I: Chapter 5
PAVED THE WAY FOR ISLAM - ANOTHER MYTH
his attempt to stipulate a philosophical basis for the spread of Islam
in Kashmir, P.N.Bazaz toyed with another idea, astounding and unfounded,
that Trika paved the way for Islam in Kashmir. How? He has not felt kindly
to explain it in details. Ajit Battacharjee in his book ' Kashmir - the
wounded Valley' has uncritically and slavishly upheld and adopted the same
mish-mash thesis, thus lending legitimacy to the preposterous thesis of
'peaceful conversion' in the valley of Kashmir.
With no firm
grounding in the realms of philosophy in general and Kashmir Shaivism in
particular, Bazaz commits the fallacy of equating monotheism with the Absolute
in the Trika, which, to him and Bamzai too, is the apt nomenclature for
Kashmir philosophy of Shaiva non-dualism. It is extremely relevant to point
out that monotheism in essence is a syriac concept common to Judaism, Christianity
and Islam and hence has implicit in it a definite psyche and the syriac-Judaic
cultural ring and ambience and contrary to it, the thought of non-dualism,
the same as monism, has full-fledged history in India and naturally in
Kashmir too. To his lay mind, it appears, though an absurdity, that the
concept of Absolute propped upon logically structured thought-constructs
led to the acceptance of Islam in Kashmir as 'one God reality' is at the
centre of Islamic religion too. Unaware of finer nuances of philosophica1
structures, he seems to hold that Param Shiva or Shiva as the absolute
in Kashmir non-dualism is the same God as Gods in Judaism and Islam are.
Shiva is an absolute, not a God and an absolute the same way as Shuniya
(Void) and Vignyan (Consciousness) are in the Buddhist philosophies of
Madyamika and Shunivanvad and Brahman in Sankara's philosophy of Advaitism
Had Bazaz extended
the limits of his misconceived and preposterous thesis, he would have no
qualms in formulating that the Indians accepted Islam because of Sankara's
philosophy of Advaitism with Brahman as the coping stone of the whole facade.
To him, Brahman, perhaps, is the same God as that of Islam.
with its Semitic colour and sociological and ethnic background especially
syriac and Judaic came over to Islamic realms as a borrowed bequest and
if introduced in Kashmir by Muslim proselytizers led by Saiyid Ali Hamadani
could not have worked wonders on the thinking plane as it had no halo of
being new, original or innovative and more than most there is hardly any
region and area of religion or abstract thought which the Hindus have not
prolifically conceived and dilated upon with depth and mellowness.
Lal Jain, "There is no human aspiration and experience which lies outside
the range of Hinduism."
"that the idea had long existed in Hinduism. Even as early as Rig Vedic
hymns, we meet the idea of 'one reality'. This also is the teaching of
upanishads, that whatever is, is Brahman, it is the source and end of all."
religion in sharp contrast to polytheism has its full accent on the idea
of one God and professes and assumes the execution of His work on earth.
Man in such a religion is enunciated as being highly indebted to God for
all his material and tangible possessions in the world. As a sequential
corollary, man is required and fiated to repose full faith in God and has
to be devoted to him in all gratefulness. A monotheistic religion with
the accretion of prophetism is not lost in mystical realms, but is rooted
in time and history and looks forward to the end of the world when Justice
would be dispensed and meted out. Its interest in the world is not only
maximum but supreme as it Is God's gift to man.
Puts Krishna Chaitanya, "Polytheism sees the imprint of God's foot-steps in every manifestation
of nature, in river and forest, in sun and moon. But, it too frequently
degenerates into animism. Monotheism may be a higher concept, but then
one God has been too frequently a jealous tribal deity.
non-dualism having no comparable parallels with Monotheism has an entirely
different root system and soil chemistry. It encompasses and is securely
modelled on a world-view, which has no meeting-ground with and not even
a remote semblance to the monotheistic idea. To monotheistic religions,
creation is deistic, but in Kashmir Shaiva Monism, there is no creation,
instead there is perpetual manifestation or emanation and Shiva as the
absolute reality is both transcendental and immanent. To Monotheistic religions,
man is not accountable for all what he does, good or bad, on the earth.
He becomes accountable and is subject to judgment only after he goes to
But, as per
the Shaiva non-dual tenets, every individual is responsible for his actions,
past and present, in this world, which is caught up in the layers and meshes
of duality and his prime objective in the world is to recognise himself
the same as self realisation, by treading upon the path of piety and spiritualism,
of course, under the inspiring guidance of a worthy preceptor (guru).
Man has to
march through time and history, but his ultimate state is self-recognition,
which is the attainment and actualization of original Shiva-condition,
pure and pristine, a condition beyond time and history. To Kashmir Monism,
world is real, yet it in its basics is a duality and a seeker, who is not
an atom in a collective herd, chooses by the exercise of his free will
to journey through the zigzags of duality to a state, which is non-dual
untainted by the meshes of time and history. Self-recognition is a condition
of perfection, though a state attained in and through the world, yet in
essence a state of transcendentalism where a self-recognised soul dwells
enjoying the beauteous bliss. He may choose to be in the world for altruistic
purposes but as a man having tasted the bliss of recognition is not stained
by his actions in the world. He is in absolute harmony with the world which
though apparently external to him is in reality his own reflection or emanation.
Liberation though considered to be in the world, but in essence is beyond
the world, which means beyond time and history.
Paul Tillich and Kausambi have offered a thesis for the peculiar Indian
tendency to weave and formulate Absolutist philosophies and have found
its deep rooted motivations in the Indian belief in time and history. One
may not agree to the formulations that they have offered in this regard,
but they have certainly spotlighted the Indian belief in time as cyclical
or circular, but not linear or straight. The Indian view-point about time,
to Needham, is 'that world goes down the destruction one after another'.
Kausambi holds that the belief in four ages of mankind is rooted in the
climatic conditions of this land.
of eminence also hold that the Indians have yet to make history and that
is why they have not produced a single work on history detailing out 'a
series of specific events in which men are consciously involved and which
they consciously influence.'
has a scintillating and coherent tradition of history-writing, yet the
historians have harboured and nurtured the same notions about time and
history and that is why terror, trauma and tragedy the Hindus have suffered
with the on-set of Muslims in Kashmir have been negated and have not been
vividly and graphically drawn and delineated. Fate, to them, is a factor
that shapes historical forces and processes, which in themselves are pointless
The above formulations
delineating the Indian positions on religious and philosophical issues
lead one to postulate that Monotheism as a religious idea emerging from
tribal social formations contains a view, which is absolutely at variance
with an absolutist philosophy. Where Bazaz has artificially perceived a
unity of thought and concept are mutually antagonistic and ideologically
divergent with no scope for a rendevouz. In fact he has jay-walked into
the whole issue.