The lotus plant is considered sacred among many religions and cultures for good reason. That a plant can grow in the mud, underwater, away from the sun and shoot out of the water is impressive enough. But the lotus also has stunningly beautiful flowers that morph into intriguing seed pods that seem to take on a life of their own.
The Chinese believe the lotus signifies overcoming obstacles as the lotus grows in such a challenging environment. Because the lotus flower emerges clean and pure from the mud, Buddhists see the lotus as a symbol of purity and enlightenment. For similar reasons, Hindus see the lotus as primarily representing beauty and non-attachment.
“One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.”
— Bhagavad Gita 5.10
Take a look for yourself and see if the lotus will inspire you as well.
The lotus flowers start as a bud, emerging out of the water. This bud was about the size of a small pear.
With time, the lotus flower begins to open.
You can see the green ovary (or seedpod) that contains the seed in the center of the flower. You can see the start of the seeds as the brown dots in the middle of the ovary.
As the petals fall off, the seed pod darkens in color, and the plant takes on an entirely new shape.
Over time, the seeds and the entire pod darken and take on a different form of beauty.
Eventually, all the seeds fall out. I love the last seed hanging on at the top of the pod.
Because the lotus flower seeds as it blossoms it has been considered a symbol of rebirth. You can see multiple stages of the plant in this photo with The New York Botanical Garden’s stunning conservatory in the background.
These photographs were taken at The New York Botanical Garden’s amazing collection of lotus plants and water lilies.