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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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Preface

Though Bhagawaan Gopi Nath Ji never moved out of the Kashmir Valley, he was well-known amongst the numerous saadhus who came to Kashmir from the remote corners of India and who even now remember Him as a unique siddha and avadhoota, a realized soul and man of great compassion. They miss His physical presence even now. They say that in India such unique saints, who remain absorbed in the Brahma Swarupa all the twenty-four hours of a day, are very rare to find.

In Kashmir, too, Bhagawaan Gopi Nath Ji was very well known, as he helped many men in spiritual advancement and others in their worldly pursuits.

During my life-span of about 77 years, I have come in contact with many saints, some of them highly evolved, but I do not think any one of them surpassed Him in His realization of the Self in its ego-less state. People called him 'Bhagawaan' and indeed he was that. I personally knew him for many years, particularly since the decade 1937-46 when he stayed at my father-in-law's house, and I always felt great solace in his presence whenever I went to have his darshana.

The author, Shri Shankar Nath Fotedar, has, therefore, done a really great job, in putting on record his reminiscences and giving a vivid picture of the lire activities of this great saint of Kashmir as, otherwise, these would be lost to posterity.

He is well-qualified to write on this difficult subject as, by Bhagawaan Ji's grace, he is gifted with a keenly observant eye and an analytical mind and has passed more than two decades in close association with Him. Earlier, he was in close contact with Swaami Sona Kaak Ji, an outstanding saint of Kashmir, for about fifteen years at my ancestral home and, in fact, it was he (Swaami Sona Kaak) who directed Shri Fotedar to keep meeting the 'Pandit saint living in Dalhasanyaar Mohalla' (i.e. Bhagawaan Gopi Nath Jl) about six months before Swaami Sona Kaak attained rnahanirvaana in Baisakh, 1999 (Bikrami). Bhagawaan Gopi Nath Ji then met Shri Fotedar for the first time at the Shri Ksheerbhawaani Shrine in the year 1946 AD; He (Bhagawaan Ji) himself came and sat by his side and offered him his half-smoked cigarette.

Shri Fotedar since then had been calling at Bhagawaan Ji's place every afternoon, spending three to four hours in His holy presence, whenever he (Shri Fotedar) was in Srinagar (about seven months in a year) and was absorbed in saadhanaa in His august presence. He was lucky, as Bhagawaan Ji sometimes pointed out the short comings in his practice and corrected him in his characteristic way, and he has progressed well on the road to higher spirituality under the guidance and blessings of the Master Himself.

It is due to his great devotion to Bhagawaan Ji and his ideals, coupled with his untiring zeal and assisted by a group of brilliant young devotees of Bhagawaan Ji (Shri Pran Nath Kaul, Shri Shiban Lal Turki, Sister Jai Kishori Ji, Shri Gopi Nath Malla, Shri Mohan Kishen Ticku and Shri J.L. Nehru) that, for the first time in the annals of Kashmir, a monument, worthy of a great saint has been raised to inspire the future aspirants and seekers on the path of God-realization.

Jai Bhagawaan.

Shridhar Joo Dhar
Retired Conservator of Forests,
and President, Bhagawaan Gopi Nath Ji Trust.
 

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