The national flower of India, lotus is a sacred and worship-worthy in different religious groups across various regions for time immemorial. Held in high esteem as the symbol of enlightenment and new beginnings, the lotus blossoms out of the muddiest waters yet embodies such purity and beauty – the complete opposite of the environment in which it thrives. Often mistaken for water lilies, lotuses have different structures and only come in hues of pink and white, while lilies come in an abundance of shades. According to some reports, like animals, lotuses can control their temperatures and exist almost independently of their surroundings. It’s no wonder why they’re so characteristically mystical!
Did you know that lotus tattoos are popular amongst people who’ve traveled down life’s darkest tunnels and finally saw the light? These gorgeous flowers don’t only flatter valley beds and look amazing in vases but also represent reemergence. Revered for their resilience and beauty, lotuses remind us that even when surrounded by gloom, the sparks of hope in us can reignite and awaken our light. In this blog, we briefly touch on the history of India and the lotus, highlight some modern-day uses of this beautifully mystical flower, and throw in some DIY flower tips. Keen? Keep scrolling!
The History of India and The Lotus – The National Flower of India
While you can trace history of the lotus and its accompanying legends to a few regions, its home is with India’s national identity. Said to represent rebirth, thanks to being the only plant to both flower and fruit at the same time, the lotus stood out from India’s wealth of flora and to this day, remains an “auspicious symbol of Indian culture.”
As phrased by Thomas Kintaert, “There is hardly any symbolism in Indian poetry, sculpture, and painting more extensive than that belonging to the lotus flower and other parts of the plant.” It is said that the lotus was chosen as the national flower of India because it had long been part of the region’s ancient traditions, is mentioned in sacred scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita, and has always been attached to mythological references.
From the intro cover to that of the conclusion, the Bhagavad Gita echoes and promotes human purity. It highlights that despite living with the world’s imperfect and unfavorable conditions, humans must always remember to detach ( as the lotus metaphorically detaches from its muddy surroundings) from their conditions and retain purity. Additionally, the lotus flower symbolizes perfection and knowledge, as images of the Hindu Goddess, Saraswati, emerging from the center of the flower, highlights this.
According to the Indian National Botanical Research Institute, the lotus plant is currently the most widely grown of all flora in India. And due to its spiritual connotations, it is grown in simple households too. This makes it the preferred symbol of some of the country’s institutions.
When to Send The Lotus Flower as a Gift
Thanks to all the positivity and ‘zen’ attached to lotus flowers, they can be offered as gifts on any occasion. Besides looking magically beautiful, they radiate positivity and add a little something extra to any space. Thinking Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, Mother’s Day, or a special birthday? Think lotuses! Whether you plan to surprise a loved one going through a tough time, a friend who just suffered a loss and is yearning for a new beginning, or simply want to throw some ‘pick me up’ energy your own way, lotus arrangements are the perfect pick.
Modern Day Uses for the Lotus
Besides helping channel positive energy and representing new beginnings, lotuses have many uses. Let’s explore a few:
Ongoing research suggests that lotuses have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, amongst others. While scientists are still working on the safety of use in humans, numerous studies suggest that Lotus products may help with ailments such as chronic inflammation due to mobility issues and diabetes. Lotuses are said to calm skin ailments too.
Given the above-mentioned potential health benefits, Lotuses also provide alternative ingredients in various dishes. The lotus root is the most common ingredient in oriental cuisine.
Mention one person who’ll ever pass on a massage after a long work day. We’ll wait! Lotus flowers are pressed into essential oils that help calm tense muscles and give an overall relaxed feeling.
Origami Lotus: How to Make a Paper Flower
Did we mention that lotuses represent unity too? Yup! We’ve put together a simple how-to guide to get the whole family laughing, learning, and crafting. Ready, steady, lotus!
Here’s what you’ll need to make your very own lotus flower:
- Thick cardstock or Construction paper
- Glue gun or paper glue stick
The method to the gladness
- Make the Lotus stigma by cutting a Yellow strip of 1.5cm in width, then make slits at regular intervals of 2 mm. Afterward, roll the strip and glue the end.
- To make the inner petals, use printed templates, or carefully draw a petal on a sheet, cut it out, and use the piece to trace a few more petals onto the sheep. You’ll need at least 6 petals. Finally, create a ‘petal train’ by still the sides of the petals together.
- For the inner petals, go back to step 2, but instead of just 6 petals, trace and cut 12 pieces and stick the bottom flaps together, creating a round structure.
- For the flower base, use template cut-outs or trace and cut a circle onto which the petals will be glued. To finally put the flower together, glue the outer petals onto the outermost part of the circle, leaving room for the inner petals, then finally, glue the sigma to the center of the base. Then viola! Your very own DIY lotus flower.
Work on Your Lotus Pose
For those who aren’t familiar with yoga terminology, the Lotus Pose is a grounding and energizing pose that increases circulation in the spine and flexibility in the hips. Since some monks even sleep in this position, it is appropriate to conclude with this last little lotus fact. I hope this article has taught you as much as it has taught me! Now, go forth and send a lotus flower to make someone’s day.
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Nolly is a digital head that’s spun by amazing content, and she does a little happy dance when brands get it right. She has six solid years of creative digital account management and writing experience, and can say hi in at least 14 languages. Careful not to ask her to tell you a story though because once she starts, it’s difficult to stop!