GEMS  OF  KASHMIRI  LITERATURE
AND  KASHMIRIYAT

The Trio of Saint Poets - I

by
P. N. Razdan (Mahanori)

PREFACE

While only ten out of nineteen textbooks for High and Higher Secondary class students captured the Jammu & Kashmir markets for over three decades, till they were replaced by N.C.E.R.T. courses in 1983, only four out of the other twenty one books of general interest two of them on Indian education - were published (Excluding a third one, also on Education). The loss of the rest of the completed MSS dawned upon me after our forced flight, in panic for life, to Jammu on 3rd March 1990. The next six months passed on in a spell of idleness.

Then, all of a sudden, in mid-August of the same year a mysterious spurt stimulated me into completing about 40 to 50% of each of the five new books upto the middle of December 1990 i.e. in four months time, to make good, at least, a part of the colossal loss and at the same time to forestall and surmount unavoidable frustration thereof. And, as generally happens in such cases, it is not much surprising to note that barely one of these five books could be completed by now after over three years.

And, what impact it is expected to have on the reader is yet to be seen. The instinct of individual pugnacity and racial ego seem to have pushed to the background all cannons of sobriety, wisdom and mutual sympathy not to speak of the spirit of humanism all over the globe in recent times, more so in Asia.

The evils of large-scale corruption, violence and terrorism, turmoil and bloodshed as well as international tension that followed, find their roots in unbroken animal instincts, powerful desire and craving, avarice and greed jealousy tending to enemity, unbridled national pride leading to an urge for domination that leads to conflicts with others.

All these formidable hurdles stand in the way of building a veritable heaven of global order, or cordiality, tranquility and harmony.

The age-old spiritual life of ancient saints and sages followed by the Shaivism-cum-Sufism of LAL DED and NUNDA RISHI as exemplified by Parmand's message and the Rishi cult of Kashmir, that stood the test of the hardest times and vicissitudes of life ever known to history, could verity be a panacea for some major evils on the international scene. This would be religion in action as endorsed by the people of great attainments widely quoted here in below :

Before quoting so, I think, it will be useful to give a bird's eye-view of the Background to what is described as KASHMIRIYAT.

Originally the Kashmir Valley, being a vast mini-ocean like a fresh water lake (analogous to Dead sea of Europe) as per Nila Nagas the author of Nilamath Purana, it was called SATI SAR. The hilly slopes of Sati-Sar were sparcely populated by Nagas and Pischasas both descendants of an ancient, grehasti sage, Kashyap Rishi from his two wives.

In the Sati Sar lived a ferocious, monstrous, aquatic animal, Jaladbhava who had brought havoc on the terrestrial population of Nagas and Pischasas home of the Naga Chief Anantnaga, after whom probably the south Kashmir township of Anantnag is named, approached Kashyap Rishi with the request to rid them of the terror of the wild monster Jaladbhava. Soon after somehow, an earth quake or otherwise, the mountainous obstruction at Khadanyar near the North Kashmir township of Baramulla was ripped ascender, creating an exit for the lake water to drain out, resulting in the death of the aquatic monster and the creation of the paradise of a valley in place of the dessiccated lake.

The beautiful, green, valley blooming with flowers, meadows glens, murmuring brooks, sparkling lakes, bedecked on all sides by majestic, snowy mountains glittering in azure-blue skies, is our sweet home.... KASHMIR, a paradise on earth - the cynosure of greedy eyes.

Soon after, hutments, at long distances apart, came up. The valley was very sparsely populated by Nagas followed by Aryas. Despite all sorts of troubles and tribulations, stormy vicissitudes and harsh calamities, from time to time for centuries together, the handsome, tall, long-nosed, hospitable Aryans, called KASHMIRIS, were lured to stay on, by congenial climate and exuberance of natural beauty. The tolerant fraternity and cordial, brotherly relationship and graceful nature of people those whistling woods, flowery meadows lush-green, velvety plains and the sweet-singing. colourful birds and flora and fauna, tinged these with refined culture called KASHMIRYAT and graceful Kashmiri ethos.

