Tuesday, February 17, 2015



Sheen oos pyawaan thali thali
Na bozaan hyund ti musalman
Kangir hyeth oos 
Shiv Shalfa Karaan
Parvati Wadaan:
'Hyesa, Bozaan Chiv Sa,
Tchyn'e gey Tamaam,
Wyon kya karav?'
Shiv Asaan:
'Wol Dima yath Kasheeri bey Naar'

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Parvati's Mirror



Herath is now often remembered as the day of Shiva's marriage. A day of Shiva. A reflection of state of our society today. A correction: it is day of Parvati and Shiva. A small ritual in a Kashmiri Pandit wedding involves the bride holding up a mirror and the couple seeing each other's reflection in it. A Pandit wedding is essentially a recreation of the wedding of Shiva and Parvati. The bride, Parvati holds the mirror and brings a certain self-realization upon Shiva. A balance. The nature of Shiva changes at this self-realization. The approach, the methods to explain him, changes. A war of ideas is settled. All made possible by Parvati, and the mirror she holds. Harsha V. Dehejia explains in 'Parvatidarpana: An Exposition of Kasmir Saivism through the Images of Siva and Parvati (1997)':


"Shiva's first cognition discovers the sensuous Parvati
but he cognises yet again and sees the mirror in her hand
The first cognition reveals the lustful Parvati
the second cognition none other than Shiva himself
in the mirror of Parvati.
Shiva is wonderstruck, he experiences the rasa of adbhuta
at the transformation brought about by the mirror
a movement from the enigmatic dvaita to the restful advaita
such is the wonder of pratyabhijna that creates the majestic
advaita
not the advaita of negation but of affirmation, not where the mind whispers neti neti
but the chitta joyously exclaims iti iti."



Image: Shiva and Parvati (holding mirror), Kashmir, 10th or 11th century. Cincinnati Art Museum. [source: wiki]
The Pratyabhijna thoughts started in Kashmir with the writings of Somananda (875–925 CE) and Utpaladeva (ca. AD 900–950).

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Herath Mubarak.

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Update:
11 Feb, 2016

The mirror ritual from my marriage.


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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Photo of Pandit Mukund Ram Shastri


From Aurel Stein, Eugen Hultzsch, John Marshal, Alfred Stratton to George Grierson, all of them were helped in their studies of Kashmir by a man in Srinagar named Pandit Mukund Ram Shastri. In early 1900s, 23 of the 29 books of "Kashmir Series of Texts and Studies" were brought out by Research Department of Jammu and Kashmir under his editorship. Books that are still read and shared in academic circles. And yet, if you Google Image Search, you will find no photograph of Mukund Ram Shastri. You can easily find Stein, Hultzsch, Marshal, Stratton and George Grierson, but no Mukund Ram Shastri. Given here is a photograph of Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit Mukund Ram Shastri, found in the biography of Stratton, 'Letters from India, by Alfred William Stratton, with a memoir by his wife Anna Booth Stratton and an introductory note by Professor Bloomfield' (1908).

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lake by G. Strahan, 1894


Shared by Beth Watson via email. She writes, "A painting by G. Strahan. It was given to my Great Grandfather Rev.William Morrison in 1898. The painting is of Sonear Nag Lake- Kashmir."

Colonel Geoffrey Strahan (1839-1916 was Deputy Surveyor General, Trigonometrical Branch. Although there is a spring named Sonar Nag in Kashmir (Shall Mohallah at Waripora, Pehlipora, Shopian), this looks like famous Sheshnag Lake.


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