9 Petal Lotus Meaning

Have you ever heard of padma?

It’s the Hindu word for the lotus. This delicate bloom has been so closely associated with personal development, spiritual growth, and enlightenment that it’s often referred to as the Sacred Lotus.

While the lotus flower is frequently depicted with eight petals that symbolize the Buddhist eightfold path, there are variations with nine petals as well. Both lotus varieties share many of the same meanings and have quite a few symbols in common.

Yet, there are a few differences that set the nine-petaled flower apart from its eight-petaled cousin.

Scroll down to read why this plant carries such profound meanings and which traditions draw inspiration from its eternal beauty.

The Meaning of the 9 Petal Lotus

In general, the lotus flower is commonly linked with meanings of purity, rebirth, and spiritual enlightenment.

As mentioned above, the lotus plant typically produces flowers that contain an even number of petals, with the eight-petalled variety being the most common.

Although, there are instances when they also produce an odd number of petals, depending on the variety.

The nine petal lotus is the most revered because it shares many characteristics with a group of flowers known as ‘monocots.’

Monocots are any type of flower with petals that are a multiple of three and consist of about 60,000 species of flowers worldwide.

Orange lotus flower

So, what does this mean for the nine petal lotus?

It means that the petals of this radiant flower are divisible by three. They’re a representation of the three most basic elements that make up each one of us: the mind, body, and soul.

Some people get tattoos of nine petal lotus flowers to symbolize various personal things. For example, for someone who is struggling with any kind of addiction, anxiety, or mental disorder, it can mean freedom from the restrictions and burdens they place on themselves.

Getting a nine petal lotus tattoo can also mean having the strength and determination to rise above the hardships and darkness to bloom into the light. Another representation is that it refers to having a second chance, a fresh start, and the strength to rise above temptations.

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Origins of the Lotus Flower

The lotus is a rhizomatous aquatic plant that belongs to the Nelumbonaceae family that dates back over 100 million years!

This perennial plant consists of only two species: Nelumbo lutea and Nelumbo nucifera.

Nelumbo Lutea

This variety is also known as the American Lotus or yellow lotus. It’s native to various regions of North America where the weather is warm and mild, especially Florida.

These plants are best known for their large, umbrella-like leaves that spread out over the surface of the water sometimes reaching two feet across!

The plant itself can reach a height of 3–6 feet tall. These huge plants produce beautiful-smelling blooms that can grow up to 12 inches across. They bloom for about three to five days before they shrivel up and die.

Yet, because they’re perennials, the plant typically starts producing new blooms as soon as springtime rolls around.

Nelumbo Nucifera

Alternatively, Nelumbo nucifera is often called the sacred lotus or the Indian Lotus. This radiant bloom is native to several parts of East, South, and Southeast Asia, and was adopted as the national flower of India in early 1950.

In Indian culture, it represents triumph, good fortune, and wealth. It also embodies enlightenment and knowledge.

Moreover, it’s been regarded as a holy symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism for centuries.

Sea of pink lotus in Thailand

The symbolism of the Lotus Flower

Lotus flowers have a wide range of important symbolic meanings. Each one varies depending on the culture they stem from. Yet, many of them share a common theme because of the way the flower grows so clean and radiant despite its muddy surroundings.

Take a look at some of the different meanings of the lotus as seen by different cultures.

  • Ancient Egypt: fertility, abundance, resurrection, new beginnings, regeneration, a metaphor for death and rebirth
  • Buddhism: awakening, purity, spiritual perfection, compassion, unity, and the ability to remain untouched by the negative aspects of our surroundings
  • Hinduism: beauty, fertility, eternity, prosperity, wealth, spiritual enlightenment, the ability to be free from worldly attachments, and the energy centers of the body
  • Yoga: resilience, power, faithfulness, and the ability to flourish despite being surrounded by suffering and corruption
  • Feng Shui: beauty and harmony; promotes the flow of energy, purification, removes negative energy, and brings about a sense of calm and peace

The Lotus Effect

The lotus effect is a term that scientists came up with to describe the lotus plant’s ability to clean itself.

‘How does it do that?’ you ask. Well, it’s simple really.

Lotus leaves are what’s known as ‘superhydrophobic.’ This is a big word that simply means that they can repel water.

The way they do this is all thanks to the needle-shaped wax tubes that cover the surface of each leaf. Plus, the contact angle of the water droplets with the leaves is always higher than 150 degrees, and a sliding angle that’s less than 5 degrees.

This unique characteristic ensures that it always stays spotless regardless of having to float around in muddy, murky waters.

Therefore, when water droplets fall on the leaves, they don’t stay in place. Rather, they roll down across the surface of the leaf.

Yet, what’s even more surprising is that as they glide over the leaf’s water-resistant surface, they gather dirt, debris, and other unwanted material that may have gathered on the leaf. As such, this allows the leaves to clean themselves off and regain their vibrant, dirt-free surface once again.

This is a direct reference to the lotus flower’s ability to be independent and continue to appear clean and untarnished. It’s a representation of our own potential to break free from the bonds we place on ourselves that make us feel stuck in life and make it much more challenging to move forward and pursue our goals.

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Wrapping Up

The lotus flower is an intriguing and unique plant. It’s been held in high esteem for centuries by many cultures and religions around the world.

That’s partly why the nine petal lotus has several awe-inspiring meanings, making it even more admired and revered.

There’s also the aesthetic aspect that only seems to add to the grace and beauty of these alluring blooms.