No wonder, therefore that what-ever comes from the hands and minds of its talented craftsman, saint poets, elevated philosophers, scribes and sages reflects the beauty that is Kashmir—the spring's green hues and colours, the autumn goldens, the Chinars a-fire with wonderful reds and the hills and dales apparalleled in virgin snows that charms and enthrall the old and weak who watch the majestic floating watery flakes filling the atmosphere and majestically falling steadily to the earth while the inquisitive urchins and ready checked youth enjoy outdoor winter sports. The whole scene culminates in the relish of GARAM MASALA and SHEER CHAIY in the comfortable warmth of radiant Kangries

Accordingly Aryans too were imbued with fine qualities of refined culture, cordial relationship, mutual trust and respect for each others ways of life. It is in such an atmosphere of blisful tranquility that great sprititualists, Brahmins, Budhists, Shaivities and Sufis, like those described in this book, flourished side by side.

All this constitutes Kashmiri ethos, popularly known as KASHMIRIYAT.

Curiously enough, by a strange coincidence, the three saints, mentioned in this treatise, in common with others of the Bhakti Movement, coming after the first two and preceding the third, faced the same hurdles and hardships in their respective spiritual fields. They seem to have seen similar visions and experienced similar intoxication of love of the DIVINE.

In the process of self-realisation, Sadhaks and Yogis, as well as Sufis of wine and light seem to have drunk the wine of the illumination of the inner sun or moon, or both.

The saints of the Bhakti movement, like Rama Nanda Kabir, Guru Nanak Dev, Tulsi Das, Mira Bai, forerun by Lalleshwari and Nund Rishi, shared similar mystic experiences and social indulgence and humanism, as did the sufi saints like Maulana Rumi, Ibni-Farid, Rabbani and so on within their respective disciplines later……….social harmony breathes balm, heals wounded hearts with the lapse of time and germinates the seeds of love and affection that pave the way to eternal divine life of peace and plenty on the individual as well as the international planes................ How wonderfully desirable would it be if the world community in general and the leading intellectuals in particular emulated this Trio-of Saint poets of Kashmir at least in so far as their guiding principles for Social Good, on Global plane and for fraternity, humanism and brotherhoods, are concerned.

Would that the universal goodwill, leading to a divine life of tolerance and accommodation in day-to-day functions and socio-economic, socio-religious as well as sociopolitical fields, as enjoined upon us by all saints and sages, were to guide our social behaviour as also our national and international relationships.

Quotes: Thoughts of Wisdom

a) LALDED

Deny not water to the thirsty,
Nor food to the Hungry.

b) NUND RESHI

Feed the Hungry, if you can
Ask not the caste of the naked.

c) BIBLE

Love thy neighbour as thyself.

d) Central Biscoe School

The approach to godhood lies
Not through telling the beads,
Nor by kneeling nor by
Donning a medicant's robes but
By service to man (i.e. all Life).

e) PARMANAND

Be good and do good to others, Friend
Do good to others.

f) LONGFELLOW

Enjoins upon all to do as much good as we can in life, as he says, 'We have not to tread this way again'.

g) YOUNGE

Where boasting ends, there dignity begins.

h) HOMER

The mark of wisdom is to reach a right, the present and march with the occasion.

i) AMIL

A Hindu ascetic from the Punjab living with his Muslim disciple, a gardener-cum-chowkidar of Amar Singh Bagh Nasim Bagh Srinagar, Sang:

Hindu is my liver,
A muslim by heart I am.
I am and yet, I am naught,
A mere nothingness, a figment
of imagination

