March 27, 2008

Udumbara flower

Udumbara flower - Juan Bielsa

Udumbara flower
Oil on canvas by Juan Bielsa.

I sold this painting some months ago and still I feel its absence. Sure, we paint to sell our works, but some paintings of ours have a special meaning to us, just like this one to me.

In painting this flower I tried to express its uniqueness, its profound power and the many spiritual opportunities that it offers, just like buddhist texts (like the Lotus Sutra) explain. Obviously I followed my own creativity and did not paint the flower with its white petals, just like establish tradition. But in all the essentials I tried to give to it a majestic presence. A spiritual majestic presence, to be precise.

According to tradition, Udumbara flower blooms once every three thousand years. It is a very extraordinary event, like the appearence on this plane of a Buddha, to show to the world the wonderful fruits of the eightfold path, the absolute comprehension of Reality, and overcoming pain in this way; to announce to all humanity a future of love and compassion.

Udumbara flower emerges from chaos to restore the Dharma, justice, the law of love. Many spiritual traditions, throughout the world, have a similar idea. In Ancient Egypt, this supreme principle of order and justice was called Maat, opposed to chaos; the Mound of Creation also emerged from chaos, from the chaotic waters of the Nun, and the God Ra created afterwards all things according to Maat. In a tradition more familiar to us, the Greek have a concept very similar to Dharma or Maat: Logos.

Always humanity strives toward justice, love, order... and that's not easily made, always there are powerful forces trying to thwart any effort in that direction.

Anyway, the old traditions of the world always can give us the magic symbols that we need to never lose hope in our way to a better future, mapping poetically real happiness and wonders. Like the splendid symbol embodied in the flower of Udumbara.

Juan Bielsa

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