Friday, 18 October 2013


Flowers are the nature’s way of adding color  beauty, fragrance, serenity, and happiness to the landscapes of earth. In almost all cultures, of past and present, it is adorned.The plant life, emanates through the flowers; though, not always.

Hindu religion accords special significance to the locally available sacred select flowers,leaves and fruits of various types in all the rituals,required to be performed by the devotee. A temple,where the flowers are not used to propitiate the presiding deity, is inconceivable. Most of the Gods and Goddesses in Hindu religion are associated with certain flowers. While paying their obeisance,the priests and the worshipers offer those special flowers,prescribed by the sacred texts or Vedic tradition/Brahminic custom; to seek the blessings of the divine or please them.

For example,the sacred lotus(Nelumbo nucifera)is the seat of the Hindu trinity Godheads; expressed as Brahma (The Creator), Vishnu(The Sustainer),and Maheshwara (The Destroyer) of the universe. The Brahma Kamala or the divine lotus flower is a rare species mostly found in the Himalayas; where the Gods and Goddesses dwell and the great Sages remain immersed in meditation, in seclusion.The sacred lotus and a mystical flower, known as Parijata are the flowers of the Heaven. Lord Krishna brought this Parijata flower tree and planted on earth. In heaven, Lord Vishnu’s throne always remains under the flowering Parijata tree.Lord Ram’s main devotee Lord Hanuman, too like to rest under the shades of the Parijata tree. The tree flowers only at night and sheds them after sunrise as if the falling flowers are the drops of a weeping Parijata tree(Nyctanthes arbour-tristis).

In India, the most beautiful eyes of a person is compared with/or referred to as like that of lotus (bud or petal). So, there are names of individuals or expressions, such as Padam Lochana(lotus eye),Padma Nava(The umbilical cord that attaches us with the Mother or the seat of Creation/Womb.The Mother is considered as the earth, submerged in deep water,from which emerges the lotus, firmly connected by a supple Cord. Therefore, every human being is considered as a lotus or a sacred entity/divine creation. For, ultimately, we all return to Daritri or the earth; from which we spring up again and again; following the path of reincarnation. Gautam the Buddha (Goutam the enlightened), describes the reincarnation cycles of human beings as that of sorrow and suffering. This is Mays or illusions in which we have to swim in agony. As and when we understand this reality of the illusions and free ourselves from its grip; then only we are led into the realm of Salvation or Mukti).

In Hinduism, the feet of the Gods and Goddesses (also, the feet of great Sages and Gurus) are called Padma Pada or lotus feet; touched in reverence, while seeking their blessings. This is considered the utmost humility/submission; on the parts of the mortal seekers of truth, knowledge, prosperity, happiness, peace, and salvation, etc. By touching the lotus feet, we create a connection with the divine, becoming sacred and one with it.

Kalidasa, the famous poet in Sanskrit describes woman’s face as a miracle of flower, blooming within a flower. Her beautiful eyes are like dark blue lotuses, blooming in the pink lotus of her face. Kalidasa also wrote Meghadutam (Sanskrit), a world classic of pure love, in poetry.

The giver of wealth and wife of Lord Jagannatha, Goddess Laxmi prefers the red lotus and Goddess Sarasvati, the giver of knowledge like the white lotus flower. The Mandara flowers (Hibiscus flowers) are offered to Maa Kali and other Goddesses associated with the Tantric tradition. Mandara comes in different colours, but the red Mandar is a common in home gardens. It is a resilient plant that can grow without much special care. 
The Indian Yogic, metaphysical and other tradition (Reiki, Pranic healing, etc.), it is believed that there are seven major Chakras or center of energy. We, too, have an Aura or energy field that completely covers our physical body.  The Chakras are the Root Chakra, Sacral Chakra, Solar Plexus, Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra, Third Eye, and the Crown Chakra. The Crown Chakra has been visualized as a lotus flower having infinite petals. The visualization of Crown Chakra and other Chakras has significant esoteric and spiritual meaning. In the Crown Chakra or Sahasara Chakra, The Mother Goddess Kamalamba (lotus mother) resides to guide us to a higher consciousness. Through this Padma or lotus, we receive the energy from above. As the lotus opens its petals during the day and closes at night, the lotus flower is considered as the friend of Sun God. (During daytime, the Sunflower takes over the role from the lotus!).

