The fortunate lady’s flower appears several times throughout the play, and symbolizes the limitations of Padmini’s happiness in her marriage. When Padmini, Devadatta, and Kapila are traveling in their cart, Padmini spots a beautiful tree and asks Kapila what it is. He explains that the flower gets its name because “it has all the marks of marriage a woman puts on” (yellow like the color of her dress, a red spot like on her forehead, black marks resembling a necklace). Padmini is entranced by Kapila’s explanation, and also by his body as he climbs to retrieve the flowers for her. Thus the use of the flower is a duplicitous symbol. Although Kapila explains that it signifies marriage, for Padmini, it also represents her thoughts of infidelity, and how she is dissatisfied in her marriage to a single man. The tree appears later, when Padmini visits Kapila in the forest (after he and Devadatta have switched bodies) and she expresses that she is unhappy and that she misses Kapila. Finally, the Bhagavata explains that the tree grows where Padmini performs sati, thus defining both her life and her death by the limitations of her marriage.
The Fortunate Lady’s Flower Quotes in Hayavadana
Why do you tremble, heart? Why do you cringe like a touch-me-not bush through which a snake has passed?
The sun rests his head on the Fortunate Lady’s flower.
And the head is bidding good-bye to the heart.