Nand Lal Ji
is not aware of Swami Nand Lal Ji's name,
popularly known as "Nand Babh",
especially to the old and the present generation
Swami Ji, as is believed, belonged to
but spent most of his time in Srinagar as guest of
a few chosen families of the Kashmiri Pandits.
Among his regular hosts was my father, Late Pandit
Sham Lal Munshi, who was earlier working in the
Tawaza Department and later on as the 'Mohtameem'
of the Dharmarth Trust. During the forties and
fifties of the present century when my father was
counted as an affluent person, Swami Nand Lal Ji
would often pay us a visit, accompanied by his two
aids or "sewaks". His visits were as
short as two hours and as long as two months,
though we had limited space at our residence at
Badiyar (near Ganpatyar), Srinagar.
day it so happened that there was none in the
house except my mother, who had bolted the
door from inside. Swami Ji, armed as usual, with
his 'armour', knocked at the door, with all his
might but my mother did not open the door. After
some time she relented and opened the door for the
Swami Ji to enter. Swami Ji entered and
demanded food which had already been extra for
some one. While taking his food Swami Ji uttered
the following words: " We are not born out of
stones, we too have our mothers and sisters."
This was the exact reply to my mother who had
encountered the same thoughts a few minutes
before. This is how Swami Ji used to read others
was hidden to him. He would easily x-ray a person
from top to bottom with his third eye.
the tribal raid of Kashmir in November 1947, Swami
Ji was quite often seen dressed in a full battle
uniform with an English- type of hat on, at the
Karan Nagar crossing, aiming his 'armour' - a long
bamboo stick towards Shalteng which the tribals
had already occupied. This he did for
five days and only he knew how he saved the city
from arson, plunder and rape. Some KPs among us,
would offer opine that Swami Ji was a harbinger of
doom for the house which he entered. Some would
even call him "feshil-kath" (a bad soul
which brings misery etc.) and curse their
encounter with him. Personally I feel this was a
wrong interpretation given to his actions. With
his fore- sight he would simply warn people of the
impending events so that they could know in
advance what might be in store for them.
was the same Swami Ji who one day went straight to
the office of Bakhshi Gulam Mohammad and gave him
a pen prior to his elevation as the Prime Minister
of the State. Exactly after ten years the same
Swami Ji visited the same P.M's office and
snatched a pen from his table, rendering the all
mighty Bakhshi Gulam Mohammad powerless in a
week's time. Wherever Swami Ji stayed - at
Narpirastan, Chota bazar, Karan nagar or at our
place at Badiyar house - he brought boon to the
few people know that Swami Nand lal Ji had
achieved a command on Persian and existing
Kashmiri Sufiana music, now an extinct lot and
would himself play on mini Rabab-like instrument
prepared for his personal use.
Nand Lal Ji was a Rishi of a unique order. His
closest associates would fail to fathom the depth
of his real greatness. The educated and not so
educated persons would feel amused and
unhesitatingly accept the words as true, without
actually understanding their real import.
attracted Swami Ji to the masses of Srinagar was
that he was much above caste, creed and religion.
Sometimes I would see him sitting at a barber's
shop puffing a "hukka" . What impressed
me most was that he had a multitude of Muslim
devotees. Swami Ji, would often dictate
"appointment orders", "death
warrants" and "birth announcements"
and put his own seal in black ink at the buttom of
each signed "document'. These documents were
ordered to be handed over to the concerned
individuals. Out of reverence for Swami Ji many
people would keep these signed documents in safe
custody. I too had a bundle of these in our Pooja
room in Srinagar.
my college days I would often see Swami Nand Lal
Ji crossing the old Amira Kadal Hospital lane and
some times Wazirbagh. Most of the people watching
him 'armed' with his 'armour' - a small hatchets
and mini 'khukeries' - would be mortally afraid to
meet him on the road side; but I for one would be
least afraid to meet him on the road side, taking
him as a familiar 'uncle' who had just stayed at
ours. My father had become so much friendly and
informal with the Swami Ji that at times he would
plead him to reply straightyway without any "machhar"
this Swami Ji would have his usual toothless smile
and open his heart with predictions which would
often come true later on.
it so happend that my father carried Swami Ji in
his official car upto a certain distance. On
reaching a spot Swami Ji changed his mind and told
my farther "Razah woyn gachhav es Khrew
kun"(Great Man we will now go towards Khrew).
The vehicle did not have enough fuel to reach and
return from Khrew. One or two petrol pumps enroute
had no petrol stocks. As per the
"Commands" of Swami Ji, the car was
taken to Khrew and back and without fuel ! Swami
Ji alone knew where from the petrol came. There
are many more and significant miracles than this
incident, performed by Swami Ji.
time to time, Kashmir had been saved by saints and
sants, but alas ! we did not have any Rishi of
Swami Nand Lal Ji's caiibre who could have saved
us from our mass exodus or reversed it. Swami Ji
never left us in lurch; whether it was 1947 or the
holy-relic episode, he was there as a bastion of
his blessings reach every Kashmir in abundance.
May we revoke him every morning in our prayers.
(Dr. T.K. Munshi, Regional Engineering College, Canal
Road Campus, Jammu
- 180016, J&K).