The lotus is considered the oldest flowering plant. Its fragrant flowers have adorned reservoirs since the Mesozoic era. Karl Linnaeus was the first to describe this plant, placing it in the Waterlily family, with whose representatives the lotus has a certain similarity, but after a while M. Adamson managed to convince scientists of the uniqueness of the plant, and since then the lotus is the only representative of the Lotus family.
You probably mean the water lily? The correct name is nymphaea or water lily - Nymphaeceae family.
Lotus is a representative of the Lotus family (lat.Nelumbonaceae).
In India and Egypt, as well as in Dioscorides, various types of water lilies (Nymphaea caerulea Saw., N. Lotus L.) were called lotus, as well as the nut-bearing lotus Nelumbo nucifera (Gaertn.)
So we can say that the water lily and the lotus are one and the same.
Let's not confuse it with a garden lily. And it's impossible to confuse them :)