotus Flower rises out of the water.
One by one its petals loosens and open, until the flower is in full bloom, welcoming the light and the day. As dusk approaches, the petals will begin to close, and the beautiful flower will sink back down into the water again. The Buddhists believe that this action symbolizes a person overcoming the obstacles and misfortune of life. They are conquering human suffering and continuing on the path of enlightenment. Buddhists also believe that this action represents the purification of a spirit that has become “muddy.”
The Lotus Flower Meaning: Colors
A Lotus Flower can be almost any color including red, pink, yellow, white, purple, and blue. Each color holds a specific meaning in the Buddhist religion. In fact, most of the religions and cultures associate these colors and their meanings in their own lives as well.
The White Lotus Flower symbolism:
The White Lotus Flower is a representation of purity and enlightenment (spiritually and mentally). This Lotus Flower also represents Bodhi which is a state of complete and total purity in one’s mind and spirit. If the Lotus Flower is depicted with eight petals then it will also symbolize the Noble Eightfold Path of the Good Law. If you chose to get a tattoo of a White Lotus Flower, you are likely telling other people that you have reached total enlightenment and that you have purified your body, mind, and spirit.
The Blue Lotus Flower symbolism:
The Blue Lotus Flower symbolizes wisdom, logic, and a thirst for knowledge. Most pieces of artwork will show the Blue Lotus Flower as being partially opened as this symbolizes a person who is still learning and still travelling along the path to enlightenment. They have not yet reached nirvana, but, they are obtaining the wisdom and knowledge to one day do so. The fact that the center of the Lotus Flower is not exposed also represents the never ending potential for obtaining knowledge and that broadening (as well as improving) your mind and spirit is also never ending. A Blue Lotus Flower tattoo would represent your thirst for knowledge, your wisdom and logic as well as your understanding that obtaining knowledge is never ending. This would be especially true if your Blue Lotus Flower tattoo is only partially opened, and not showing the center.
The Purple Lotus Flower symbolism:
The meaning behind this color variety of the Lotus Flower has almost completely become extinct for Buddhists. However, it is supposed to represent the view of Buddhism as a religion and as a path to spirituality. This view is to be mystic and welcoming as those who begin their journey to total enlightenment with the Buddhism religion often do so after they have experience human suffering. The Purple Lotus Flower also represents a respect for the Buddhist Gods and Goddesses. A tattoo of a Purple Lotus Flower says that you respect the Buddhist Gods and that you are open to starting your journey to enlightenment.
The Pink Lotus Flower symbolism:
This is a very important Lotus Flower in the Buddhism religion. The Pink Lotus Flower symbolizes the Buddha himself. Many documents and pieces of artwork from the Buddhism religion will use the Pink Lotus Flower to represent the Buddha himself, stories and legends regarding the Buddha as well as the history of the Buddha. A Pink Lotus Flower tattoo says that you are nurturing, like a mother’s love, and it could also mean that you understand and respect the Buddha.
The Red Lotus Flower symbolism:
This is the “heart” Lotus Flower. This color variety of Lotus Flowers symbolizes the state of ones heart as well as their passion, compassion, love and other emotions for themselves, others, and their religion. The Red Lotus Flower artwork usually shows the flower in full bloom as this is the way Buddhists feel that the heart should be. Completely open and welcoming to new people and new things. If you choose to get a Red Lotus Flower tattoo (especially if the flower is in full bloom) then you are telling people that you are not only passionate, but that you are open to love for yourself and others.
The Yellow (or golden) Lotus Flower symbolism:
The Yellow (or golden) Lotus Flower is not as commonly used for tattoos as the other color varieties because of its rarity and highly important meaning. This Lotus Flower color is a symbolic representation of the many achievements in regards to achieving total enlightenment. This is especially true when speaking in regards to the Buddha. If you get a tattoo of a Yellow (or golden) Lotus Flower then you are suggesting that you have conquered and achieved every pathway, every life lesson, and every teaching of the Buddha with flying colors. You are saying that you are supremely enlightened. This is not something to take lightly nor is it something to tattoo on yourself if it is not true (reaching this level of enlightenment is nearly impossible). You would only disrespect yourself and the Buddhism religion by doing so.
*As previously mentioned, the variety of colors that the Lotus Flower can be, hold individual meanings to that color. Buddhism is the main religion that follows this belief; other religions that hold meaning to the color usually follow the same (or similar) meanings as the Buddhist religion.*
The Lotus Flower symbolism: Developmental stages
The different stages of the Lotus Flower are not only significant in the Buddhism religion but, also in various other cultures and religions.
