Indian textiles, with their excellent execution, vibrant colours and hidden interpretations have lured many a people. Their textures and motifs, whether woven or embroidered have always aroused interest. Among the innumerable motifs, that have been passed on to us, since centuries, there was one which was an emblem of special sanctity, and is still so in many parts of the world: the aquatic plant Lotus.
Lotus in its various forms has been adorning Indian textiles, since a very-very long time. But these beautiful flowers have not been merely used for decorative purposes; they have hidden meanings behind them. Somewhere they depict the Cosmos and somewhere else, the beauty of a woman.
Most of the famous Indian textiles like Kantha, Kasuti, Chamba rumals, Picchvais, Gujarat embroidery, as well as woven textiles, like Ikat and Paithani employ the lotus motif as the main motif, full of meaning and significance.
Man saw in lotus, a reflection of the solar system, and a relationship with the cosmic rhythm. This lovely padma, seemed to arouse everyones interest with its salient features of opening with the arrival of the sun, and closing with its departure. This led to a very logical conclusion, that lotus was the rest house of the sun. Therefore in Hinduism it became a symbol of the sun and of creation, as also in Jainism and Buddhism of perfection and purity, because its flowers grow in long stalks, high above the water, while its roots remain in the mud. With its roots in the mud, its stalk traversing the entire depth of the waters on which it rests its leaves, its flowers open to the light of the heaven, the lotus belongs to this world and to those above and below, to light, earth and water. This singular property of the lotus makes it a transition symbol. The fact that drops of water, roll off a lotus, like water off a ducks back, gives this unsoiled flower an added symbolic meaning, it becomes a simile for non-attachment.