PROFOUNDITY OF PROPHETS

i. Jesus Christ. like the Budha and Mahavira was an apostle of Ahinsa, compassion and lover of all kinds of life. They loved their friends and foes alike. They loved the sinners but hated their sins. Jesus Christ even prayed for his enemies thus Lord, forgive them for,
They do not know
What they are doing
From a compulsory study in our childhood, of five textbooks of the Bible named after the five chief disciples -of Jesus Christ, we had learnt that Christ had sacrified his life for the sins of others. " This concept could not be grasped by our minds then. It had remained a hard nut for us to crack till Mahatma Gandhi came on the Sociopolitical scenario of India. As a firm believer of truth and nonviolence, he often stood in revolt, even at the peak of his Movement, against the whole nation, calling off his Satyagraha and undertook fasts unto death to protest against any kind of violence, physical or verbal against individuals or groups of the British people with marvellous results.

It is such a kind of discipline, self-control and social behaviour that may be cultivated from the very formative years in schools and colleges as well as socio-political and religious forums that will go a long way in building up the spirit of SADBHAWANA all over.

MODEL-MORALITY AND SPIRITUALISM

Ramayana is an interesting story of an ideal cordiality of relationships between parents and step parents, children and- step children, between brothers and step brothers, between rulers and the ruled, between autocracy and democracy, rights and duties, between the highbred the low castes and ethics and morality for the building up of much-desired character and mutual trust on the human plane as well as the professional and social planes, or otherwise.

An enemy doctor from Sri Lanka was called in even during the course of war to revive combatant Laxmana. Brother of Sri Rama who had fallen unconscious in the battle field

Ramayana lays stress on self control, self sacrifice, selfless service and thus paves the way for an orderly, disciplined life on both national and international levels. This is the panacea for all evils, tensions and turmoils on the surface of the earth, as pragmatically exemplified by the royal family of king Dashratha himself and his kith and kin.

THE ROLE OF RELIGION IN POLITICAL LEADERSHIP

Swami Rama Krishna Parmahansa practiced some world religions turn by turn and had the unique distinction of being blessed with the benigned Darshan of the respective prophets

It was left to his talented disciple Swami Viveka Nanda to vigorously infuse fresh life of spirituality into the leaders of world religions who had met in a conference, on a common platform in U.S.A. a ladle more than a century ago though he was not a member invites. Such world religious conferences have now rightly turned into a regular programme. How far such deliberations contribute towards building a world order of the confederation of autonomous spiritual unity and religious brotherhood only future will tell.

Involvement in such a laudable purpose of intellectuals philosophers, thinkers, statesmen as well as choicest popular leaders is expected to accelerate the process of religious unification for a well-knit world order.

KINGLY ATTEMPTS

Akbar the Great too had initiated the experiment with good intentions but it met with little success for obvious reasons of the utterly unacceptable creation of an entirely new religion of Deen-e-Illahi . Let us hope and pray for good times to come, at least for future generations if not for us here and now.

In this connection, considering the current world trends, it should be relevent to remind ourselves that in his youthful vigour, emperior Ashoka the great too initially happened to be a ruthless monarch, an invincible conqueror, who extended his domain through bloody warfare. But soon after the devastating KALINGA war, having extended his empire further, he went around the conquered territory in disguise to ascertain for himself the impact of war on the subdued people and feel their pulse.

During his random visits, he was grieved with pathetically painful pangs of grief on sweeping deaths, caused by war, sobs and sights, weeping & wailling at every step. The pathetic screams and sprawling scenes of destruction violently impinged on his ears, causing a storm of vibrations on his tympanum. His mind was shocked and his heart melted in self scorn and compassion for their suffering. His whole personality was shaken and shattered which plunged him into despondency and depression.

He was extremely remorseful & repentant. This transformed his pugnacious nature into one of love for all life, animal or plant, and metamorphised his attitude of apathy into one of sympathy for all mankind. He became a disciplined disciple of Lord Budha. However, despite his effective propagation of Lord Budha's message of casteless society, brotherhood and fraternity for a peaceful, prosperous and tranquil world, his Budhism was not static but a dynamic one which provided freedom of the ways of life, faiths and beliefs.

