The Lotus Paradigm

On Plurality of names and Nature’s Expression..

Sujatha R
4 min readNov 18, 2020

“As the lotus emerges from the dark and the muddy depths of the waters, it begins its upward journey towards the light and blossoms in full radiance..”

Sanskrit offers a variety of names which describe the various facets of the lotus. It has been included in ancient works more than thousands of years old as an expression of divinity, philosophy, architecture and poetry.

A friend had asked recently.. “I have always wondered why does Lotus have so many synonyms? Something like Water, I can understand. Probably some deeper inner significance?” Some lateral thoughts.

“One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results.. is not affected by the action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by the muddy water.” “padma patra iva ambasi” Gita 5.10

“This life is as transient and unstable like a drop of water slipping on the lotus leaf” “nalini-dala-gatam” Bhaja Govindam

Sanskrit uses the root “Ja” meaning “born from” as a suffix which it applies to names. “that which is born in waters” as in “jalaja”, “ambuja”, “niraja”, “nadija”, “saroja”,”sarasija”, “varija”, “apja”, “toyaja” and so on.

“that which is born in the mud” as in “pankaja”, “vimala”..

“kamala” “the beautiful and coloured resplendant one”. Nalini, rajeeva, padma, aravinda, pushkara, taamara, kumuda, utpala, pundareeka are some other popular names.

Perhaps the Lotus petal shape is a fundamental building block of Nature..

Just like the flowers follow a mysterious pattern in their petal count sequence and not an arbitrary number.. ensuring stability and surrender in all times.. Just like ratios in nature are not arbitrary.. Golden they are.. Be it the fingers of our fist or the curl of the snail or the equation of a tree..

While the pentacles and hexagons are the building blocks at the lower level of construction, the flower petals with varying styles radiating from the Centre of the bud seem like the building blocks.

The envelope of 5 fingers radiating from the wrist.. the shape of the eye .. the shape of the eye socket.. the shape of the leaf..

Not just a poetic expression. It is nature’s expression perhaps.. The spindle shape of muscles.. The flame.. When we sit in padmasana, the folded legs resemble the petal shape.. And shape of the raindrops..hence padma asana

Perhaps a beautiful mathematical envelope that our ancestors have visualized. Aerodynamic shape of a sesame seed and bitter melon.. aerodynamic shape of limbs ‘Saroruha’..

And aerodynamics and principle of drag.. shape of the fish and birds..

Some poetic expressions from the kitchen.. On the white planks of Himalayas.. immaculate like the white lotus.. Shiva teaching the Saptharishis..

Layers of coding hidden in the petals of cabbage..

When we speak.. Depending on the consonant.. there is excitation and resonance at certain points.. A blooming of sound and it’s further amplification. And these envelopes called as chakaras..

And the amazing cross-sections, top views and some inspirations..

Padma patra vishaalakshi” wide beautiful eyes like the Lotus leaf.. -Gita

Sarasija hasthe..Saroja kamale.. kamale kamalaksha-vallabhe” “hands and eyes like Lotus”.. Kanakadhaara Stotram

Kamala jaadala Vimala sunayana” eyes like lotus

sinjAna-maNi-manjIra-manDita-srIpadAmbujA” tinkling gems on Devi’s feet.. Lalitha Sahasranama

Bhishma Drona tata Jayadratha jala Gandhara Nilotpala” -Gita Dhyaanam “Crossing the banks of the worldly ocean whose waters are Bhishma Drona Jayadratha and water lilies in the form of Shakuni




Sujatha R

I write.. I weave.. I walk.. कवयामि.. वयामि.. यामि.. Musings on Music, Linguistics & Patterns