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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir


Symbol of Unity


Piyaray Lal Raina

Piyaray Lal Raina was born in Srinagar Kashmir in 1936. After receiving his early education n Kashmir he did his masters in Geology from Lucknow University. He served as geologist in the Geology and Mining Dept J&K Govt. 

In his childhood he received his spiritual guidance from his maternal uncle which mushroomed during his long stay, in Kashmir through the guidance of various saints / learned scholars. After migration he came in contact with Karunamai Maa, a greheta saint of Kashmiri origin in Delhi / Gurgaon in India and made progress in spirituality under her guidance.

He has been writing extensively on religious matters in various KP journals and internet. He has written a masterly book “Socio- Cultural and Religious Traditions of Kashmiri Pandits” (Published in USA ) which has been described as encyclopedia of Kashmiri traditions by learned scholars and readers.

Mr. Raina is life time president of Samarpan Public Charitable Trust (Regd.) which among other things is engaged in spreading awareness of KP Traditions among KP youth.

Currently he lives in Gurgaon (India) and Atlanta (USA). 

Attached herewith are some of the writings of Mr. Raina which have appeared in various journals.

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Ganesh Astuti
He who is son of the daughter of the kingdom of mountains Parvati, He who is leader of the multitude of Gods, He who is dear to Shiva, He who has one tusk, He who has a curved trunk, He who has snake around his neck as yagnopavit. 
  Karunamai Maa
Karunamai Maa believed in purity in all phases of life. She taught that cleanliness of mind is as essential for the spiritual growth as physical one. She adored deities in temple with choicest dresses and ornaments and was herself dressed well. She lived by the principle of "sound mind in a sound body".
Navratra Celebrations
Not all KP's observe all nine days as Navratras. Some people observe it from the 5th to the 8th day and some only the 8th day which is Ashtami and traditionally a sacred day for our community.
  Diwali Celebrations by Kashmiri Pandits
Deepawali is one of the oldest rituals for Kashmiri Pundits. We find a mention of its celebrations in Nilmat Puran. It was then celebrated as SUKHSUPTIKA which literally means sleep with happiness. The celebration would start from Ekadeshi and last on Amavasya.
Pun Deun
This is a traditional celebration which almost all Kashmiri families celebrate in the month of Bhadron (August/September) by preparing very delicious Roths of wheat pan-cakes) which are fried in Ghee (Butter). Some people consider it as a celebration of Bhagwan Mahavir Hanuman day. People in south India celebrate this day as Ganesh Puja celebration.
  Kashmir Shaivism versus Vedanta - A Synopsis
Vedas, which are considered revealed knowledge through the medium of Indian seers (rishis), are revered as mother of all religions in India. They form the matrix of all the theistic philosophies of Indian religions including Kashmir Shaivism. Therefore, the objective here is not to compare Vedas with Kashmir Shaivism but to present their complementary roles in the development of post- vedic India.
Pitr Rin
According to Shastras, a Hindu is born with three debts (rin) which he/she has to repay during his/her lifetime.

Shiv mahimna strotum

Mahinapar recitation for Lord Shiva is  very common among Kashmiri Pandits. While non-Kashmiri Hindus recite 32 hymns, Kashmiri version has three additional hymns which are recited in the beginning.  >>>


Kashmiri Pandits Traditions at Cross Roads

Superficially, Hinduism looks like one religious philosophy with beliefs in trinity of Gods and performance of rituals to propitiate them. But if one delves deeper there are beliefs so divergent that one can get confused with the very fundamentals of Hinduism. >>>


What is Karmkanda?

We humans are strange beings. Our intelligence is far above the normal intelligence of our fellow animal beings into which biological science has classified us together. To put it in empirical terms  human  brain cavity, which is the measure of intelligence is  around 1200 CCs , that is,  four times the tiger ( 300 CCs), the most swift and ferocious animal and three times the elephant (400 CCs) the most intelligent animal next to a human beings. >>>



The Relevance of Muhurat for KP Diasporas

For a Kashmiri Pandit observance of muhurat (saath) is an essential part of his life. Be it time for undertaking a journey, performance of religious duties, observing a fast on auspicious days, shradda of an ancestor, celebrations such as birthday, marriage or any other auspicious function such as making or entering a new house. In short, observance of muhurat is a sin qua non for us.  >>>


Some thoughts on preserving our cultural traditions

There is a lot of discussion going on through all our modes of communications as to how we can preserve our cultural after our migration from Kashmir. It is genuine concern. We have a glorious culture of our traditions guarded and developed by our ancestors over a long period of more than five thousand years nobody would like to dissociate himself with such an inheritance. The culture of a group of people does not evolve overnight. >>>



Why is there need to save our religious traditions?  

Unlike western societies most of the Hindu traditions are linked with our religious beliefs. Thus, it is important to understand our religious philosophy and how our Kashmiri traditions are  different from the rest of the country. >>>


The Essence of Yagnya

Performance of yagnya is essential part for the performance of our rituals. It has been in vogue right from Vedic times.  It was vedic people’s belief that devas who represent various elements like fire, water, air, sky and earth control the fate of human beings by providing abundance of rain essential for cultivation of crops, children, cattle (wealth), long life and after life in the heavenly abode of ancestors. >>>


Revisiting Kashmir after 17 years

The first thought that comes to my mind before writing my impressions of visiting Kashmir after 17 years of exile is to thank my Isht Devi Ragnya Bhagwati for giving me a chance to pray at Her feet after such a long time. I used to  go there almost on every Shukla Ashtami come summer or winter .and kept on praying to Her every day  of my exile  with the hope that before my final exit I will get a chance to pray at  Khirbhawani Temple once again. >>>



BOOK: Socio-Cultural and Religious Traditions of Kashmiri Pandits by Piyaray Raina


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