The Udumbara Flower

Udumbara Flower






In the Chinese language it is written udumbara and it is pronounced: "Youtan Poluo Hua". But what is Udumbara? Udumbara is the name of a legendary flower in Buddhism. "Udumbara" is a Sanskrit word, meaning "an auspicious flower from heaven." Their size is similar or somewhat smaller than a match head and white in color, with bell-shaped flowers and wire-thin stems. The flower stems can be connected to glass, steel, wood, stone etc. with no soil found in between.

This flower is so extremely seldom that some people confuse it with the eggs of the lacewing. But through observation under microscope, specialists concluded that they were definetely not worm eggs. Photographers over the years have taken close-up shots of such flowers, and some even caught the petals in full blossom as you can see above.

According to the Buddhist scriptures, it blossomed once before the birth of Buddha, and it may blossom only every three thousand lunar years from that point. The earliest Udumbara found in Korea was in July 1997 on a golden brass Tathagata sculpture in a Buddhist temple in Kyungki-Do. In May 2005, Udumbara was found in a thousand year-old temple, Sumi Zen Temple, located in Gyeongju City, Korea. From then on Udumbara flowers appeared in different parts of the World.

According to the Buddhist scriptures, Udumbara is an imaginary flower that only blossoms every 3000 lunar years when the King of the Golden Wheel (Falun) comes to the human world rectifying the Dharma. He is an ideal king who turns the Wheel that rectifies the Dharma, not through force but through justice in order to rule the world. Regardless of one's religious affiliation--Buddhism, Christianity or Confucianism--anyone who offers compassion to people will have the opportunity to meet the Holy King Who Turns the Wheel.

From the Lotus Sutra:
"The Buddhas are as difficult to meet as the Udumbara flower. It is also as difficult as it would be for a one-eyed tortoise to meet with a hole in a floating log. But our blessings from former lives are deep and thick, and so in this life we have encountered the Buddhadharma. Therefore, Father and Mother, hear us and allow us to leave the home-life. Why? The Buddhas are difficult to get to meet, and such a time is hard to encounter."