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The lotus, Nelumbo nucifera, is an aquatic plant that plays a central role in the art of Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism.
In Asian art, a lotus throne is a stylized lotus flower used as the seat or base for a figure. It is the normal pedestal for divine figures in Buddhist art and Hindu art, and often seen in Jain art. Originating in Indian art, it followed Indian religions to East Asia in particular.
The lotus represents the purity of the body, speech, and mind as if floating above the murky waters of material attachment and physical desire. According to legend, Gautama Buddha's first steps made lotus flowers appear everywhere he stepped.
In Tibet, Padmasambhava, the Lotus-Born, is considered the Second Buddha, having brought Buddhism to that country by conquering or converting local deities; he is normally depicted holding a flower. Lotus thrones are the normal pedestal for most important figures in Buddhist art.
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