Dear Members,According to The Dhamma Encyclopedia, Konagamana Buddha was sitting under the beautiful Udaumbara tree (Ficus Glomerata) when he became enlightened.
************* Konagamana : Udaumbara tree (Ficus Glomerata)
[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]
Ficus Glomerata Tree/fruits
In Buddhism, udumbara (Pali, Sanskrit; Devanagari: उडुम्बर) and uḍumbara (Sanskrit) refer to the tree, flower and fruit of the Ficus racemosa (syn. Ficus glomerata). In Buddhist literature, this tree or its fruit may carry the connotation of rarity, parasitism or Vedic mysticism.
The flowers of the udumbara are enclosed within its fruit, as in all figs (see "Fig pollination and fig fruit"). Because the flower is hidden inside the fruit, a legend developed to explain the absence (and supposed rarity) of the visual flower: in Buddhist mythology, the flower was said to bloom only once every 3,000 years, and thus came to symbolize events of rare occurrence. Allusions to this symbolism can be found in texts such as Theravada Buddhism's Uraga Sutta (Sn 1.1, v. 5) and Mahayana Buddhism's "Lotus Sutra," both described further below.
Udumbara Flowers Strangling figs
The udumbara tree is one of several trees known as "strangling figs" due to their often developing as seeds dropped on the branches of a host tree (by animals eating the fig tree's fruit) and, as the branch-borne fig tree grows, it envelops its host tree with its own roots and branches, at times crushing and replacing the host tree. Based on this life cycle, the Mahārukkha Sutta (SN 46.39) likens "sensual pleasures" (kāma) to such fig trees, causing their human hosts to become "bent, twisted, and split" (obhaggavibhaggo vipatito seti). Vedic amulet
In Vedic literature, fig trees often represent talismans with the udumbara fig tree having been deemed the "lord of amulets." Thus, in the Pali Canon, when Māra disguises himself as a brahmin in the Sambahula Sutta (SN 4.21), he carries a "staff of udumbara wood" (udumbaradaṇḍa). Pali literature
In the Pali literature, the udumbara tree and its flowers are used concretely (as the tree beneath which a former Buddha gained enlightenment), metaphorically (as representative of a caste) and symbolically (evoking the insubstantiality of things and self). Former bodhi tree
In both the Digha Nikaya and Buddhavamsa, the udumbara tree is identified as the tree under which the past Buddha Konāgamana attained enlightenment. Egalitarian emancipation
In the Majjhima Nikaya's Kaṇṇakatthala Sutta (MN 90), the Buddha uses the udumbara tree in a metaphor to describe how the member of any of the four castes is able to achieve the same quality of spiritual "emancipation" or "release" (vimutti) as a member of another caste:
[Buddha]: "I tell you, great king, that there would be no difference among them [the four castes] with regard to the release of one and the release of another. Suppose that a man, taking dry sala wood, were to generate a fire and make heat appear. And suppose that another man, taking dry saka (teak?) wood ... another man, taking dry mango wood ... another man, taking dry fig [udumbara] wood, were to generate a fire and make heat appear. Now what do you think, great king: among those fires generated from different kinds of wood, would there be any difference between the glow ..., the color ..., the radiance of one and the radiance of another?"
[King Pasenadi:] "No, lord."
[Buddha]: "In the same way, great king, in the power that is kindled by persistence and generated by exertion, I say that there is no difference with regard to the release of one and the release of another." Archetype of nonsubstantiality
In the Pali Canon's Sutta Nipata, the udumbara fig tree is used as a metaphor for existence's ultimate insubstantiality (in English and in Pali):
He who does not find core or substance in any of the realms of being,
like flowers which are vainly sought in fig trees that bear none,
— such a monk gives up the here and the beyond,
just as a serpent sheds its worn-out skin.
Yo nājjhagamā bhavesu sāraṃ
vicīnaṃ pupphamīva udumbaresu,
So bhikkhu jahāti orapāraṃ
urago jiṇṇamiva tacaṃ purāṇaṃ.
In the post-canonical Visuddhimagga (XXI, 56), the udumbara tree is again used to symbolize the "emptiness of all formations" (sabbe saṃkhārā suññāti, Vsm XXI,53):
Just as a reed has no core, is coreless, without core; just as a castor-oil plant, an udumbara (fig) tree, a setavaccha tree, a palibhaddaka tree, a lump of froth, a bubble on water, a mirage, a plantain trunk, a conjuring trick, has no core, is coreless, without core, so too materiality ... feeling ... perception ... formations ... consciousness ... eye ... ageing-and-death has no core, is coreless, without core, as far as concerns any core of permanence, or core of lastingness, or core of pleasure, or core of self, or as far as concerns what is permanent, or what is lasting, or what is eternal, or what is not subject to change. Lotus Sutra
The udumbara flower of the Ficus racemosa tree appears in chapters 2 and 27 of the 3rd century Lotus Sutra, an important Mahayana Buddhist text. The symbolic nature of the udumbara is used in the Lotus Sutra to compare the unique occurrence of its bloom with the uncommon appearance of the Buddha and its doctrine in the world:
As the Buddhas of the three periods of time
In such a manner spoke the Dharma,
So do I likewise now expound
The undiscriminated Dharma.
All Buddhas come into the world
But rarely, and are hard to meet;
And when they appear in the world,
It’s hard for them to speak the Dharma.
Throughout countless ages, too,
It’s difficult to hear this Dharma.
And those who can hear this Dharma--
Such people too, are rare,
Like the udumbara flower,
In which all take delight,
Which the gods and humans prize,
For it blooms but once in a long, long time.
So one who hears this Dharma, gives joyful praise,
With even just a single word,
Has thereby made offerings,
To all the Buddhas of the three periods of time.
Such people are extremely rare.
Rarer than the udumbara flower.
All of you should have no doubts,
For I am the Dharma King;
I declare to the assembly:
I use only the path of One Vehicle,
To teach and transform Bodhisattvas.
There are no Sound Hearer Disciples.
Shariputra, all of you,
the Sound Hearers and Bodhisattvas,
Should know that this wondrous Dharma
Is the secret essence of all Buddhas.
Thich Nhat Hanh places the flower in the context of enlightenment: To see a fully awakened person, a Buddha, is so rare that it is like seeing an udumbara flower
. In the Tu Hieu Monastery in Hue, there is a scroll which says: "The udumbara flower, although fallen from the stem, is still fragrant." Just as the fragrance of the udumbara flower cannot be destroyed, our capacity for enlightenment is always present. The Buddha taught that everyone is a Buddha, everyone is an udumbara flower.