Lotus mandala

Tattoo artist: Dr.Ink, Atka Tattoo, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

What is a Mandala?

In its basic form, a mandala consists of a square that contains four gates with a circle and a central point. It emanates radial balance and portrays a sense of proportion. Today, mandalas commonly refer to geometric patterns, charts, and diagrams representing the cosmos in a symbolic or metaphysical sense.

A mandala is one of the most popular themes when it comes to tattoo designs. The deep meaning and aesthetic beauty of this symbol make it a favorite among tattoo artists. Many artists combine lotus blossoms with mandala tattoos to add meaning and infuse floral beauty into the tattoo designs.

What Does the Lotus Flower Symbolize?

In Buddhism, the lotus flower symbolizes the act of overcoming materialistic worldly desires and transcending into a state of enlightenment, which involves spiritually uniting with the universe. Gautama Buddha used the lotus to depict how worldly dirt doesn’t stain the soul, just like how mud doesn’t soil the lotus as the flower grows.

In essence, lotus is a symbol of purity. Different colors of the flower also convey varying meanings. The red lotus, which bears a similarity to the heart, depicts love and burning passion. A purple lotus somewhat symbolizes mysticism. The eight petals of a lotus are seen as the representation of the eight-fold path advocated by Buddhism. Another type of colored lotus is a pink lotus, which embodies divine devotion. A blue lotus, on the other hand, exemplifies intelligence and lifelong learning.

A white lotus stands for peace as well as purity spiritually and mentally. According to the Buddhist religion, Buddha arose from a lotus flower, and his heart was white meaning his soul was pure and holy. Buddhists see the shedding of the flowers and seeds of a lotus as a sign of a virtuous soul guiding other souls toward Nirvana.

In Hinduism, the lotus is a pristine flower that portrays purity. It is also related to wealth and creativity deities. Additionally, the lotus symbolizes chakras or the energy centers believed to affect a person’s physical and spiritual health.

Meditation practitioners stare at lotus designs for a long time to achieve enlightenment. The highest spiritual form of lotus mandala designs contain 1,000 petals. However, these are quite complex, which is why many artworks generally feature smaller numbers of petals. Some mandala tattoos have eight or nine petals as these numbers are thought to hold a sacred meaning.

Lotus Symbolism in Other Cultures 

In Chinese culture, the lotus depicts flawless beauty. Poets, writers, and artists use this flower as a subject of their work because of its enchanting beauty. When it comes to relationships, lotus symbolizes perfect harmony.

In Egypt, the flower signifies reincarnation and the start of a new life. The lotus was believed to bloom from the sea, bringing life and leading to the creation of mankind on earth. In the West, the lovely flower also denotes the same meaning of life and rebirth. Additionally, the lotus is used to depict the search for meaning in a person’s life.

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