Padma

For centuries, the lotus has occupied a significant space in Indian thought, poetry, literature, art, and religions. Padma, as this graceful bloom is termed in Sanskrit, is rich in symbolism. It represents a fundamental principle of Hindu philosophy, that of maintaining purity and detachment through the vicissitudes of life. Rooted in mud and slime, the lotus rises from the darkness of its origins to float under clear skies, its leaves and flowers remaining untouched by water or mud. Ancient philosophers have extolled this natural phenomenon as an ideal to aspire for. In the words of the Bhagavad-Gita: “One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results unto the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful action, as the lotus leaf is untouched by water.”

 

In Buddhism, the lotus is one among the eight Auspicious Symbols, its life cycle representing the soul’s journey, from the depths of base materialism to the sunlight of enlightenment.  The Lalitsvara says: "The spirit of the best of men is spotless, like the lotus in the muddy water which does not adhere to it."

The colors and beauty of the lotus have inevitably found their way into our consciousness. Sacred texts describe Lord Krishna as “The Lotus-eyed One”. In iconography, Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity stands in a lake of pink lotus blooms, while Saraswati, goddess of knowledge sits within a white lotus.

In yogic thought, chakras – the body’s subtle energy centers – are typically shown as lotus blooms.

Of the many nature-inspired designs embraced by Kanjivaram weavers, the lotus is a classic. Stylized lotus motifs in zari or thread work grace borders and pallus, a tribute to the padma’s beauty and spiritual significance.

Adorn yourself in a Sarangi sari filled with lotus blooms and feel blessed this Deepavali.

Sarangi, the house of handwoven Kanjivaram Saris, is a beautiful store in Chennai, India. Its silk saris are a perfect combination of classic motifs, colours and weaves. This is the online shopping site for Kanjivarams from Sarangi.
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