Nirvana - In Buddhism, it does not come easily; many times, it requires hundreds of births and rebirths, along with a plethora of hardships, shortcomings and struggles. Once nirvana is attained, though, enlightenment ensues.
Hinduism isn't the only belief system that idealizes tattoos of lotus flowers, though. The flower design also features heavily in Buddhism. Nirvana is defined as the moment when a person reaches the highest possible state of consciousness.
Tattoos of the lotus flower are often associated with the precise moment that nirvana occurs, since it is an unfolding of the consciousness. Each petal, then, represents a different layer of the consciousness. As a body art subject, the lotus can be depicted as having endless layers of petals; many times, this depicts nirvana.
Ancient Egyptians attributed the lotus flowers that grew along the banks of the Nile River with rebirth. They also closely associated the glorious flower with the sun. For Egyptians, the concepts of rebirth and the sun were already closely intertwined.
Depictions of the lotus flower tattoo can be found in many kinds of Egyptian art. Many times, the lotus is used to symbolize the number 1,000; this is probably because of the popular - albeit false - belief that the lotus has 1,000 petals. If you're into hieroglyphics, then, the lotus flower design might be something to consider for your body art.