The flowering head of the Lotus plant has been a symbol of spirituality in
India for thousands of years.|
The life cycle of the Lotus plant begins when a Lotus seed finds its way into the sediments at the bottom of some warm little pond somewhere.
Though barely able to see the light through the murky water, the new shoot strives upwards until eventually it bursts into the light, bringing the beauty of its delicate petals to the pool's surface.
During their development, the plants filter and purify the body of water in which they find themselves, making the water transparent.
According to a traditional saying, the more muddy and opaque the water is to start with, the more beautiful the Lotus flower is when it arrives.
Traditionally, Lotus flowers have been associated with the chakras. Flowers with larger numbers of petals being associated with higher centres.
One of the most important yoga poses for meditation is named padmasana, or 'Lotus posture'.
Lotus flowers have a long history of use as meditative objects, no doubt due - in part - to their similarities to mandalas.
The life cycle of these flowers may be seen as symbolising the evolution of the individual - who is born in darkness and strives to reach the light.