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How to make a Lotus Flower. Simple version and Origami versions. Plus why are they so special in Hinduism and Buddhism

Updated on November 20, 2013

Why is the Lotus flower special?

The Lotus flower is a fragrant pink or white flower, which is native to eastern Asia and Australia. Other names it is well known by are the sacred lotus, Indian lotus, or as simple as the white lotus. It is also known as the Egyptian water lily.

With many cultures throughout Asia the lotus has been a powerful image or religious symbol. Hindus, Buddhists and ancient Egyptian religions have all known the lotus as a sacred flower.

The lotus grows in unclean water and because the blossom is a pure white colour, it has come to be seen as a symbol of purity and resurrection. It also has many other meanings though, like spiritual development and creation, and has also come to represent divine birth.

Below are two main religions which use the Lotus flower to represent something special. They are side by side so you can compare the two.

What does the Lotus flower mean to Hindus?

The Lotus flower is a very important symbol in Hinduism. It represents beauty, prosperity and fertility. Other meanings it has come to represent are purity, divinity, eternity, fertility, youth and a symbol of life. The spirit of the sacred lotus is within everyone one, according to Hinduism.

It is believed that a person should work without attachments, untouched by sin. The lotus roots are not attached to the waters bottom, and the flower stands high above the mud and water, so it is a true representation of their beliefs. They go further by saying that people should strive to reach the highest level of consciousness, which is represented by the thousand petalled top of the head of the flower.

Hindus believe that the cosmic waters grew a thousand petalled Lotus flower of pure gold. This Lotus grew from the navel of the God Vishnu; at the center of the flower sat Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Protector) and Siva (The Merger). This was considered to be a doorway, or even an opening to the womb of the universe. Brahma was charged to re-create the universe after the great flood. In this task he used different parts of the Lotus plant.

The Goddess Lakshmi (patron of wealth and good fortune) has her divine seat on top of a blooming pink Lotus and also holds a Lotus in her right hand. A garland of 108 lotus seeds is still used today to worship Lakshmi.

The Goddess Durga (Patron of Power) was created by Lord Siva to fight demons and was adorned with a garland of Lotus flowers by Varuna.

The Goddess Saraswati (Patron of Wisdom) is linked with the white Lotus.

In fact nearly every God or Goddess of Hinduism is associated with the Lotus flower. They are usually depicted as sitting on top of one because the flower represents purity and divinity.

Because of this, the Lotus flower is used as an offering to the Gods.

What does the Lotus mean to Buddhists?

  1. A symbol of fortune, the lotus flower is very important for Buddhists. With the fact that it grows in muddy water, and how the flower grows from this into a beautiful, pure white flower, represents a person growing from the murk to achieve enlightenment themselves.
  2. A second meaning is purification. It represents purifying the spirit when it is born into murkiness.
  3. The third meaning is faithfulness. Those people who have been enlightened to live above the murkiness will have to use faith to keep themselves there.

Like Christian society, white has a meaning of pure and red has a meaning of love and compassion. These meaning are the same for Buddhists in terms of the Lotus flower. On top of this, blue means common sense, which is vitally important to create enlightenment in the use of wisdom and logic. A pink Lotus flower represents the history of Budda. The purple Lotus flower represents spirituality and mysticism and then there is the gold Lotus flower which represents achievement of enlightenment.

As well as colour, the stages the flower goes through also represents things in life. A closed flower represents the time before a Buddhists has found enlightenment, where a fully blooming flower represents full enlightenment.

Mud represents that all humans are born in a world of suffering. This is however a vital part of human enlightenment; it makes us stronger and teaches us many things like how to resist temptation. Everyone should choose the right path over the easy one to reach enlightenment. Only when all evil thoughts are banished from our minds can a person break free of the muddy water and become one with Buddha.

And finally, the Lotus flower represents rebirth; the flower growing from the murk. A rebirth of ideas, and acceptance. Also a rebirth as in reincarnation.

And what about the ancient world?

