and Background Information
Death 1879 A.D)
and his Poetry
Saint poet and Philosopher of Kashmir)
the mystic sayings of LAL DED based on her Yogic experiences and the didactic
ones of NUND RESHI begins the history of Kashmiri literature through one
Shieti Kantha's book "Mahanaya Prakash" existed a couple of centuries or
remains unparalled upto date in her mystic sayings, yogic practices and
depth of thought in the whole field of Kashmiri literature, NUND RESHI and PARMANAND are the undisputed topmost Rishis of the Religious philosophical
thoughts of their respective cults. All the three are held in high esteem
by the Hindus and the Mulsims alike in Kashmir for their unity of purpose
and divinity of nature.
is said to have been served and generously financed by one Salih Ganai,
the Vilage Moqdam (Nambardar) after the former resigned his post of the
Born of Saraswati Devi, (goddess of eloquence and Wisdom also is called by the same name)
wife of Krishna Pandith (Svamina Bharadhvaja) in 1791, in the Village SEER
near Mattan, he was brought up in that rustic atmosphere and educated in
Persian up to the elementary stage according to the prevalent custom. Inspite
of this handicap, however, he wrote Poetry in Persian early in life under
the poetic title of GARIB. During his tenure of office as the Village Patwari
of Mattan, his father had transcribed a big MS of MAHABARATA into Persian
which is said to be well preserved upto date.
From a portrait
of his, drawn by one of his disciples Narayan Muratgar, it seems that,
at the age of three score years and ten, he still enjoyed robust health
and wore gray hair above his broad forehead and a long nose on his ruddily
face between two bright eyes. His large head appears to be sitting on his
broad shouldered trunk over a thick neck
Seer Village really became a tender hearted saint-poet and rose to be a
Seer of Wisdom with satire and humour. Married to his elder, childhood
-playmate, Malded early in boyhood, his wife, being harsh, was a contrast
to his poetico-philosophical genius. She continued to Lord over him throughout
died and he succeeded him as the village patwari of Mattan at the age of
twenty five years. It is here at Mattan that Parmanand must have read his
father's transcription of Mahabarata in Persian, and himself transcribed
in his own beautiful hand the Persian translation of the UPNISHADS made
under the supervision of Prince Dara Shikoh under the title of UPANIKHAT.
It is here at this All India Tirtha of Martand that Parmanand is said to
have listened to the discourses of great Sanskrit scholars on Shaivism
and Vedantic Philosophy and heard stories of Bhagvata and Puranas as well
sayings of LALLA and NUND RESHI. He is said to have been a regular listener
to the recitation of Granth Sahib by a Sikh Sadhu at Martand. His family
Guru and his (guru's) son. Pt. Atma Ram are said to have given him descriptions
of KUNDALINI yoga or Shat Chakra in addition to what he had learned from
his father, Krishna Pandith whom he calls his father and his guru.
is my guru,
and He is
my dear father.
The vast universe
is his body.
And He is
is Paramanand's father and Nand that of Krishna Himself, feeling one with
the Lord, he playfully and yet reverently and endearingly addresses Him
is my father,
that of Thine,
How are we
some of the contemporary Muslim Faqairs like Wahab Sahib of Khrew and Sadhus
like Pt. Tika Ram, a Persian writer of religious philosophy living in his
neighbourhood, and one Pt. Nidhan Kak of Bijbehara. Once he is said to
have remained closetted for months in his own house, with one Swami Atma Nanda, a sanyasi Parmahansa from
Benares, busy in yogic practices and religious
He was once
invited by Pt. Nidan Kak to give a sitar (Madham) recital at his house
at Bijbehara. The musical concert went on throughout the whole night. Most
of the listeners were overpowered by sleep one after the other. The master
singer rose to the heights of ecstasy and vibrated the quiet atmosphere
with wave after wave of devotional songs which found him virtually merged
with the Divine spirit. Nidan Kak closely followed and appreciated the
music of his songs, but he too was soon found sleeping for a while. During
these sweet moments of his sleep he is said to have seen RADHA and KRISHNA
sitting in either arm of the sage smiling. Immediately he awoke and bowed
in reverence to his honoured guest, musician and saint-friend-Parmanand.
Thereafter the two became more intimate and the former often visited him,
walking the whole distance of eight or nine miles from Bijbehara to Martand
with offerings of humble rice cakes. The latter took these as sacred Navid
and distributed small pieces of it amongst his disciples and friends alike.
a marvelous command over his language. He could write in a highly philosophical
tone in Sanskritised Kashmiri as well as in a pure unadulterated one as
and when he wanted to. There was an exuberance of apt words and thought
processes at his command. And he could wield his pen on either in any manner
he liked. He is said to have at once responded to the complaint of his
saint friend, Wahab Sahib of Khrew about his Sanskritised language, by
dictating, on the spot, a poem for him in pure Kashmiri, to his companions.
