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The Voice of the Silence – Glossary – U

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The Voice of the Silence

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Udumbara (Sk.) B. [Fragment 2]

A species of fig-tree (Ficus glomerata) the fruits of which are very much desired, but flowers very rare; it is also the name of a species of cactus (which is said to flower at midnight on very high altitudes). It is also the name of a type of giant lotus (Nīla Udumbara or “Blue Lotus”) being sacred to Buddha; its very rare flowering is said to be a token of an exceptional event to come: this lotus would have been flowering before the birth of Gautama, and later, in the 14th century, just before the birth of Tsong-Kha-Pa. That is why the precious blossom of the Udumbara – whichever kind of plant it may be – is connected with the birth or presence of a very great Initiate. See also in the Voice “the midnight blossom of Buddha.” This flower has also a magic power, reported in the mythical descriptions of Devachan. See Beal, Cat. P. 379. See also T.G.

Upādhi (Sk.) Th. [I 40]

Basis, vehicle, or support of a more subtle reality, just as the physical body is the “vehicle” of the being animating it. The more common word for vehicle is Vāhana.

Upādhyāya (Sk.) B. [III 1]

A teacher attending to the observance of the rituals and rules of discipline within a monastic community. A tutor in charge of novices.