Buddhism: With its roots in the mud, the lotus rises through the murky water to blossom clean and bright, symbolizing to the Buddhist purity, resurrection and the enlightened being who emerges undefined from the chaos and illusion of the world. The eight-petalled lotus that is used in Buddhist mandalas symbolizes cosmic harmony, and the thousand-petalled lotus represents spiritual illumination.
Hinduism: The Hindus of India noted that the ungerminated seeds of the lotus contain perfectly formed leaves, a blueprint for the future plant. Thus to the Hindu, the lotus represents divine idealisation passing from abstract into concrete form. In addition in Hindu mythology, the lotus flower is associated with Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wisdom and generosity. She is often portrayed as sitting on a completely blossomed lotus that gives a sense of purity to her form.
Ancient Egyptian: The lotus is featured prominently in Egyptian art and architecture, especially in connection with Egypt’s temples. In Egyptian mythology, the lotus was associated with the sun, because it blooms by day and closes by night. The lotus also symbolized rebirth, since one Egyptian creation myth tells of the newborn sun god rising out of a floating lotus. The blue lotus was sacred to the ancient Egyptians, who valued it not only for its rich perfume but also for its narcotic ability to produce heightened awareness and tranquillity.
Native American: Certain tribes found all parts of the American lotus edible, the flower symbolized the sun’s power to transform energy into food. The seeds were once an especially important part of the Native American diet; in fact, the genus name Nelumbo means “sacred bean.”
Taoism: The lotus is also highly esteemed by Taoists. Among the Eight Immortals of Taoism is Ho Hsien Ku, her symbol the open lotus blossom, signifying openness and wisdom. The lotus flower is a favorite of Taoist artists, who paint it to remind us of the miracle of beauty, light and life, and to communicate an understanding of the Tao and of our place in the world.
China: A feature of the lotus plant that has found its way into Chinese poetry is its stalk, which is easy to bend but difficult to break because of its many strong fibres. Poets liken this quality to the bonds between lovers or family members.
India: According to the Indian culture the lotus flower denotes prosperity knowledge and learning, fruitfulness and illumination.