He was truly Secular and verily, the originator of the modem concepts of animal welfare for which purpose he is said to have established indigenous veterinary hospitals.

His edicts, and messages of peace harmony, love and amity were welcomed everywhere and spread even to distant lands, far beyond the frontiers of the whole subcontinent of India.

No wonder, therefore, that the famous historian, H.G. Wells called him the greatest of all kings that the world has ever known

THE WORLD WISH

How one would wish that the global votaries/promotors/ fans of violence, turmoil, terrorism and tensions were to feel as self-remorseful as Ashoka did and worked for a happy, healthy world, free form fear and turmoil.

LALLESHAURI'S AMITY

The prupose and intention of writing this volume has originated from innate aspirations of the panic striker and perplexed people of the international community and their sincere prayers for the early return of peaceful life that would rid them of the day in and day out threat of the sword with spontaneous chaos and confusion.

The first two of the trio of saint poets have verily been the fore-runners of the Bhakhti movement which was highly spiritual; in character with patriotic zeal and guided by goodwill for the human race.

Centuries later, the third of the glittering gems of the saints poets of Kashmiri literature, Kashmiri culture and Kashmiriyat (Kashmiri Ethos) mentioned above, followedsuit, adding refreshing flavour and fragrence to the sweet dishes of his predecessors with his precept and practice of harmonious life and tranquility as they had done earlier.

Thus the three scintilating stars described in this book stand as perfect models for the human race to follow with enthusiasm.

THANKS

To conclude, I must express my thankfullness and gratitude to the following versatile gentlemen Pt. P. N. Kaul (Retd . Telegraph Master, Srinagar and now, a member of the Regional Council of Telegraph Unions), Pt. J. L. Khuda, Director Perspective Planning and Roshan Lal Razdan Assistant Executive Engineer and Ashim Khuda for enligtened suggestion and precious help respectively. The last two mentioned also for collation work as well as extra manual help. To S/Shri T. N. Mirza, S. N. Kotha, K.L.Moza, A.N. Dalal, O N. Raina, Vijay Saqie, Pitchy Raina, Raj Khuda, J K Razdan and wife

To a reputed Kashmiri poet and caligraphist Sh. P. N. Koul 'Sayil Kashmiri' for transcribing in persian script some stanzas (as directed by J&K Academy of Art, culture and Languages Srinagar) and to intelligent and nimble Smt. Santosh Razdan for Devnagri script transcription work

To Deepak Kak in particular for drawing the portrait of Lal Ded on the basis of the coloured printed photograph,. together with my children and grandchildren.

To S/shri Mohd. Yousuf, Ramesh kumar Bhat and Pritam Vidiyarthi for typing out the M. S.

To Shri T.N. Kaul, Author and Journalist for revising the typescript and for his precious introduction which enhanced the value of the book.

Above all, I feel proud, though mellowed to meekness to have the honour of securing a foreword for this book by one of my old students of parts. The occasion is especially auspicious for me to recollect the key-role as a "Prodigious scientist" this, widely travelled, sober and reputed Journalist, Sri A.N. Dar played in my "one -act Play", entitled, "TWIN SCIENTISTS" alongwith the famous surgeon Dr. Brij Mohan Bhan, Retd. Chief Electric Engineer, Sri Gokal Narayan Mujoo, Prof. M.K. Teng, Dr. A.N. Safaya (Retd Supdt.AIIMS, New Delhi) and Prof. S. J. Sultan for superb illustrative materials alongwith others who, I am glad to say, have been and are doing well in life .

Last, but not the least, I am greatful to Messers Samkaleen Prakashan for the pains they have taken for good printing and fine get-up of the book.

P. N. Razdan
(Mahanori)
H. No. 46, Shyam Vihar Lane, No. - 2
Gole Pulli Talab Tillo, Jammu-180002
 

Kashmiri Overseas Association
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