The Buddhist sacred flower: lotus

Article updated on May 20, 2020
Text & photos: Marcella van Alphen

Lotuses literally rise from the filthy mud to become beautiful flowers. For Buddhists, this is a sacred symbol reminding them to reach for the highest and remain pure in their mind, speech, and body. This is so important that the lotus flower is the national flower of India, also representing beauty, serenity, rebirth, and the path to enlightment.

On the Kyushu Island in Japan, their blooming is celebrated in the Usuki Lotus Garden, next to the Usuki Stone Buddhas each year. Women stroll amongst the blooming lotus flowers beautifully dressed in traditional kimonos.

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Japanese women in beautiful kimonos parading amongst pink lotus flowers in Usuki, Japan.

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