The Cultural Meaning of Lotus

The lotus(莲花)

“South of the river is the place to gather lotus,

Where among teeming leaves

Fish dart and play!

North and south,

East and west,

Between the lotus leaves they dart and play!”

This short poem depicts the dynamic beauty between the lotus and fishes. Give you a sense of freshness and interest. Because of that, lots of painters are fond of drawing them and lotus paintings arouse great attention among art circles.

Because lotuses grow out of the mud pure and clean, like morning dew from Heaven or water in springtime from a flower creek, lotus decorations and designs are everywhere the eye turns.

Chinese Lotus Painting

Chinese Lotus Painting

The growing process of lotus also has deep meanings. The mud in which the lotus roots grow represents material life, while the water through which the stalk passes represent the astral world. When the plant reaches the surface of the water and opens its bud to the sun, it represents spiritual being. Its thousands of years of association with spiritual practice in many traditions, Chinese poets also use lotus flowers to inspire people to continue striving through difficulties and to show their best part to the outside world, no matter how bad the circumstances may be.

The Lotus in Eastern Culture bears a similar symbolism to the Rose in Christianity. In Buddhism and Hinduism many of the deities are pictured sitting upon a lotus or holding a lotus blossom, the symbol of enlightenment. Christ is known as the Rose of Sharon. Rose of Sharon blooms in arid desert conditions just as the lotus rises and blooms in all its magnificence from the muddy depths of the rivers. The lotus is referred as the "lianhua" and "Shuizhi" in the Chinese culture. It is one of the ancient flowers in the history of china. Flower has an important role in the Buddhist religion in china. The literature of Buddhism in china is named as the "lotus literature". The lotus is believed to be pure and divine. The dwellings of the Buddhist are also named after the flower as "lotus dwellings". It symbolizes purity and holiness because of the way that it grows up beautifully out of miry, muddy water. Hope you can hold a sincere heart and love Chinese lotus painting.

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