The top most portion of our brain contains this lotus. Through Yoga of certain order (Kundalini Yoga, etc.), the Yogi can open up myriad petals and thereby is able to see and perceive the Past, Present and Future (Trikala Darshi).  Nothing remains beyond his/her reach and becomes one with the cosmos and its creator. Lord Krishna had this Trikala Vision. The sacred Gita of the Hindus reveals these realities of Maha Yogi Krishna. The sacred Gita is the absolute knowledge for mankind. The highest of the Yogis, Krishna was an ordinary person, who had the onerous task of taking the cows for grazing in the forests.The Kadamba(flower) forests were the favorite destination for the Lord of the Universe. Here, he secretly met Radha, played his flute, looked after the fodder need of the cow herd. Krishna was always late in returning back home and feared his mother most for disobeying her order to reach home early. Maa Durga (Bana Durga) also likes the Kadamba (flower) forests, atop a lion. But Krishna, being a Gopala, preferred a buffalo to roam around the forests. In general, many other Gods and Goddesses also liked the Kadamba tree and its flowers. The tree is known as Neolamarckia cadamba in English.

The blue lotus (water lily or Neel Kamal, gets its esoteric colors from the bluish-dark skin complex of the face of Lord Krishna. Lord Rama, before going to rescue his abducted wife from the demon king Ravana of Lanka, worshiped Devi Durga, with one hundred Neel Kamal and seeking her blessing for his victory over Ravana. Maa Durga was pleased with his offering of the flowers and good intent and blessed Lord Ram to defeat the evil king and bring back Sita. As per another version, Lord Rama could only gather 99 blue lotuses and decided to add one of his eyes, blue in colour and resembling lotus to Devi Durga. The devotion of Rama moved the Devi and accepting only 99 blue lotuses, gave her consent to fight and defeat the demon king.

When Lord Ram was staying in the forests with his wife (Mother) Sita, the mighty king of Lanka with a cleaver maneuver, stole her and kept under the Ashok tree of his garden. Ashok means without grief and sorrow. The important tree has scarlet or crimson bunches of flowers which bloom in beginning of March. It is believed, when a beautiful woman touches her feet, the flowers comes out aplenty. Sita was consoled and spent the time of her detention, without much difficulty. Lord Rama soon defeated Ravana and rescued his wife. Incidentally, in Ayurvedic tradition, parts of the Ashok tree are used to prepare medicine helpful to cure some diseases associated with women. 

The devotees of Siridisai Baba, all over India and in other countries, specifically like to offer fresh red roses to the Sant (the wise soul), to seek his divine grace.Since, red roses are equated with love, in Siridisai Temple, the relation between the disciples and Baba is based on divine love.

It is believed that on rare occasions, when the bamboo flowers in a region, severe famine lurks on the horizon; most probably, due to phenomenal increase in the rat/rodent population and results in the decimation of the food stock by the marauding armies of the hungry animals. During the time, they reproduce very fast as a result of which the local human population rapidly slides into jeopardy.

Ah, I remembered about the pumpkins for the important reason that the humble pumpkin tastes great in Indian traditional spicy curries. But, the male pumpkin flowers, cooked with potato cubes, paste of spices, mustard oil, liberal doses of onion and miserly addition of green chilies  goes first class when take with rice. And, if one has his/her own kitchen garden with many pumpkin trees creeping or climbing up the supports; then it is possible to harvest the extra male flowers for the meals.In local markets, it is not available regularly, as the pumpkin farmers want not to disturb the pollination process, thinking that plucking will reduce the yield. We also prepare a green vegetable dish with the tender pumpkin leaves, pieces of pumpkin and it flowers along with turmeric paste, green chillies, oil and salt to taste. It is known as Kakhaaru Saaga or Maakhan Saag in Odisha. It is a delicacy of sorts, liked by people!

