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Walter Otto Koenig | all galleries >> PaD: Zuihitsu > August 3
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August 3

August 3

The Cultural significance of the Lotus

From ancient times the lotus has been a divine symbol in Asian traditions representing the virtues of sexual purity and non-attachment.
Hindus revere it with the divinities Vishnu and Lakshmi often portrayed on a pink lotus in iconography. In the representation of Vishnu as Padmanabha (Lotus navel), a lotus issues from his navel with Brahma on it.
Goddess Sarasvati is portrayed on a white-colored lotus.
Often used as an example of divine beauty, Vishnu is often described as the 'Lotus-Eyed One'. Its unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul.
The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise. In Hindu iconography, other deities, like Ganga and Ganesha are often depicted with lotus flowers as their seats.
The lotus plant is cited extensively within Puranic and Vedic literature, for example:

"One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus is untouched by water."
—Bhagavad Gita 5.10

In Chinese culture Confucian scholar Zhou Dunyi wrote:
"I love the lotus because while growing from mud, it is unstained."

Most deities of Asian religions are depicted as seated on a lotus flower. In Buddhist symbolism, the lotus represents purity of the body, speech, and mind as if floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire.
According to legend, Gautama Buddha was born with the ability to walk, and lotus flowers bloomed everywhere he stepped.

Source: Wikipedia

The image above was taken for the Weekly Informal Challenge (Week 121): "Beauty"

You can read the rules and check out images of other participants here

(Best viewed original size)

Nikon D300 ,Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR AF
1/800s f/5.3 at 250.0mm iso400 full exif

other sizes: small medium original
Pat nighswander06-Aug-2012 13:45
Beautiful capture. Nice composition
Brenda06-Aug-2012 10:33
Such beautiful detail!
carol j. phipps06-Aug-2012 03:56
Gorgeous isolation of this beautiful flower.
Mike H.06-Aug-2012 03:32
A beautiful and significant contribution to the weekly challenge -- appreciate the lotus facts also!! Superb, Walter.
Flo Hendry06-Aug-2012 03:16
Absolutely striking! Great colors, light and details and stands out so nicely against the almost black background. Excellent!!!
sue anne05-Aug-2012 21:20
Lovely against the black.
Christy VB05-Aug-2012 00:05
Wonderful image to represent beauty and meaningful background on the subject. Excellent contrast to highlight the beauty of the lotus.
wernere0104-Aug-2012 22:35
Definitely one of the most beautiful flowers. Like how it´s reduced to the essentials here because of the dark background. v
Karen Stuebing04-Aug-2012 22:01
Beautiful inner glow and delicacy in this lotus image. Love it against the dark background. V.
larose forest photos04-Aug-2012 21:47
Breathtaking shot of this exquisite flower. Love the info you provided, too. V+
J. Scott Coile04-Aug-2012 21:14
Helen Betts04-Aug-2012 19:14
Love your very elegant composition and the stark contrast against the black background. I also like the hint of green in the midst of all that black. V.
Chris(tine)04-Aug-2012 18:38
Simply glorious!
Hernan E. Enriquez04-Aug-2012 17:11
I have to agree with Laryl! V+
Laryl04-Aug-2012 15:48
this is beyond gorgeous.. you have set the bar very high!
Stephanie04-Aug-2012 15:44
How gorgeous!!!! This flower is such a beauty! BV
Tom LeRoy04-Aug-2012 12:52
Exquisite work, Walter. The contrasts with the black bg are beautiful. V
Bill Miller04-Aug-2012 06:42
Very lovely composition, colours and detail in this picture, Walter.
woody3404-Aug-2012 02:38
Beautiful image..wonderful colours and light on the black background..
Gary Hebert04-Aug-2012 02:13
gorgeous bright sharp floral work Walter... great bg... :-)
LynnH04-Aug-2012 02:00
This is excellent! so so good!!! And I appreciate the information too!
Sam Rua04-Aug-2012 01:30
Nice contrast against the inky black, Walter. A very creative comp as well.
FrankB04-Aug-2012 00:39
John G Reed04-Aug-2012 00:30
Ditto. Best. J
Jola Dziubinska04-Aug-2012 00:09
Stunning photo, Walter, fantastic light and isolation. V.
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