Lotus is also a British performance automobile manufacturer of some fame and reputation. They have in their time produced several famous movie or television vehicles, including the Lotus Super Seven KAR-120C, seen in every episode of the BBC show The Prisoner, and the Lotus Esprit driven by Agent 007 in the films of The Spy Who Loved Me and, briefly, in For Your Eyes Only.

The Lotus Group of Companies, which includes Lotus Cars as well as Lotus Engineering and other ventures connected with racing and automotive engineering, is based in Hethel, in Norfolk, England. Proton Automakers of Malaysia holds an 80% stake in the Lotus Group.

Currently, Lotus produces the twin-turbo V8 Esprit, variants of the extremely lightweight Elise, and professional sports (race) cars and engines. It also is engaged in joint engineering and research projects with companies around the world.

One day, I will own a Lotus Esprit V8 Twin Turbo. 360 BHP, and more important, oh-so-sleek looking. This is an attainable dream, too; the only thing in the world that depreciates faster than a Jaguar automobile is a Lotus! They *are* British Cars, after all. Time to save some pennies...

The Custodian: Lotus the car maker was also a Formula 1 team who won many championships and introduced lots of technological advances (and a not-so-technological one. Keep reading). They were the first to use aerodynamics to increase car performance. They advanced ground effect (a way of sucking air from below the car to "glue" it to the floor and improve cornering speeds), although it was first seen on Chaparral sportscars.

They were also the first racing team to use commercial sponsorship. In 1968, Lotus F1 cars appeared with advertising for Gold Leaf cigarettes painted on their sides, surprising everybody.

Colin Chapman was the genius behind Lotus. After he died in 1982, the team went into a slow decline, eventually dissolving in 1994. Their last Grand Prix win was in 1987 in the United States with Ayrton Senna.

The Lotus Flower

The Lotus is an aquatic plant (Nelumbium Nuciferum) native to Asia and Australia. One of the earliest known flowering plants, it can be traced back to the Cretaceous period (135 million years ago). The rhizomes of the plant tend to be firmly anchored in the mud, while the flowers and leaves, which are attached to long stems, rise above the water's surface. Most of the plant's parts are edible, especially, the crisp rhizomes, which are pocketed with air tunnels. Both leaves and leaf stalks are eaten as vegetables in Asia, while the flowers are used for worship, and are sometimes eaten.

Lotuses are said to have the oldest viable seeds in the whole world. As a testament to this, one thousand year old lotus seeds have been found capable of germinating into fine plants. Recently, scientists have determined that L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase is the enzyme responsible for this special ability of lotus seeds to repair damage to proteins within their cells before the germination process. This knowledge could give us new clues about the aging process in other organisms. Along with this scientific claim to fame, the lotus flower is also prized for its traditional associations with prosperity, long life, good health, honor and good luck. Small wonder then, that it was picked to be the national flower of India!

Just as the Rose is a familiar Christian symbol, The Lotus flower has long established in Vedic and Buddhist art and literature as a symbol of enlightenment and purity. The lotus is a symbol for the chakras or the centers of consciousness in the body. Several Hindu deities such as Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, Brahma, the creator, and Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Taras, are often seen on a lotus seat or a lotus pedestal. Known as a "kamalasana", these lotus seats symbolize purity or enlightenment.

A member of the water lily family, the lotus has its roots in the mud, and yet its stunningly beautiful flowers regularly reach eight to twelve inches out of the water, basking in the sunlight. In Hindu and Buddhist spiritual texts, this pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment. The mud is likened to the roots of evil, namely greed, hatred and delusion, while the blossom stands for enlightenment. Thus, the blooming of these sun-loving flowers is offered as a metaphor for the enlightened being, who emerges undefiled, despite living in a world of maya.

In Yoga, one of the main postures for the practice of meditation is "padmasana", or the lotus position. The head is held high and the body adopts a cross-legged seated position. This is symbolic of the spiritual aspirants upward reach towards pure knowledge while being rooted in the material world of experience.

In Tibetan Mandala paintings, the image of the eight-petalled lotus symbolizes cosmic harmony, while that of the thousand-petalled lotus represents spiritual illumination. These images tend to be more stylized as lotuses do not grow in Tibet, but they continue to retain their significance within the buddhist practice.

The Taoists see the open lotus blossom as a symbol of openness and wisdom. Taoist artists seem to favor this symbol as a reminder of beauty, light and life. The preponderance of Lotus imagery in Chinese poetry speaks to its popularity in that culture, whether in a spiritual context or with reference to the beauty of the feminine.

The traditional color of the flower, seems to be a pinkish hue, or more often, white, which is commonly hailed as "the color of purity". Red and Blue lotuses are also sometimes mentioned in sacred texts. The red lotus is said to symbolize the original nature of the heart (hrdaya), and is therefore, the lotus of love, compassion, and passion. The blue lotus symbolizes the victory of the spirit over the senses. It is the lotus of Manjusri, and also one of the attributes of Prajnaparamita, the embodiment of the 'perfection of wisdom'. Interestingly, in ancient Egypt, the blue lotus was prized for its rich perfume, and its narcotic ability for producing heightened awareness and increased tranquility. Egyptian art and architecture prominently features lotus imagery, which was strongly associated with the sun, as it blooms by day and closes by night.

The benefits of lotus, are said to be easily available as a flower essence. In it's essence form, Lotus has been called the spiritual and emotional elixir. Taken before meditation, it calms the mind, and increases concentration. It is known as an excellent elixir for balancing the chakras and results in better harmony and health. It is believed to clear the body of toxins, as well as correct emotional imbalances by allowing a gentle release of emotions. It is also popular as a harmonizing essence for interpersonal relationships.

Hail to the Jewel within the Lotus!

Lo"tus (?), n. [L. lotus, Gr. . Cf. Lote.]

1. Bot. (a)

A name of several kinds of water lilies; as Nelumbium speciosum, used in religious ceremonies, anciently in Egypt, and to this day in Asia; Nelumbium luteum, the American lotus; and Nymphaea Lotus and N. caerulea, the respectively white-flowered and blue-flowered lotus of modern Egypt, which, with Nelumbium speciosum, are figured on its ancient monuments.


The lotus of the lotuseaters, probably a tree found in Northern Africa, Sicily, Portugal, and Spain (Zizyphus Lotus), the fruit of which is mildly sweet. It was fabled by the ancients to make strangers who ate of it forget their native country, or lose all desire to return to it.


The lote, or nettle tree. See Lote.


A genus (Lotus) of leguminous plants much resembling clover.

[Written also lotos.]

European lotus, a small tree (Diospyros Lotus) of Southern Europe and Asia; also, its rather large bluish black berry, which is called also the date plum.

2. Arch.

An ornament much used in Egyptian architecture, generally asserted to have been suggested by the Egyptian water lily.


© Webster 1913.

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