I love the fields in the countryside, for its fresh air, the greens and colors. Occasionally, when I come across, vast tracts of cultivation swaths, with thousands and thousands of flowering mustard and sunflower plants; I stop by to witness the mesmerizing effects of the canvases of nature’s hues, expressed through the flowers. Some of the village ponds too, look spectacular, hosting tiny water lilies to majestic lotuses, in mysterious patterns. On such times, I feel rewarded for taking the sojourn.

During autumn, the silk-white Kashatandi flowers (a wild grass of the pan sub-Himalayan India) fill the pristine river banks. The colonies of grass flowers dance to the tune of the passing breeze, looking magical; particularly under a quiet night sky and the moon hanging over the tracts. Under its spells one is bound to feel lost in awe. You wish, the entire earth is filled with the leisurely swinging whites. It is difficult to extract from the scenic exhibition by nature. The flowing rivers nearby the sand gardens can actually test your imaginations.

The elongated flowers of the wild Screw Pine (Kia bush flower), which grow in the coastal areas of the Bay of Bengal, have generated much interests among the poets, story writers and novelists of Odisha and elsewhere.  The Kia flower is much sought after for its unique fragrance, beauty and medicinal properties. The liquid, distilled from the flowers are used to prepare perfume, flavouring food stuffs and pharmaceutical products.

The mango flower is called Baula. When two young girls develop a very strong sense of friendship between them and feel that nothing is going to break it, they start calling each other as Baula. In such a situation of solid bond of friendship, the friends do not require to address the name of the friend. The term Baula carries more importance then the names of the committed-for-life friends. The Baula of a young girl is also recognized by the family members of both the friends and their other general friends. The Baula pairs of friends are considered special in a community. So, the flower of mango tree is a symbol of eternal friendship between two ladies. For the young boys, a different term, Sangaata or Maarshaad is applied; but it is not related to any flower, denoting only a very strong friendship exactly like the Baula pair.

In a gay or amorous relationship between two young ‘males’ (the social identity of the pair, but having no psychosomatic connotations), they may call each other, substituting the original names with two different flowers of choice. However, such a relationship is rarely known to the general public and is held privately by the consenting individuals.

While love between two young boy and girl is flowery or flower-full, in case of the married couple, the relationship is rock-solid or rocky. For the free loony souls a relationship is, neither flower nor rock, but a patch of green grass perched on a slab of sky rocketing rock.

When, it comes to choosing and wearing the dress, the ladies seem to predominately prefer their clothes having flower designs (but not restricted to it only); but the gentlemen, desire their dress materials mostly, without flowers on it (But, some of the time, they do sport such clothes). Somehow, and actually the flower represent the ‘she’ qualities and therefore, blends well with woman of all ages and times. The females adorn themselves with flowers and the males, don’t. Flower enhances and turns on the finer aspects of being in them and proliferates the ‘attract’. Life has to create and recreate. In a way, the leaf represents male force and the flower, which is basically a modified leaf; hints at feminine prowess—evolved and refined to carry on the progression of life in very many forms. However, both are necessary and equal, with different functions. 
I always, and is dreaming) to have a big garden full with flowers, some of them exotic and rare, a cosy home in a corner, a debit card (any time money card or ATM) with a never ending fat bank account, a bicycle, a supersonic aeroplane always ready to take off and parked in the nearby airport, the latest model of smart phone and super-computer, Yogic power to heal, lots of friends in various places across the globe, a vacation house on moon, foods of my choice, pure and clean drinking water, perfect health and youth, a simple and beautiful wife and lots of children. But wait; let me start with the first thing, fast. O0Op$...I don’t know exactly, which one in the wish-list of mine, is less important or more important!

By the way, the national flower of India is the pristine, virgin and mysterious lotus, considered the supreme realities, by the wise.

Let the flowers bloom, everywhere; of myriad colors and varieties.

May our paths be filled with ‘flowers'.