A Lotus flower (Nelombo Nucifera), Sri Lanka.
A different angle on a shot that I’ve had on rb for agees… this is the accompanying description with the first shot:
Lotus flowers, or “sacred water-lilies”, amongst other names, are considered sacred both in Hindu and Buddhist religions.
In Buddhism (I took this photograph at a Buddhist rock temple), the lotus represents purity of body, spirit and mind “floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire”. And according to legend, the Buddha could walk from birth and everywhere he stepped, lotus flowers bloomed. It is for this reason that the Buddha is often depicted sitting on a giant lotus leaf or blossom.
Meanwhile, not wishing to miss it out, in Hinduism, the Lotus is associated with creation mythology and the gods Vishnu, Brahma, and the goddesses Lakshmi and Sarasvati. It has also traditionally symbolised divine beauty, with the unfolding petals suggesting the expansion of the soul.
Anyway, Religious Education lesson over. I have a feeling this particular specimen might have been not fully opened, but I’m no botanist, so what do I know?