In the Buddha’s Lotus Footsteps

Bridging the World

Text & Pic | Buddha Museum International Affairs Department


Have you been greeted by the warm summer breezes lately? Have you been listening to bullfrogs' symphony while wandering around the ponds adorned by graceful and modest lotuses, as if they are contestants of a beauty contest. Lotus, planted in most monasteries, is a symbolic flower in Buddhism. According to the Abhiniṣkramaṇa Sutra, lotus flowers are strewn under every step of Prince Siddhartha as he takes seven steps towards each of the six cardinal points.

In the Song dynasty, a poet named Zhou Dun-yi once wrote, “How stainless it (lotus) rises from its slimy bed! How modestly it reposes on the clear pool.” This phrase encourages us to remain undisturbed by external influences, just like a lotus. The lotus also symbolizes wisdom as recorded in the sutra, "when a Buddha emerges from a blooming flower, the truth of the unborn is realized," meaning that we were all born with an innate Buddha nature. People might associate seeing the Buddha with instant liberation, but this is not true, for Sunakṣatra was reborn in the lower realms despite being a disciple of the Buddha. The lotus bud thus represents our mind, which with constant cultivation of the good deeds, such as the Three Acts of Goodnesss and the Four Givings, can blossom into full enlightenment.

In "Thus Said," Venerable Master Hsing Yun pointed out, "the lotus means purity, and it represents the pure minds of people; in Buddhism, the lotus symbolizes the fragrant mind of the monastics and lay people." When you come to the Buddha Museum, don’t forget to share your blessings with a lotus mudra.

The Earthly Pond (Artworks of Lotus by Chang Dai-Chien and Other Artists)

Exhibition Date: 2021-05-05 to 2021-08-15

Exhibition Venue: Main Hall Gallery 1

Online Exhibition: