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TAGS: Allegories and metaphors; Buddhism; Flowers; Hinduism; Islam; Lotus temple; Mashriqul-Adhkar (House of Worship); Mashriqul-Adhkar, Delhi; Mughal empire and architecture; Symbolism
LOCATIONS: India; New Delhi
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The design of the temple in India creates the visual effect of a large, white lotus blossom emerging from the pools of water around it. Besides many other deep and old cultural meanings, flower imagery symbolizes the appearance of the new Manifestation.

The Image of the Mystic Flower:
Exploring the Lotus Symbolism in the Bahá'í House of Worship

by Julie Badiee

published in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 10:1-2, pages 11-26
Ottawa, ON: Association for Bahá'í Studies North America, 2000
About: The most recently constructed Bahá’í House of Worship, situated in Bahapur, India, was dedicated in December 1985. The attractive and compelling design of this building creates the visual effect of a large, white lotus blossom appearing to emerge from the pools of water circled around it. The lotus flower, identified by the psychiatrist Carl Jung as an archetypal symbol, carries with it many meanings. This article will explore these meanings both in the traditions of the Indian subcontinent and in other cultures and other eras. In addition, the article will show that the flower imagery relates also to symbols employed in the Bahá’í Writings and, while reiterating the meanings of the past, also functions as a powerful image announcing the appearance of Bahá’u’lláh, the Manifestation of God for this day.
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