Brahma kamal is the mythical white lotus that has dominated the imagination of mythological experts from generations. Does the elusive magical flower of the Gods really exist? Yes it does, but with some minor alterations. Although stories from Hindu mythology describe this flower as a white lotus, it is actually a flowering cacti. The scientific name of this plant is Saussurea obvallata which places it firmly in the category of night flowering cactus.
The Brahma kamal is supposed to grow in the highest parts of the Himalayas and that holds true even today. This flower indeed grows in the Himalayan forests. There are several other references to this mythical flower. Here are some of the most important ones.
Mythical References To The Brahma Kamal:
The Lotus Of Brahma: The names of this magical flower can be translated to mean, 'the lotus of Bramha'. Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe, is always depicted as sitting on a huge lotus and holding one in his hand. Another name for Lord Brahma is Kanja or the one born out of the water. So, schools of thought say that Brahma was born from the navel of Lord Vishnu while others say that he was born from a huge white lotus that we call the Brahma Kamal.
The Life Giving Lotus: The story of the birth of Ganesha is a popular one. When Shiva attached the head of an elephant on Ganesha' s body, he was bathed with water that was sprinkled from a Brahma Kamal. That is why this lotus is given the status of a live-restoring flower of the gods. To evaluate it in terms of modern science, this flower has many medicinal properties.
The Golden Lotus: When the Pandavas were in exile in the forests, Draupadi accompanied them. She was constantly tormented by painful memories of her insult in the Kaurava court. The hardships of a forest life also took its toll on her. One evening she saw a beautiful lotus float away in the stream. After she saw this 'golden' lotus bloom, she felt a strange happiness that was almost spiritual. But the lotus withered as quickly as it had bloomed. Draupadi sent her most devoted husband Bhima to look for it and on his quest for the flower he met Hanuman (Bhima's elder brother). As a lotus is usually pink, 'golden' may mean a shimmering 'white'. This story too is a reference to this mysterious flower.
Wish Fulfilling: It is long held belief that anybody who sees this rare flower blooming will have all his or her wishes fulfilled. It is not easy to watch it bloom because it blooms in the late evening and stays only for a couple of hours. Also the fact that it is supposed to bloom once in 14 years makes it a very rare sight.
These are some of references to this divine flower in Hindu mythology. Do you know any more such stories about this flower of the Gods?