Because the lotus flower, growing along rivers, lies dormant, even for years, during times of drought, and rises again with blooms when the water returns, it was seen as a symbol of resurrections.
The lotus flower sleeps at night and awakens with the rising of the sun.
The lotus plays an important part in the traditions of Buddhists and the Hindus.
To the Greeks Ra, the sun god, emerged from lotus petals from the depths of the watery chaos.
There is an Egyptian Hieroglyph representing the lotus representing the new life the well-to-do Egyptians were expected to experience. It resembles a lotus blossom with a bent stem. There is, also, an Aztec flower glyph symbolizing the planet Venus.
The ancient Egyptians used the lotus flower to represent the number 1,000. Two lotus flowers growing from a bush represented the number 2,000.
Lotus-eaters, according to Greek mythology, were people living on an island near North Africa that was dominated by a particular lotus plant. These particular lotus fruits and flowers were the primary food of the island and were narcotic, causing the people to sleep in peaceful apathy.
In Homer's Odyssey IX Odysseus told how adverse north winds blew his ship off course as they were rounding Cape Malea. This is on the southern tip of Pelponnesus (bottom of Greece) and they were forced toward Ithaca (Spain). On the 10th day they made land at the land of the Lotus-eaters. Men were sent to shore for fresh water. These men had a mid-day snack of lotus with the lotus-eaters and quickly became apathetic. They did not care to return to the ship or to accomplish anything. They enjoyed being in la-la land. These men were forced back to the ship by other seamen who were told not to eat the lotus.
This passage from the Odyssey was the source for Alfred, Lord Tennyson's work entitled The Lotos-Eaters (sic.).
The 6th chapter of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence references the lotus-eaters.
The Greek historian, Herodotus (5th century BC), a confirmed vegetarian who ate only one meal each day that was parched wheat and fruit, was confident that lotus-eaters still existed in his day. He called them "Lotophagi" in his work entitled The History. Perhaps he was the world's first vegan.
There is so much relative to the lotus flower that a small book could be written concerning it and relative traditions. We chose to summarize a couple of salient points here.