When the Lotus Flower is in its beginning stages, it is young; it is new. This is the “bud” stage. Its petals have not yet opened to welcome the light, nor have they exposed their center to release their sweet aroma The “bud” stage represents a person in their early stages of enlightenment. They have not yet discovered the Buddha, but, they are on their way, and their potential is evident. A tattoo of a Lotus Flower bud represents your stage in life or, the stage in your religion. You are new; you are fragile, but, you are also determined to show the world your potential.
The “bud” stage does not last very long. In fact, once it opens its first petal, it is no longer a Lotus Flower bud. Now, it is a Lotus Flower in transition. Slowly, one by one, the Lotus Flower releases its petals. Slightly exposing itself to the world. Its color (and therefore its significance) is apparent at this stage. However, its center remains to be seen. A partially opened Lotus Flower represents the person in their transitional phase. They either have not yet reached nirvana, or they are transitioning in another personal way. Partially opened Lotus Flowers in the artwork of any kind is almost always a Blue Lotus Flower because the Blue Lotus Flower symbolizes wisdom and a thirst for knowledge, which is best combined with the partially opened Lotus Flower (still learning but on your way). A tattoo of a Lotus Flower in this stage demonstrates your place on your path in life or, in religion. You are continuously learning and taking in new information. You understand what it is that you want to achieve, you just haven’t achieved it yet.
Finally, the Lotus Flower seems to be in full bloom. Its petals are open, spread out wide. Its color is apparent which means that its particular symbolism is clear. The air is filled with its sweet aroma as the Lotus Flower rests on the water’s surface, completely exposed and open to the light, the warmth and the world.
This final stage of the Lotus Flower’s development represents a person achieving their final stage. Whether that be in life, in a career, or in their religion. Usually, when a person uses a fully bloomed Lotus Flower as a tattoo, they are expressing to the world that their path has ended, or that they are completely exposed and welcoming to the world, new people and new things. You have achieved enlightenment and the teachings of the Buddha.
The Meaning of the Lotus Flower according to Asian Culture
Japan: Their beliefs are incredibly similar to that of Buddhists as they also believe the Lotus Flower is representative of rebirth(and because much of the population practices Buddhism). However, they also see this impressive flower as a symbol of purity, chastity as well as a symbol of distance from the one you love.
China: They believe and hold the Lotus Flower in the highest regard because it represents the holy seat of the Buddha, perfection, as well as a pure mind and a pure heart.
Other Asian beliefs associated with the Lotus Flower refers to the entire plant. They believe that the stalk or stem of a Lotus Flower Plant is a symbolic representation of the strength of family and their unbreakable bonds. Therefore, they believe that the Lotus Flower is a particular individual (you) and that the family is the stalk or stem as they hold up the individual (you) and support them through their journey. The stalk (and therefore the family) remains under the water as to allow the individual (you) to rise above it and expose your beauty to the world.
The Meaning of the Lotus Flower according to the Hinduism religion
The Lotus Flower is highly regarded in Hindu cultures. They use it as a symbol of peace, happiness, and goodwill. It is believed to remove unwanted energies or other unpleasant things and therefore, they refer to it as “the King of Flowers.” in many stories and legends. The Lotus Flower is a symbol of freedom from attachments and material things. They represent a pure mind, spirit, and body. Therefore, if you were to get a Lotus Flower Tattoo, then you would be suggesting that you are free from desire, emotional attachments as well as material things and that you have purified your mind, spirit, and body.
The Meaning of the Lotus Flower according to the Ancient Egyptian culture
In Egypt, the rising of the Lotus Flower is a representation of creation and the rising sun. It was once believed that the Sun God, rose from the opening of a Lotus Flower. In fact, The Book of the Dead is full of specific incantations that are said to “transform oneself into a Lotus Flower.”. It is thought that if a person were to perform one of these chants that they would be converted into a Lotus Flower and therefore, complete their rebirth.
Finally, artwork depicting the Lotus Flower was often a way to represent Upper Egypt. If the artwork presented the Lotus Flower with papyrus (symbol of Lower Egypt) wrapped in the Lotus stems then this was to symbolize Upper and Lower Egypt and their complete unification.
If someone were to get a tattoo of a Lotus Flower in the White or Blue variety, then he or she are likely suggesting that he or she follow The Book of the Dead as well as the legend of the Sun God. They may even wish to be transformed into a Lotus Flower themselves in order to complete their resurrection.