Symbols and art

The Indian lotus flower is similar to the European water lily but actually belongs to a different genus. The lotus (Skt. padma) grows in swampy pools. Its large leaves and snow-white or light pink flowers protrude far beyond the water’s surface. Moreover, water drips off the leaves so that the plant always looks clean. Hence, the plant was regarded as a symbol of purity in ancient India. Lotus blossoms are a frequent motif in Indian art. They are one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols.