Table of Contents

  Index
  Author
  About the Book
  Dedication
  Preface
  Foreword
  Introduction
  Prologue
  Section One: Lalleshwari (Lalded)
  Section Two: Sheikh Ul-Alam (Nund Reshi)
  Section Three: Parmanand 
  Download Book

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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Section One

Lalla Vaakhs Translated
18 TO 55

18. The arrows of my wooden bow turned out
To be the pith of water rush grass;
The Rajdhani of the kingdom
Fell into the rustic hands of
A crude carpenter;
In the midst of a busy bazar,
Lockless remained my shop,
And a pilgrimmage-less self.
I became:
Who appreciates, my friend.
C/P JKK 4 NKK 4

19. The sling knots of the load of candy.
Loosened;
My bony frame bent
Into a bow;
What load can my back bear,
Dear Friend?
Loss of the Guru's word added salt
To my suffering:
A shepherdless flock became
My sheep:
What can I bear ?

C/P PPX 1/3
C/P trans (JKL 23) NKK 23

It seems to refer to her estrangement with the comforts of her family life.

20. Fair or foul, satire or sarcasm, all
I deserve:
Blockade of audition, screening eyes,
As the voice of god tickled
My consciousness !
My Rattandeep (Ghee/burning lamp) sparkled
Even in raging storms

Note : Speak no evil see no evil. hear no evil attribute to Gandhi ji was pronounced six centuries after

C/P Trans. (JKL 42) NKK  42

Tantar dissolved and
The mantar remained.
The Manter disappeared,
Consciousness remained.
Conisciousness vanished,
Nothingness merges with
Nothingness of the VOID:

C/P trans (JKL 89) NKK 89

22. Chidananda, the light of absolute knowledge
Those who understood,
Are free, realised souls:
Limitless, infinite,
Hundreds of hundreds of times
Intertwined are the ignorant
In the cycle of life and death

Ref. Trans (JKL 118) NKK 118 and his commentary on page 87 satt, chit Ananda of Vedanta (Jivan Muktas). having realised Shiva the bliss of consciousness, knowledge.

23. In the midst of the ocean
With unspun thread.
I am towing the boat:
Would that God grant
My prayer and.
Ferry me too, across:
Water in my unbaked earthen plates
Seeps in and none collects '
yearn and yearn
To return Home
C/P Trans (JKL 1) NKK  1
 

'Water in my unbaked earthen plates seeps I yearn to go home'.

Water is symbolic enlightenment The unbaked earthen plate that of her fertility of recepibility of highest spiritual knowledge. The unlimited absorption of such an enlightenment brings her face to face with the hallowing light of the Divine being, She gets enthralled and tempted to merge with the truth of ultimate reality, The strong tensile worldly bonds of her social life seem to have reduced to mere thin unspun thread that stands between her and the liberation of her soul. She is too impatient even to wait for immediate merger but is surcharged with the desire of instant oneness with the Lord and be the energy behind the dynamism of the UNIVERSE. The mystic Truth of Lalla's ultimate spritiual destiny is to pulsate through every atom and molecule of matter, non matter and empty spaces or void.

24. I overpowered and subdued
My vile heart.
Twisted my liver.
And renounced all I had.;
Thus, giving up all my
Worldy possessions,
I became Lalla for all

C/P Trans (JLK 86) NKK 86

25. Only one word 'OM'
I studied
The same word 'OM'
I reared in my heart,
The same 'OM' I learned
And smoothened on a stone:
A bit of grass I was, yet
I changed into gold

C/P Trans (JLK NKK)

26. Only one Omkar. who fixes
On his navel and.

Bridges the navel with the Brahmanda (Stages of Kundalini)

Leaming that very OM Mantra
By heart,
Of what use to him are
A thousand Mantras?

Note: The words ('OM') and 'OMKAR' in vaakhs 25 and 26 symbolise the basic mantras and the vaakhs imply oneness of God and individual spirit.

C/P Trans (JLK 72) NKK 72

27. Probing inside, I came
Seeking the moon within me:
Sifting the chaff from the grain.
I went seeking
The Like, Alike,
Thou art Narayan. thou art Narayan
Thou art Narayan, then,
Why this will- of- the- wisp ?

Note: C/P The mystic moon in Maulana Rumi, Parmananda, Nund Reshi and other Shavite-cum--sufi saints.

Moon that melts within them in meditation.

C/P Trans (JLK 127) NKK 127

28. Thousand times I asked my Guru,
What's HIS name, who's called Nothing?
Asking him again and again,
I was tired and exhausted.
But all too subtly
Something came out of nothing
After all

C/P JLK 24 NKK 24

29. Countless times we come, and
Limitless times we should go,
In movement we should remain,
Day after day and, night after night;
Whence we come, thence
We should return:
Something or the other, and, something or the other,
And, something or what ?

C/P JLK 7, NKK 7

30. I. Lalla wilfully entered the garden door (of self).
There.
I saw Shiva and Shakti
Merged in one:
Absorbed in that VISION, I
Dissolved in Him alive.
Realised the essence and,
Tasted the sweetness of
The Divine secret, I would die while alive
How can He stop me ?

C/P JLK 13O, NKK130
 

31. Tickled by the sparks of Shiva consciousness
On pasing through six chakras to seventh, ( the inner Moon)
My desire deepened and I
Moulded my nature by pranayamas: (Deep breathing)
Torched my liver:
With the fire of Love:
And thus. I found
Graceful Shiva before me.

C/P Tans (JLK 93), NKK 33

32 O, mind, how intoxicated you are
With a foreign brand:
How are you eluded by untruth
for truth ?
Listen:
Enthralled you have become
By a foreign creed,
Coming and going, birth and rebirth
Are but a cyclic movement
Of life and death

C/P Trans (JLK 14), NKK 14

33. Which are the flowers and from which florists ?
With which flowers should we
Adore HIM in obeisance ?
Which juice should we use in a
'Nauri-Kalash' in puja ? (a spouted container)
Which Mantras should we mutter
Unto Shankar
To Awaken our Souls ?

C/P Trans (JKL 68), NKK 68

34. The mind's the garden of flowers, and
Faith, the florist:
Adorn HIM with the garlands of devotion:
Shower Him with thy inner moonlight
Through a 'Nauri Kalash', in puja
Silent Mantras unto Shankara'll thus
Awaken the souls:

C/O NR PP
C/P Trans (JLK 69) NKK 69

35. Bathe daily at places of pilgrimage.
Not even for a moment
Like in laughing, sneezing, coughing or yawning.
Is He off from anywhere
Before you He remains all the year round.
Near you He is,
Recognise Him,

C/P Tans (JLK 84), NKK 84
C/P Parallel N.Sh One & 2.

36. He, who reposes trust in Guru's word
Moderates his senses, controls his mind
And, is clam,-------- then:
Who'll kill whom and
Who'll be killed?

C/P Trans (JLK 55), NKK 55

37. Deception, hypocracy, untruth,
I shunned and, to my mind,
I gave the same message,
In my lifetime, I found Him as
The only one, all-pervading God:
What's the source of food and feed?

C/P Trans (JLK 53), NKK 58

38. I didn't bear with
Love, lust or affection .
Brushed off wrath and anger,
With a gust of wind (by pranayam)
I cut the feet of
Illusive attachment, temptation,
As well as the spell of ignorance:
And thus, I was emancipated.

C/P Tans (JLK ) NKK]
C/P Parallel NR Sh 1/7

39 I bore with all mocking and jeering
With equanimity?
Ill - spoken of I was all along !
Not for a moment did
Deviate from my path.
And thus, when I attained
My goal
What else should I mind?

 C/P J.L.K. . N.K.K.

40 Fondly will they drink water from
The very lake
That is too brimful to accommodate
Even a mustard seed anymore:
Deer, Jackal, rhinoceros, sea-elephant arise
Like waves of rhythm and splash,
In the ocean of space and time,.
To share pleasure and, pain, merriment and grief.
For a while in transition and then,
Wither away and fall back
Into the same lake:

 C/P J.L.K. 113 N.K K 113.

Commentary

The Vaakh is not so simple and meaningless as it appears on casual reading. It has a deeper connotation for a thoughtful student. The smallest, weakest; the biggest strongest as well as the shortest lived and longest lived biological species may live for a few days to hundreds and thousands of years and yet its end is certain. They may eat, drink and make merry for long. Yet their longest span of life is nothing as compared with the period of existence of the earth from the time of its splitting from the material of the sun it is Zero Hence the expression

 "Chun Na Chun. Taty pen"

 "As soon as they drink the joyous water of life they fall there."

This reveals Lalle-Shwari's clear conception of Mathematical symbol ! 'ZERO tending to Zero and INFINITY" in those dark days seven hundred years ago

Fresh Comments:

Only a thorough prior-study of L. V. number one can illuminate the mind, at least, to grasp the depth of philosophic thought and import underlying Vaakh No. 40. The purport of the Vaakh is not so easy to understand by superficial or light study as a means of relief for an exhausted mind, however, versatile, well seasoned or scholarly one may be. For Lalleshwari is too deep to understand along a single, preconceived attitude of mind or extraneous influence. Her Vaakhs are multi-purpose, multi- frangrant and multi-meaning in content. Only an unbiased, free and fresh mind may help understand her.

According to her Vaakh Number one, Shiva is present everywhere, omnipresent and all pervading, all absorbing, the central principal of kinetic and potential energy and the guiding force of all activity whether of the living or of the non-living things.

This universal energy -SHIVA- is present in every atom and molecule and even in the energy of sorts. This, in other words, means that the earth with all that exists on it (living, non-living, DEAD or ALIVE BIG OR SMALL as part of the limitless universe) is the supreme SADA SHIVA i.e. symbolised by the lake referred to in this Vaakh. This lake is brimful as it comprises all that exists whether conceiveable or inconceiveable.

This very lake, as is evident, is too brimful to accomodate even a mustard seed (or a fraction of a single grain of rice) any more as recorded in some texts.

Lalleshwari was not an ordinary soul but the supreme Mistress of Yoga, as stated before, and an Avtar as referred to by no less a saint-poet than Sheikh-ul Alam. Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani (Nund Reshi\. her spiritual
heir, and the most popular saint of Kashmir from 14th Century upto date.

In a Radio discussion long ago, Shri Abdul Rashid Nazki said that according to sufistic philosophy, the whole universe is God and anything else that may be created henceforth also belongs to HIM.

To this Late Swami Laxman Joo, of revered memory, added that that too is God as discussed above (if I remember well).

On filling a vessel to the brim. we in Kashmiri refer to it saying

To me, the epithet used in the Vaakh.

means that all creatures fondly, eagerly and greedily drink water and enjoy pleasures and merriments of every kind included in life activities, and share grief and pain that come their way in the same Lake of the LORD in which they exist. All this, they ultimately find, is of a transitory nature. The following Verse of an English poet is an appealing pen picture of at least the wordly example of this fact :-

Gather yee rose buds while yee may.
Old time is still aflying.
And this same flower, that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying:

In this, the poet enjoins upon us to make hay while the sun shines by way of good deeds while we live, for, all actions and reactions, Iife and death, as well as myriads of other nature' phenomena, are but alluring, tiny ripples, momentary revelry or mighty waves and furious storms on this very otherwise, pleasantly calm. serene surface of the LAKE of the super-supreme POWER from which everything originates and into which all the weak or mighty fall in the end.

Note :- The available translations seem to be too literal leading to ambiguity to the limits of absurdity. For, the life span of the longest lived creatures or plants is too short and utterly insignificant in comparison with that of the earth itself as it crashed apart from the sun not to a peak of the limitless, timeless universe, Hence the deviation from float with the current and swimming against it whatever the readers reflexive reaction.

41. Buy those stores which' LL
Shield you against cold;
Get those eatables that' LL .
Satiate your hunger,
O, living being, ponder over and,
Understand what answer, you have to give
To satisfy yourslef:

C/P JLK, 33 NKK-33

42. Didn't search for, nor sought Him
Anywhere but---------------
Somewhere, from Kesar Vun (Forest)
I found Him, the Divine Jackal
I practiced what I preached and
then only, I realised,
I had won the game

C/P JLK, NKK.

43. Shiva, Keshava Zanva:   (Lord Buddha)
Kamalzan Nath may He assume   (Lotus born)
As His names
 May be that He may relieve
A weakling like me from
This worldliness .
May it be He: Yes it's He
It is He, It is He . It's He:
(Only one with different names)

C/P JLK 73, NKK 73

44. Word, psyche, dumbness
Nor babbling is there,
Sweet silence and mystic mudras, too
Tread not there:
Nor do, Shiva and Shakti 2
Reside there:
Isn't there nothing but TRUTH ?
And ................................
That is the message:

C/P JLK 134 NKK 134

45. In habitual meditation, soul elevatingly,
Dyed in attachment,
With rhythmic tune,
Arise,
The 'Manifest Form' with its attributes,
Dissolves in the Formless
Limitless, boundless skies: (VOID).
The concrete and the abstract------
Vacuum-------------vanishes;
The being gets merged
In the silvershine
of the ineffable Supreme:
And that is
The message. 'O', Batta; (Pandit).

C P Trans (JKL 133) NKK 133

46. I. Lalla, embarked on
Going a-searching, a cotton flower:
Thorns and carders pricked and kicked me hard;
As the spinner spun me thin, on the spinning wheel,
The weaver hung me by the leg on the loom;
As the washerman rubbed me with soap.
He dashed me against a stone
And, washed me clean,
Soothed I was on seeing water:
And when the tailor moved his machine
To shape me well,
There and then, I attained
Supreme salvation and bliss'

C/P JLK 105 NKK 105

Note: The yogini describes here, in a symbolic way, the stages and hard practices she had to undergo and the hardships she had to face in her yogic sadhana before achieving her goal of blissful salvation.

47. Preaching plenty, action scant,
Self-probing hard and subtle:
Absorbed in habitual practice,
I forgot Shastras
And for sure,
I blossomed into a blissful state:

C/P Trans (J LK 46, NKK 46)

48. Brimming with Bhakti,
I, Lalla, embarked on a journey:
Seeking Him, I spent day and night.
At last, I found the Pandith
At my home and, that
Provided me the auspicious
Moment:
C/P Trans (JLK 97 NKK 97)

49. Deny not water in thirst
Nor food in hunger
In sun.
Keep fit in the meanwhile.
That is,
Be God-fearing and wait,
Do good and be good,
That's your prayer in action

C/P Nr, SP 3,4 PP VlII/3,4
JLK 34 NKK 34

50. (a) He, who overcomes pride, greed, vanity
And removes such hurdles of robbery
from his path,
Facilitates his contemplation:
And, in all humility, serves mankind,
Discarding all else as useless
Is the real seeker of the Lord, !

OR

50(b) He, who vanquishes greed, vanity, arrogance,
Destroys thieves like,
Cupid, passion pride,
Removes such hurdles in his path,
In all humility seeks the lord,
He alone churns out
The nectar of the VEDAS.

C/P (JLK 36 NKK 36)
Note: a) If the last two words of the Vaakh stand as 'vedan hund saar'.

b) If the last two words of the Vaakh stand as in the text in Kashmiri.

51. I treaded on the expanse
of the Void within me:
I lost intellect, cognizance and
The sensations external:
A detective of self.
I became myself; Lo and behold: from which ear
My (Lalla's ) lotus blossomed forth ?

C/P Trans (JKL 103) NKK 103

52. In seeking and searching myself,
I was exhausted and yet,
I could not reach mystic knowledge
Sticking to it,
I intensified my efforts
Lo and behold: I attained my goal;
Brimful there, are all vessels
and no one's there to drink:

53. The dirt of my filthy heart
Seemed to be cleansed,
I found the known, unknown: and
When I saw Him near me, I discovered
He's all in all, and
I'm. nought

C/P (JLK 100 ) NKK 100

54. Draped in stores of knowledge,
The points of the verses
That Lalla sang, became,
Organic parts of her heart and soul;
Her self-consciousness awakened
And removed all doubts of death.

C/P JLK 102 NKK 102

55.     The tri-pinnacled lake.
         The confluence of, running brooks
         Is crowned by a cliff, glittering in the skies.
         A bund links Harmukh
         With Qaunsar Nag (Veshnapad)
         The septapeaked mountain Lake is
         Caged in a limitless VOID:
          C/P Trans (JLK 114) NKK 114

General Notion on Vaakh 55

According to popular belief and pertinent records, Lalleshwari has seen Qaunsar Nag in flood thrice. Once she is said to have seen it in high flood so as to touch the skies, to use the Kashmiri expression for such floods, and submerged the lake itself.

As per relevant records, Quansar Nag is said to have formed a vast sheet of water in level with the Harmukh mountain, This mini- sea like lake was known as SATI SAR.

During her several previous incarnations, Lalleshwari is said to have seen the lake dissolve and vanish in the limitless, boundless

VOID.

So for so Good

A FRESH LOOK

One of the meanings of the word, according to a Hindi English Dictionary is "River" and the word means connecting bund or connecting link whereas means smooth homogenous.

Keeping in view the actual Landscape and geographical facts of Qaunsar Nag, one of La!leshwari's meanings of the word ~ as seems to be "a peak" in addition to ''TIME"

Three sky-high peaks rise up vertically on the southern bank of Qaunsar nag. One of them is higher than the others. The three peaks together seem to touch the skies on both sides of the globe; above the lake surface, and below it by reflection from the sparkling waters of the lake.

The three peaks along with four others, not so high, in the surroundings are symbolically analogous to the "SEVEN CHAKRAS" on the path of "KUNDALINI" from "MULADHARA", at the base of the spinal chord upto "SAHASRARA", the subtle Shiva, at the crown of the head.

The lake along with its surroundings appears to be encaged and cocooned by the boundless, limitless wilderness of the VOID.

This is the way that Lalleshwari puts across her abstract knowledge in concrete terms.

The word ~ used in Vaskh No. 55 symbolises the bund of the mountainous chain right from Qaunsar Nag via Shopian, Anantnag, Pahalgam, Amarnath Cave, Sona Marg to the Harmukh mountain. Hence the deviation from the common notion.

Ref:

i) Lal Ded by the Scholar Professor J.L.Kaul Sahitya Akademi publication 1973 New Delhi Vaakh No, 114.

ii) Lal Ded by N.K. Kotru, an Utpal Publication, 1989. Rainawari Vaakh Number.

iii) Domestic talks of my late parents (My father happend to be friendly with late Pt. Anand Kaul Bamzai)

Note: The 'Tri-Pinnacles' and running brooks, stands for the TRINITY of the Hindu tradition Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara (i) Creator (ii) Preserver (iii) Destroyer or for

a) The science of man and his environment.
b)  The science of energy and
c)  The ultimate TRUTH.

These concepts correspond to the Roman Catholic TRINITY

i) Virgin Mary, the holy heart
ii) The son resurrected and glorified, and
iii)        The crucified son (Negationism of India on different planes by an European scholar).

2. The Bund of mountainous chain that connects Harmukh with Qaunsar Nag symbolises the long distance hurdles and hardships faced by an aspirant in his pilgrimage to the confluence of sacred sangam of the soul with the supreme Soul, the Divine spirit. (Link track from Qaunsar Nag via Shopian, Anantanag, Pahalgam, Amarnath Cave, Sonamarg to Harmukata Ganga.

3. The Septa-Peaked lake symbolises the inner light of the mystic sun and the moon, of the seven Chakras of the yogic system, engulfed in the lake of human body. The elements referred to in Vaakh 55 also count up to seven.

Hurmukh mountain via the Srinagar-Sonamarg Highway between the latter and Bandipora is regarded as the Kailash of Kashmir. The gleaming glaciers atop the snowy peak are the venerable source of Gangabal lake, (Harmukata Ganga) on one side and the nearby Kola Sar (Nunda Kol ) on the other. The mirrory glacier of the snowy peak is symbolic of the ash besmirched naked Lord Sada Shiva from whose jattas (Locks of long hair) emerges the life- giving icy Ganga that flows down the flowery slopes into the two neighbouring lakes

The TRINITY of the Tri-Pinnacles of Qaunsar Nag merges with Harmukh, the totality of the ultimate TR UTH.

Qaunsar Nag (Veshna-Pad) is named so, as the lake looks like a foot with its heel in the south and five toes, in the form of brooks, in the north, from a spot on its Pir Panchal range of mountains in the south of Kashmir Valley. Huge boulder like icebergs give it a frightfully formidable look amongst dark bluish black hills.

Three sky high Peaks, one of which touches the skies so to say, together with other minor cliffs are its sentinels and serve as its guards (reference to S. No. one above).

COMMENTS

(A) Whereas Gangabal lake, flanked by hillocks carpeted by bright coloured flowers, is a calm, serene, peaceful and tranquil lake, Nunda Kol is a very grim looking awe-inspiring lake nearby and vertically down at the foot of icy Harmukh. Nunda Kol is encircled by meadowy plateaus, rich with a riot of bright colours of the wild flowers of variegated hues surcharging the atmosphere with fragrance and adding to the romantic, natural, scenario, The lake and landscape are enchanting above the fast flowing waters but, dreadfully threatening beneath its reflecting surface.

Whereas listless, sleepy and static Gangbal lake has become the traditional paradise-of eternal rest for the mortal remains, in ashes, of the dead, its calm, composed, tranquil atmosphere amidst snowy slopes, scenic meadows, floating icebergs and running streams brightened by the eastern and western sun, attracts attention and inspires dedicated devotion of a bhakta and sends him into deep contemplation and trance with "SUPREME SADASHIV"

This is one side of the picture.

(B) The Harmukh glaciers regulate, melt and flow in JATTA - like tiny water channels oozing out as if through the long rocks of Lord Shiva. They gather together and crash down in bulk, with a deafening roar in the form of a dazzling waterfall, brightened by the eastern sun that splash into Nund Kol, a couple of thousand feet below the peak.

The splash fans out, sinks and drizzles along, like fountains at play. The dynamic under currents over vast areas, spin and sink, jump like cartesian wells and centrifuge like cyclones The push and pull changes the whole lake into a sort of fast-flowing riverine tide.

This is another aspect of the Harmukh Scenario.

(C) The two exit-channels of the two neighbouring lakes join and speed down the slopes tossing and dashing against the rocky slopes to replenish the fields miles away and sustain plant and animal life.

This is the third aspect of the Divinity of Harmukh.

Hence the truth of the Trinity tradition of God.

(i) Creative (ii) Preservative and (iii) Destructive. And discerning minds find sparkling rays of light of the ultimate truth of totality shining in the three.

Hence the concept- of oneness of God, that Supreme Energy Sadha Shive which engulfs and pervades the universe and is omnipresent as per Lalla Vaakh number (i) one, Nund Reshi's Shruk number one and Parmanand's poem number 1 and others quote and unquote in this volume.

Whereas struggle for life is instincitve and reaction to obstructions in the way are reflexive, the urge for spiritualism, self consciousness and God realization is selective except for a few born with divine genes with God's grace. Whereas clearance of hurdles in the former is automatic the smoothening of the tracks in the latter is wilful and voluntary. It needs patience, perseverance, dedicated devotion and Hanuman's Bhakti of Sri Ram and Mira Bai's dissolution in Sri Krishana.

The following traditional belief and episode may help clear the conception quite interestingly.

HARMUKH-UK-GASAENE

(A naked, ash-besmirched Sadhu of Harmukh)

According to Kashmiri belief, (which is incidentally the origin of a saying) a devout sadhu went to the Harmukh mountain a-seeking Lord Shiva. He tried to climb the snowy summit stage by stage.

But every time he climbed a stage, the very next morning he found himself sitting in the base camp at the foot of the mountain, He did not relent but persisted in his endeavour to climb despite his lapses and failures. In this way he gained in height by inches event, day till he reached the top. Lord Shiva was pleased. And the Supreme Sada Shiva Himself came forward to receive and welcome him into his sublime kingdom.

(b) The yatching-canoe, ignorant of the reason of confinement of our senior treckkers within a few yards of the anchoring site of our small canoe, my saintly friend Pt. Jia Lal Dhar and I canoed right across the awe-inspiring Nund Kol Lake to the opposite bank where, Pt. Jia Lal Dhar landed to ease himself on the flowery meadows of the plateau.

Soon, we resumed our yatching cruise along the same bank and bank- across. We were obviously unmindful of the danger that lay ahead.

Reaching the foot of Harmukh on the third bank, we simply could not help being excited and thrilled by the so romantic a sight a massive roaring stream of water fell vertically, a couple of thousand feet down from the Harmukh glacier. It violently splashed into the lake below. The dreadful waves that resulted set the whole lake into sweeping motion forcing it into a narrow exit on the opposite bank in the east. The stream flowed fast tossing against rocks down the slopes.

The bright, reflecting waterfalls in front of the background of snowy slopes, colourfully flanked by flowery plateaus, looked scenically charming and superbly enchanting

While still outside the danger zone, our Canoe rocked gently at first. We felt the solace of the cradle, if rocked by our mothers to the accompaniment of their sweet lullabies.

But to our surprise quite soon our canoe began rocking and rolling and bumping and tossing from side to side. It tumbled forward and backward, rose up the waves and sank down into grooves.

