Padma, the symbol, its uses in mandala and importance
The Padma is believed to be the central symbol in the Buddhism. Out of Eight Auspicious Symbols, the Padma or the lotus is chosen because lotus grows in the mud but blossoms without getting tainted, in the same way, the person who has the power of ignorance can only reach the enlightenment.
The enlightenment is also the same process of rising from darkness and shining into a beautiful flower. The enlightenment process is also like a lotus flower.If we closely see a flower, its petals are arranged in the concentric layers, and when the lotus blooms, each petal opens in succession. This gradual blooming of petals has been used as a metaphor to how a human body can attain enlightenment.
The symbol has also a great importance in Hindu Religion. Lotus Flower is one of the most popular symbols in Hindu religion. According to the Hindu Legends, Lord Brahma is said to be emerging from the navel of Lord Vishnu sitting on the lotus. The deity of Knowledge is also seen sitting on the flower.
The Padma uses in Mandalas
Most of the mandala has a lotus flower at the center. The reason for keeping it in the center is, mandala as viewed from outwards to the center. The utmost form of spiritual energy lies at the center of the mandala, at the Padma.
- Kalacakra Mandala: Kalacakra Mandala uses the Padma at the center of it, and petals are used around the concentric circles. The central lotus is used for the purpose that after crossing through different life paths, we finally reach the center to reach the enlightenment.
- Sri Yantra: Sri Yantra mandalas are hanged on the walls of the houses believing that Goddesses Laxmi will fill our life with wealth and prosperity.
- Nava Padma Mandala – It has a Lotus-centric design with a huge flower in the center used for Parameshwara initiation ceremonies.
Importance of the Padma
- The Padma is an important position in Hatha yoga. The regular practice of padmasana helps the practitioner to attain the utmost level of consciousness.
- The flower is offered to Buddisht Masters and Hindu deities.
- In Buddhist symbolism, the lotus is symbolic of the purity of the body, speech, and mind.