Nor was Parmanand
not affected in choice of language, by his discourses with the pilgrims
to Mattan. He wrote many songs and bhajans in a mixed Panjabi-Hindi language.
He is also rightly regarded as the first Hindi writer of Kashmir though
the saint poetess, Rupa Bhawani, had already broken the ice in this direction
by making a smaller beginning much earlier.
phenomena of his environmental surrounding as well as the experiences of
his profession as Patwari, and village life all have had their share of
impact on his character, mode of expression and his precious expositions.
The most authentic
research scholar, a confirmed authority on Parmanand is Master Zinda Koul
Sahib, of revered memory, who is also popularly known as Masterji. He groups
Parmanand's poems into five divisions according to their sublimity of thought
as follows :-
(1 ) Litanies
to gods and goddesses in which the poet meekly pleads for mercy for his
sins and lapses.
& Amarnath Pilgrimage containing his most numerous references to yogic
(3) Three longest
poems of his namely.
charitra depicting the mutual love of Sudama and Sri Krishna,
(b) Radha Syayamvara
with the central theme of mutual love of Sri Krishna, Radha and the Gopies.
(c) Shiva Lagana
culminating in the Re-union of Shiva with Uma. These three long poems symbolise
the boundless love of
God for the
human soul and the love and aspiration of the latter towards God.
but agree with Masterji that Parmanand is at his best in expressing his
unfettered flow of love with all his heart and soul to God especially in
the form of Radha and Krishna LILA, Hence the name for all devotional songs
as observed by Masterji.
Poems laying stress on the Sadhana or preparations and purifications necessary
for the attainment of Janana e.g. control of senses, quietude and concentration,
Vairagya as well as Bhakti and surrender to God on the part of aspirants
to spiritual fife.
and philosphical poems of matured wisdom stating therein the Siddhanta
or ultimate Truths of Vedanta-Aparoksha, Darshan Sahaja -Vichar, "Tar ivam asi". Anirvachaniya Maya etc.
to Masterji, Parmanand rises above external exercises and pranabhyasa-
even above the sadhanas of Shama and Dama, not to speak of Dana, Tirtha-Yatra,
Homa and Vedantic rituals, and these poems of his read like the meditations
of a Jivanmukhta.
l venture to quote specimens from the poems of each of the five groups
mentioned above with their English renderings, as my limited mental faculty
in this direction understands them, by way of illustration before the article
mother of the universe.
Thine haloed light on us.
our finite into Thine infinite
For, are we
not sparks of Thy light?
field of action with
of duty and devotion,
of contentment will then grow
And bear the
fruits of external bliss.
oxen of Twin-breath
the field day and night.
on to work hard
With the Kumbaka
and work, on to see.
That not a
patch remains unploughed.
Sow thou the
seeds of contentment
To grow the
Crops of bliss!
the Jiva, friend of the Lord arrived
God Sudharshan to receive him
the Jiva resigned himself to His care!
takes, Radha to her Palatial home
And Lord Krishna, Sudama, the Jiva to His!
will only relate, what is happening;
free the Devi of her ego and pride.
And the story
is long enough wherein
meekly and innocently
in the fire;
was heard a sound;
It was the
musical flute-call of His (Lord Krishna)
note came from afar,
Yet it seemed
to come from near by
the musical note, the daughters
(e) None but
the Lord (Krishna) is seen there,
He is seen
alone making love with Himself,
None but he,
and he alone
Is seen all
(f) The Gopies
of my mental dynamics
my desires, aptitudes and likings)
in Thy thoughts and,
the bewitching lure
Of the sweet
call of Thy flute, they
and counter pulls
Of the senses
their self and non-self, they
Run to Thee,
and seek Thee and Thee alone;
and Philosophical Poems)
(a) To die
while living is a gamble,
It is to forget
And seek the
It is to study
(b) Some may
call it Shakti (energy)
He is born
of nothing nor
Is his existence
and at night, he
Is all bliss
and light and light;
(c) He is all
There is no
I or you or
he in Him,
He is, because
And all that,
Also is He;
last days, Parmanand contracted fever and yet sat on his seat as before.
At last he directed his disciples to keep by his side on the last day of
his life. He sat, as usual, in Sidhasana, uttered 'OM' and, something was
seen bursting forth through his large skull and, peacefully flying off
in all its glory. Thus was this great Soul taken back by the Lord to the
heavens whence he had come, never to return.
His dates of birth and death are recorded as (1791--1885) in "Hindi in
Kashmir" by the writer P.N. Razdan; With encouraging comments by Dr. Suniti
Kumar Chatterjee the then Chairman Sahitiya Academy New Delhi and others.
in Parmanand by Prof. S.K. Toskhani.
3. (1846-1934 S.M) in Parmanand by Master Zinda Koul who quotes the same lines of a poem
in Persian by Lakshman Bulbul Nagami as quoted by Shri Toskhani in his
book on the saint.