The Lotus is a symbol of divinity in Hinduism. Also called (Kunj) born of water, it rises above the water to bloom. Unsullied by the dirt at the bottom of the pool, it’s leaves are never wet though resting on water! The lotus is symbolic of man’s reach for the higher, the nobler, the most divine , by rising above the mundane and the worldly.

The  legendary Brahma kamal is an exotically beautiful, white lotus like Himalayan flower. With a heady fragrance it is a nocturnal beauty, extremely rare ,as it blooms only for one night in the whole year! Difficult to watch as it blooms at a height of 3,000 to 4,800 meters, only for a few hours before it withers. It is fabled to bring great luck and prosperity to the one who can see it bloom, fulfilling all his wishes. Many legends illustrate the flower’s life-giving powers. When Lord Shiva fixed an elephant’s head on his son Ganesh, Parvati prayed to Brahmaji to give him life. Brahmaji gifted her the Brahma kamal, and when Ganesh was bathed with the water sprinkled from the Brahma kamal, he revived! Gifted by Brahma, so Brahma kamal.

Draupadi was sad after being insulted by Duryodhana. Sitting one late evening near a Himalayan stream she suddenly saw a golden ,shimmering lotus blooming as it floated by. A strange divine joy, a spiritual bliss flooded her bosom. She had seen none other than the joy- endowing  Brahma kamal! The Valmiki Ramayan narrates how Hanumanji brought the whole Dronagiri mountain on which the medicinal herb Sanjeevani grew. Valmikiji describes the luminous herb as ( Sanjeevakarni) that which has life restoring power. Some scholars call the Brahma Kamal with the same name!

Though very rare, these wish-fulfilling flowers are offered with great devotion at the shrines of Kedarnath and Badrinath even today.

Prarthna Saran, President Chinmaya Mission New Delhi.


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