Spiritually, the lotus denotes purity, auspiciousness and piety. It is also a symbol of the entire manifested universe, found in every yantra and is associated with many deities of the Hindu Pantheon.
The other esoteric significance of the lotus is that it grows from murky, muddy waters and yet, is in no way attached to the water. It bursts forth into large leaves and gorgeous, fragrant blossoms, symbolizing the emergence of the pure, limitless Atman (soul) from the impure, limited material body. This lovely flower is also very nourishing – almost all its parts are edible and healthy. Hence, it represents the vital nature of the spiritual path in nurturing our whole self.
The elephants that shower Kamala with water symbolize the fertile rains of monsoon that create and nurture the whole universe. They also give her an air of royalty – she is the consort of Vishnu, the Preserver. Hence, she too becomes the preserver of the Earth.
While Lakshmi is usually depicted as serving Vishnu, Devi Kamala takes the position of the primary deity as the elephants bathe her instead.