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Brahma Kamal or Saussurea Obvallata in Botanical terminology is a very well known flower in India. The erstwhile name is more popular as it has been a part of Indian as well as Hindu mythology for centuries.
Brahma Kamal literally translates into the " Lotus of Brahma". It is said that the god of the gods', Lord Bramha adores the flower and even has one in his hand. Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe, is always depicted as sitting on a huge lotus and holding a Brahma Kamal in his hand. Most of the pictures of Lord Brahma depict him holding the flower. Another name for Lord Brahma is Kanja or the one born out of the water. So, various schools of thought state 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.
It is said to be auspicious to be blessed by a sight of a full blooming Brahma Kamal. The flower does carry medicinal properties and Hindus state that it is of a wish-fulfilling nature. Interestingly, this flower blooms only one night in a year, and surprisingly, during twilight. It takes two hours or so for it to bloom fully. Once fully bloomed it measures up to 8 inches in diameter. It is grown exclusively in Uttarakhand state in April-May and October.
A fully bloomed Brahma Kamal.Photo by Avijit Chinara on Unsplash.
Here are a few astonishing facts about Brahma Kamal:
- The flower has been named after Lord Brahma, the deity who created the universe. It is also dubbed as the King of Himalayan Flowers. Moreover, it is officially designated as the state flower of Uttarakhand.
- Brahma Kamal is exclusively offered at several holy shrines of Uttarakhand like the Kedarnath, Badrinath and Tunganath.
- It blooms only in a few homes and under a suitable climate. It is said to bring good luck and prosperity to such places.
- It is believed that whoever prays to get any wish fulfilled while the flower is blooming will get his/ her desire fulfilled.
- It is a Hindu belief of always gifting a Brahma Kamal. It is said that a Bramha Kamal should not be sold or bought from anywhere.
- The natives of Uttarakhand likewise Hindus believe that a Brahma Kamal does protect its owner from evil eyes and bad influences.
On the contrary, its natural habitat has been shrinking over the last few decades due to the advent of global warming. The decimation of native flora and fauna is further exacerbated by human encroachment and over-harvesting. The state government has now started nurseries in the Chamoli district to conserve the flower and its sister species - all of which have great medicinal value and spiritual value.
Keywords: Brahma Kamal, Hinduism, Hindu, Spirituality, Religious
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