In ancient Egypt, the Lotus represents the sun, and with this, creation and rebirth. This comes in large with the fact that the petals close at night and sink underwater, only to rise and open again at dawn. It was said that the Lotus gave birth to the sun and therefore was a very important part of ancient Egyptian culture and beliefs.

So how do I make my own Lotus flower?

There is a few ways I am going to include in this hub, ranging from an easy method to a more complicated but very effective origami method of making your own.

So take a look below to see how you can make your own.

What will I need for this easy flower?

  1. A4 piece of white paper
  2. A3 piece of green card
  3. Scissors
  4. Glue

1. The easiest of the Lotus flower creations:

  • First take an A4 sheet of white paper and fold it in half along the long edge.
  • Next you need to draw on four lotus leaves next to each other that fills most of the half of the paper.
  • Cut these shapes out so you have eight petals.
  • Take each petal and cut 1cm (roughly 1/2 inch) up from the base.
  • Glue one side of this cut and fold this under the other side.
  • Hold these two parts together until they have stuck.
  • Do this for each of the other seven petals.
  • After this is done, glue the bottom of one petal and place it on top of another bottom of a petal.
  • You should do this to form a circle of five petals.
  • The other three leaves should be glued down in the middle of this five petal circle.
  • Next, take the green card and cut a lily pad shape out.
  • The eight petal circle can then be glued into place on top of this lily pad.

What do you need for this simple Origami Lotus flower?

  1. A4 sheet of paper (or better still a square piece of paper)
  2. Scissors if you need to cut the paper down.
  3. Colouring crayons

2. Simple Origami Lotus flower

  1. Fold one corner over to create a right angled triangle.
  2. Cut the off cut off and open to create a square.
  3. Take the square paper and fold diagonally both ways.
  4. Unfold.
  5. Next take each corner and fold them into the centre.
  6. Repeat this step twice. Each time the square will become smaller and harder to work with because it will get thicker but still make sure each crease is very sharp.
  7. Flip the paper over and fold the corners into the centre once.
  8. Take one half of one of the back flaps and fold it halfway out. Repeat for each of the four.
  9. Flip the flower back over to the front and start to unfold the flaps from the center to the corners. If you use a pen or pencil to do this then it can create a curved appearance.
  10. Repeat with the other layers.
  11. Colour in the edges of each petal to make it look better.

What do I need?

  1. A4 Piece of paper
  2. Scissors if you are cutting the paper down into a square shape.
  3. Colouring crayons

3. A more complicated Origami Lotus flower.

  • Fold one corner over to create a right angled triangle.
  • Cut the off cut off and open to create a square.
  • Take the square paper and fold diagonally both ways.
  • Unfold.
  • Take each corner and fold into the middle of the square, creating a smaller square.
  • Repeat this to create an even smaller square.
  • Flip the small square over.
  • Then you fold the corners into the middle of the square like you did before, to create an even smaller square.
  • Take each of the corners, from the centre and fold back on themselves so the point is roughly halfway back on the triangle of the fold.
  • Flip it back onto the front.
  • Unfold the tabs from the back.
  • Take one of the corners from the middle and fold back on itself so that the point of the fold extends past the edge of the square.
  • Repeat for the other three corners from the middle.
  • Flip it back over to the back.
  • Fold the tabs, which have the corners folded back a small way, back into the centre of the paper. (The 'petals of the flower' should start to pop up.)
  • Flip it over again.
  • Take each corner from the middle and fold back gently as far as you can. (Be very careful as it is easy for the paper to rip here)
  • Finish your Lotus flower off by decorating it any colour you want.

4. How to make a 20 petal Lotus flower with Stamen

The forth version of this is too complicated to follow from a set of instructions but I have included it as it makes a great Lotus flower. I think it would be best to watch the video and do as you see.


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    • Kukata Kali profile image

      Kukata Kali 

      6 years ago

      I shared this on FB. Hope you get some extra hits!

    • Jacqueline4390 profile image

      Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS 

      6 years ago from Memphis

      It is a lovely flower. I think even if it was not a symbol of fortune, I would find it interesting. It seems to float so serenely on the water as if to say, "don't bother me with the problems of the day ... just let me be beautiful." Thanks for an interesting article


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