We were caught in an ocean of dreadful whirlpools speedily circling round and round, centrifuging into a central dip, sinking into the depths below, and buoyancing up into grinning waves that swept off the waters forcing them into a narrow exit far away on the eastern bank, The stream so formed rushed on, dashing against rocks on the mountain slopes.

An electric shock of fear flashed through our veins and numbed our nerves. We trembled from head to foot. Our legs shivered; heads hotted up and arms pendulumed into irregular motion. " Beware: Jia Lal, Don't lose your nerves. Pick up courage and row on. I will steer you clear" was my reflexive reaction in grim muttering sand babbling in a frightened, faultering, low tones. We rowed and rowed for our lives, Minutes passed in years for us !

Thank heavens! we heaved a sigh of relief as we emerged out of the treacherously stormy zone. In the process our hot heads had cooled to shivering limits by the drizzling fountains of the watery flashes and whirlpools.

Exhausted and horrified as we were, we could not but allow ourselves to be drifted along with the current down to the anchoring site.

Landing with feigned gusto, we pretended bravado while concealing our horror and trembling limbs under the sleeves. What a strange form of human -conceit even after the humbled ego !

The instinctive interplay of defensive, self preservative mechanism is reflexive in nature in all forms of life. The reaction to all kinds of dangerous situations is automatic. The subject is not conscious of it, to begin with, as its centres of control lie, not in the brain but else where, in the spinal chord which functions as "automatic nervous system' in emergency like situations. Likes and dislikes, fear and fright simply can't interfere in the process.

Saints, sages and seers too possess this defensive mechanism as common people do. But they have, in addition, to build up an invulnerable, strong, iron will to bring even their automatic nervous system under their firm grip and control: What a Herculean task:

Thus can they, it appears, go along the path of pilgrimage to self recognition and God realization. Hence the cautions of the "Trio of saint poets of Kashmir" and other Shaivite Vedantic Sadhus or Sufi-Sages.

THE ANECDOTE OF SUPERNATURAL CONTROL

To illustrate the point and clarify what I mean by supremacy of saints, of spiritually high order, even over the spontaneous and sympathetic nervous systems, the following anecdote may be of interest to the reader:

During the freezing cold of January.197S, I was flown off on the specific advice of our family doctor and admitted in AIIMS, New Delhi, for acute obstruction. After a couple of weeks I asked for a day's leave for celebrating the birthday of my daughter-in-law in our company first time after four years of her marriage. Till then, she had always been allowed to stay with her parents in Greater Kailash during winter. To my and my family's surprise, I was discharged instead, with instructions for future medication and precautionary measures to be followed.

Back home in Greater Kailash, early next morning, I was persuaded to go to a neighbouring house with the dual purpose of having a darshan of a famous, Non Kashmiri saints, Swami Harikishan Ji, who generally used to spend his summer in the Ramji Temple at Barbarshah in Srinagar, and to obtain further advice from Dr. Amar Nath Safaya, the then Superintendent of AIIMS.

I went there and took my seat among a dozen or so devotees including Dr. Sahib, who was asked to play the cassette of Lalla Vaakhs, absorbed in the music of rhythmic tunes and scanning the import of Vaakhs, Swami Ji, with his eyes closed, swung from side to side in appreciation.

Sheets were spread soon after, for NAVID. I sat aside on the genuine excuse of the serious nature of my ailment, as well as, the Kashmiri meat dishes that awaited me at home.

But no. that was not to be Swami Ji and others persuaded me to partake of the PRASAD, saying . "It's Navid. You can take it and be assured."

A plateful of cooked rice and sumptuous, vegetarian, dishes followed and then 'Khir' as well as an extra half plateful of cooked rice. I became nervous and apprehensive but to no avail, I had to follow the rest.

At the end, with concealed fear, I took leave and went back home, within an hour or so, tables were laid there and we enjoyed delicious meat dishes together, my family and the new relatives.

Meanwhile, all my apprehensions, disappeared.

I was as normal as ever before.

During a visit to the Delhi Zoo, I carried on my back my three and a half year old grand daughter all over the zoo area. And later at Dehra Dun, I did the same again for miles, up and down the plateaus when we went from my brother's house to attend a feast there, on unmetalled tracks, away from vehicular traffic and back.

What a miracle !
"What benumbed into inaction both, the automatic and the sympathetic nervous systems, to react and continue on their normal functions?" is a surprising mystery of the transcendent.

 

 

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