The Letter "K"
by T. N. Dhar 'Kundan'
letter 'K' fascinates me. May be it is because I am proud of belonging Kashmir,
the land founded by the great Kashyapa. Perhaps this is why I have adopted the
pen name Kundan beginning with K. Is it is not a fact that the Indians have
never been historyminded and the first great historian who wrote Rajatarangini,
was none other than Kalhana of Kashmir ?
Kashmir is known for its
Kong (Saffron) which is unique in the world. Our lakes are full of Kamal (Lotus)
which traditionally has been a symbol of life. The ladies' headgear in Kashmir
is called Kalavalyun, the essential component of which is Kalpush. Then we have
our famous Kangri-that sustains us during the Kathyush (freezing cold) of the
winter and the Kantopa, the cap that protects us from the biting cold. All these
items begin with the letter 'K'.
Now if we turn to our
religion, we find that we basically believe in the Bhakti. Be it unto Krishna (Vaishnava),
upto Kailashapati (Shaiva) or unto Kaali (Shakhta). All these Deities whom we
adore, worship and pray to have the names begining with the letter 'K'. On the
Yogic side also there is an important school of thought in Kashmir which
advocates practising of Kundalini Yoga. Interestingly enough, here again we come
across the same letter 'K'.
Then as the believers of
the Bhagawad Geeta and devotees of Lord Krishna we cannot but refer to Kanna
Yoga. We know that a major portion of the Geeta is devoted to the discussion on
Kanna-the Nishkama Karma at that. We are reminded that to act only is within our
competence and that the fruit lies in the hands of the Lord. So unmindful of the
fruits we must act and perform our duties. Kirma with capital K has, therefore,
to be the cornerstone of our life. We must turn our lives into a Kalpavrikhsha
and go on giving without expecting anything in return.
There are innumerable
birds in our land, some of them singing birds. We have Kaw (Crow). Kotur
(Pigeon) and many others, but I personally love Kukil (Koil) and Katij (Dove,
incidentally the name of my mother). May be because of this fascination for the
letter K, I am very fond of Kahwa and Kulcha-served of course in the traditional
I have nostalgic memory of
Kadal, (the bridge) Kocha (the lane) and Kwal (the River) where I lived my
childhood. I love my mother tongue, Koshur and its literature, enriched by
saints, sufis and savants. It is colourful and fragrent with the scent of the
multihued flowers of the gardens of Kashmir. It has the flow of the running
brooks and the piety and the serenity of the lakes and springs of the valley.
This rich tradition, this
pious heritage and this glorious past has not only made us a Godfearing and
religious community but has also filled our hearts with Karuna, the compassion.
We can't see any one suffer. We cannot tolerate tears on any cheek. We can't
bear anyone in pain and agony. That we must have care, concern and compassion
for the mankind, the flora and the fauna is the lesson taught to us by the great
Sufis, Saints and Rishis like Bhagwan Shree Gopinath Ji. They are the Kamadhars
and Kevats (the boatmen) Who Will ferry our Jeevan Kishti (life boat) safe to
the other side and they are the ones who have taken Avatar for the Kalyan (Well
being) of the human kind. Karuna no doubt is the K-word (The keyword) for the
Kalyana of us all. Of course, Kripa of Krishna (Divine grace) is paramount and
vital. Kedar to Kanya Kumari, Kamaroop to Kashmir this letter K is seen
everywhere. In our spiritual quest we have to ask questions which again start
with K, e. g.
||Who am I ?
||Whither have I come
||When has this
creation started ?
||Who has created this
||Where am I heading to
So the letter K and my
fascination for it.
[The author is a poet
and a versatile writer, he is proficient in a number of languages. He edits the
English section of KOSHUR SAMACHAR]