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Purity, rebirth and eternity: The Lotus flower has deep symbolic meaning

Once I had a vivid dream about a beautifully lit mansion with a pool of white lotus flowers in front. I had the feeling that this place was somewhere in Thailand.


Columnist: Sirinya Pakditawan

Saturday 9 December 2017, 03:00PM


The divine beauty of a perfectly formed lotus blossom has captured humanity’s imagination for eons.

The divine beauty of a perfectly formed lotus blossom has captured humanity’s imagination for eons.

I often dream of landscapes and particularly of those in Southeast Asia. I guess this is why I long to see all these amazing places in reality. I’ve often wondered about the meaning of the lotus flower and in the days following this most recent dream, I decided to do a bit of research about the lotus as a symbol.

First of all, I learned about the spiritual and religious meaning of the lotus flower in different cultures. In ancient Egypt, for instance, the lotus was a symbol of rebirth and hence it was commonly used for wall and tomb paintings. The lotus has the power to renew itself since it loses old blooms and adds new ones in a daily cycle.

The lotus is also hugely important symbol in both Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hinduism, the lotus flower stands for eternity, purity and peace. Hence, it is also the flower of the gods and Brahma, the ultimate creator of the world, arises from a lotus blossom.

In Buddhism the lotus flower has even more meanings, for example, it symbolizes self-awareness, love and the compassion of all beings and things, emptiness from desire, enlightenment, victory over attachment, overcoming suffering and spiritual development. Thus, the lotus also stands for patience, purity and mysticism.

You must certainly know the lotus position – a way of sitting during meditation. It is an important position in Buddhist meditation and also in yoga practices. The lotus position seeks to represent the deep spiritual meaning with the form of the human body – legs crossed and tucked in a way that makes the bent knees look like the petals of a lotus.

It is important that the soles of the feet are tucked away so that it is a respectful position to sit in when visiting a temple where exposing the bottom of your feet is considered rude.

In fact, there are lotus flowers and water lilies of different colours. Since I saw white lotus in my dream let me focus on the meaning of this particular colour: The white lotus symbolizes awakening, representing spiritual perfection and purity. Hence, it also stands for peace and a peaceful mind.

QSI International School Phuket

Well, how to interpret this dream now? Maybe I’m a person who is lucidly dreaming but the mansion and the lotus flowers surely symbolize a way to realise my longing and a path to awakening, in a worldly but also in a spiritual sense.

How about you? Have you ever dreamed of water lilies or other flowers?

Yours,

                Sirinya

 

Sirinya Pakditawan is a ‘luk kreung’, or half-Thai, born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. She enjoys writing about Thailand, with a focus on culture, art, history, tradition and on the people, as well as a mix of topics concerning Thai popular culture, travelogues and articles about Thai food.

To read the original story, and many more, be sure to check out Sirinya’s blog: sirinyas thailand.de

 

 

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