Lotus Flower Tattoo Meaning

lotus-flower-symbolismWhen it comes to tattoo ideas, flowers seem a design for girls only. Indeed, for most girls who want to get a tattoo floral tattoos are always the first thing to consider. So, aren’t there any flower tattoo designs for boys? Perhaps the lotus flower tattoo is the answer that has long been overlooked. This is because it is a beautiful, unisex, and meaningful design from the point of view of both ancient cultures and religions.

As you may know, this is a perennial herb that grows in ponds, lakes and other shallow water. Every year its old roots will start to sprout in spring, grow leaves and blossom in summer, and form new root under water within the mud and produce seeds in the fall.

Beauty of sexuality

In Hindu and Buddhist scriptures, lotus is a metaphor for the sacred uterus or vagina. In fact, it is a synonym of female “vagina” in Sanskrit. This is because they are very similar in nature – soft, pink and with opening. Similarly, vajra is a Sanskrit word that is synonymous with male “penis” since it is hard and claviform. So, the combination of them is the symbol of wisdom and convenience or emptiness and form. But, at the inner body level, this marriage signifies that the vital energy inside penetrates the main vein and rises, which thus starts the wheel of chakra.

Sun and creativity

In Indian culture, one of the most common symbolisms about this flower is the sun and creativity as well as purity and perfection. That’s why you often see the image in India ancient architecture and sculpture art. In Hindu mythology, Brahman, the Creator of the world, was born in a thousand-petaled lotus flower, which grows up by absorbing nutriment from the navel of Vishnu. By the way, Vishnu sleeps on the cosmic ocean (the Milky Way).


In Hindu mythology, Lord Surya, the Sun god, carries two blooming lotus, which is a symbol of enlightenment. What’s more, in the philosophy system of Buddhism, it is a vital symbol too. It grows in a bog, which symbolizes the chaos where uncivilized human being lives in. Meanwhile the bog signifies the spinning wheel of birth and rebirth. When the stem grows out of the water, the birth of the lotus represents Buddhism’s core idea: human can go beyond the lower nature by improving themselves. When the bud is slowly blooming above the water, this scene is regarded as purity. And when the flower is in full bloom, it means mankind has been enlightened and civilized.

This flower still serves as an important role in Buddha paintings. You may notice that most portraits of a Shakyamuni Buddha depict a scene that he is preaching, sitting on a jeweled throne. This cross-legged sitting posture is better known as the Buddha Pose or The Lotus Position. In fact, Padma means lotus in Sanskrit. Avalokiteshvara (or Avalokitesvara) is a Bodhisattva with many different forms and appearances, among which one is Padmapani (Lotus Holder). Furthermore, Tantric Buddhists often recite the Six-Character Great Bright Mantra (Om Mani Padme Hum), which literally means treasure in the lotus. Here it means a symbol of the power of creation – the intercourse of men (treasure) and female (lotus).

Birth and rebirth

Since this flower opens and close as the sun rises and falls. The ancient Egyptians therefore regarded it as a symbol of birth and rebirth. This flower is also a symbol of Nefertum, the Egyptian lotus god of the sun, who rises from the blue water lily. As a result, the sun god’s image was sometimes portrayed as a child or golden young people lying on the lotus. This flower is always associated with water and the sun. So, the ancient Egyptian mythology ever depicted a spectacular sight: in the beginning of the world a giant lotus flower emerges from pristine waters and sun rises from the heart of that flower the first morning.

In the early Christian church this flower was also an important marker, which was later replaced by water lilies. In addition, in Buddhist tales Prince Siddhartha was held up by the lotus flowers emerged from the earth once he was born between his mother’s ribs. It is that prince who later becomes the founder of Buddhism – Shakyamuni.

Purity and annihilation

The unstained lotus is a major Buddhist symbol for purity and annihilation. It represents the peak stage of all activities, which are carried out in order to completely avoid falling into the error of samsara. The lotus throne deities sitting or standing on symbolizes their sacred origin. All these deities are imagined as perfectly clean and extremely good. That’s to say, their body, speech and mind are absolutely clean. Although they appear in samsara, they won’t be contaminated by the impure, inner devil, and mind barrier.

Other meanings

The slender, curved stem symbolizes the umbilical cord that ties the feet of the unborn babies and buds human’s simmering potential. The earliest known lotus-related works of art also associate it with deities. This is a nude goddess wearing a lotus on her head. It is the unearthed relics of 3,000 years BC in India’s Ganges valley. This Indian goddess was first seen in India’s Vedic literature, in which the goddess born from a lotus flower stands on a lotus, wearing a garland made from the same flowers.

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