Lotus: A National and A Sacred Flower
Contd. From: http://www.oneworldnews.com/lets-understand-and-start-living-hinduism-xi/
If God is beautiful, then so is our nature and so are the things offered to God. The lotus,being the symbol of beauty, is offered to the deity. The lotus plant is cultivated in muddy orslushy areas, but the flower itself is much above water shows that the flower though weaned in water is detached from water and is much above it. This inspires us to stay in the world socially but still be detached. Also, the leaves of the lotus do not get wet are indicative of the fact that a knowledgeable man remains joyous and peaceful always and hence teaches us that we should remain unaffected by the sorrows and changes of this world.
The Hindu temples have the shape of a closed lotus bud, a shape that attracts a lot of positive energy into it. The shape of our mother earth also resembles that of the closed lotus flower.
Lotus is a symbol of prosperity and Lakshmi and hence Lotus is offered to the Goddess. Every part of the lotus is so supple and beautiful that its beauty is compared with various parts of the lord ( Kamalnaynam, padamasanam, kamal ke samaan komal, and so on). The arrangement of its petals resemblesthat of each of the energy centers in our body and hence making it easy for us to visualize our energy centers during meditation.
The lotus blooms with the rising sun and close at night. Similarly, our minds open up and expand with the light of knowledge. The auspicious sign of the swastika is said to have evolved from the lotus.