found solace and comfort in his presence"
by G.N. Raina
Color Picture Courtesy: Anjali Kaul,
the silent sleepy village in the north of Kashmir,
about 25 kilometres from Srinagar, which had been
hallowed in the late 17th century by Mata Rupa
Bhawani during the days of her early penance,
produced in the early part of this century a gem
of a Faqir, a Mastana, who led a normal life of a
Grahasta, and, earned his bread by tilling
whatever little land he possessed till the end of
one crossed VAYIL bridge on the outskirts of the
tiny village, one came across a well-built, thinly
dressed peasant engaged in ploughing the field.
This was the divine figure of the mystic-saint
popularly known as Kashkak. A mere darshan brought
comfort and solace to one and all who have had the
good fortune of visiting him. Small wonder, then,
that those who thronged Manigaam day in and day
out for Kashkak's darshan included not only the
common men, women and children, the rich
businessmen, and top government officials, seeking
divine favours, but also contemporary saints and
sages of Kashmir and the rest of the country.
Meher Baba, that silent sage from Poona who was
declared an Avatar by his followers, visited
Kashkak and accepted Prasad from him. Recording
the reminiscences of his meeting with the Manigaam
seer, Meher Baba says in his famous work on
Saints, "The Wayfarers", that he found
Kashkak ever engrossed in Higher self in the 7th
plane of Consciousness.
know of two other contemporary saints - Swami
Nandlal Ji and Swami Lakshman Joo, who had darshan
of the sage of Manigaam.
into the Yogic Sadhana by his Guru, Narain Bhan,
Kashkak attained Siddhi sooner than expected. Once
in a trance, he is said to have climbed a tree
wearing Khadaoon, (wooden slippers). Known for his
uncanny prophesies, he did appear to have used
spiritual powers in the service of God's
creatures. It was said of him that he never
disappointed anyone and fulfilled everyone's
wishes. Once, I vividly remember, a Gujar with his
right arm fractured came to Kashkak and implored,
"Bab (father), this is the harvesting season,
and down and out as I am, my family will die of
starvation if I am not alright. Be kind and heal
my arm". The sage touched the fractured arm
and it was restored to normal health. The Gujar
sped away in joy, but an elderly Muslim, sitting
alongwith others, including myself, was not happy.
Turning to Kashkak, he asked, "why on earth
Bab, should you have been so kind to a person who
is known for his cunning?" "We are here
to serve and do good, simplify matters rather than
complicate them. If his arm was not cured, his
family would have suffered for no fault of theirs.
If, indeed, the Gujar is a bad man, he will have
to go through the hell again after the harvesting
season", the sage replied. As I learnt later,
the Gujar had to go through normal medical process
long after the harvesting seasson.
predictions were often shrouded in ambiguity, made
more so by his reciting persian couplets. To a
querry as to when a particular gentleman who had
accompanied me, my father and mother to the saint
in the summer of 1942, would get married, Kashkak
replied," Yora Gachhith ta Tora Yith",
meaning" let him die first and then be
reborn". The said gendeman from Ali Kadal,
now in his 81st year, remains unmarried to this
poor farmer that he was, Kashkak displayed utmost
hospitality and those coming from far-off places
for his darshan were allowed to stay at night and
were served simple meal of rice, curd, dal and
vegetables. He treated the rich and poor alike,
never discriminated between a Hindu and a Muslim.
He always refused offerings in kind or cash.
Whatever was offered used to be thrown by him in
the Sindh river that flowed nearby.
attained Mahasamadhi on 17th of August, 1961.