Thursday, December 1, 2011

Kashmiriyat in Codex

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was Kashmir. This was beginning with God and the duty of every faithful monk would be to repeat every day with chanting humility the one never-changing event whose incontrovertible truth can be asserted. But we see now through a glass darkly, and the truth, before it is revealed to all, face to face, we see in fragments (alas, how illegible) in the error of the world, so we must spell out its faithful signals even when they seem obscure to us and as if amalgamated with a will wholly bent on evil.


Aassi aiys ta asi aasav
  Aassi dur kur patu-vath
Shivas sari na zyon ta marun
  Ravus sori na atu-gath!

We did live in the past and we will be in future also:
From ancient times to the present, we have activated
          this world.
Just as the sun rises and sets, as a matter of routine,
The immanent Shiva will never be relieved of birth and

~ Lal Ded

That Lalla of Padmanpore,
who had drunk the fill of divine nectar;
She was undoubtedly an avatar of ours.
O God! grant me the same spritual power.

~ Nund Reshi

Mohammad-radiates light all around
Pujari lost his wits,
While offering flowers,
Iswara showered rain,
Come, let us blow the Shankh
around Sankara.
Mohammad-radiates light all around.

~ Ahad Zarger

What do we accomplish?
by coming and going,
From one Janama (birth) to another?
I think nothing.
the way out is
'So-ham-Soo' (I am thou).
Explore, Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara,
They are all-pervading, the manifest.
Shall thou bear the reality?
When it dawns upon thou?

~Shah Ghafoor

Shastras, I have explored,
I- the Rahim Sahib, am wearing around,
A Shastra myself,
For Shastra is the crown of believers.

~ Rahim Sahib

Dew radiates brightness all around,
Atma (Soul) cannot get out of transmigration,
Siva, O Shah Qalandar, resembles none.

~ Shah Qalandar

Like a yogi I postured myself
In the solitude of vana (jungle),
And reduced my sharer (body) to ashes,
In the process of Prana-Abhyas

~ Asad Parray

Rig Veda, Yajer Veda, Sam Veda, Athar Veda
My revered guru (teacher) endowed me
With these four Vedas,
And gave upto me,
Apparels of a yogi and gyana

~ Shamas Faqir

Kur Batus Peth Zoo Fida Qudoos Gojwari,
Az Timai Kathe Yaad Paeyu Waen;
Reach Sirij Kakan Mussalman Gobrae Greinz,
Dil Tithai Paet Mila naeyu Pana Waen

"It is for a Bata (Kashmiri Pandit) that Abdul Qudoos Gojwari laid his life; today you (Hindus and Muslims) should remember these events for togetherness. And it was Rajkak (birbal Dhar's son) who treated Muslims as his own children; today, you should seek union of hearts as you had done then."

~ Mahjoor

Kiyaah kara paanchan dahan ta kahan
Yim yath leji wokshun kareth gai
Yikiwoti samahan akisey rai lamahan
Kovi maali ravihey khan gaav

(What can I do with these fives, tens and elevens?
Who spoiled the broth?
I wish they would unite
And would not be lost in wilderness)

~Shiekh Nooruddin Noorani

Gani kar paanis awlaadas
Hani hani maaz traav deryaavas
Patciye man panun kerzzen nihaar
Kaafar sapdith korum Iqraar

Cut into pieces your own child;
And throw his flesh in the river
If you like it, have it as breakfast.
I became an infidel to mould myself to become a 
faithful of God

~ Abdul Ahad Zargar

Thatha chha ashqini tsanji tehrunuey
ratci ratci matci maaz khuon ye lo
Pannuy khoon gatchi tresi kani chonuyey
Suy gatci tcaangi zaalunyey lo
Pannuy khoon gatci tresi kani chonuyey
Suy gatci tcaagni zaalunyey lo
tami key gaashi gatci yaar praznunyey
Ratci ratci matci maaz khuonye lo

(It is not easy to face a onslaught of love,
You shall have to eat your own flesh,
And drink your blood to quench your thirst,
And burn it to light a lamp;
You can then recognize you're beloved
under the shine of that light,
First, eat up flesh from your wrist)

~ Momin Sahib

Kaafer-e-Ishqam musalamaani maraa darkaar neist
Har rag-e-jaan taar gashta haajab-e-zunnaar neist

(I am infidel of love; I don't need to be a Muslim,
Each vein of my body has turned into a sacred thread- (of Hindus))

~ Amir Khusro

Soch Kraal karaan tas paiwandi
Yes assi dilas safaai
Chalith paanas dium diun gatsi randa
Khudawanda illahi

(Soch kral is a friend of pure ones
Who have a crystal clear heart?
Sharpen your self and make it shine;
The Almighty God is there to watch.)

~ Sochh Kraal

Akh tsi ta bey ba ganzar mabaa
Habaa yi chuy gumaanay
Yath faani saraayi diun chhuy shabaa
Ath manz mo dim dukhaanay
Pato ho marun az yaa sabaa
Habaa yi chuy gumaanay

(Don't count yourself and myself
All this is a dream and nothing else.
In this mortal world, do spend one night
But don't set up a shop in it
You shall have to die today or tomorrow
All this is nothing but a dream)

~ Sochh Kraal

Maal-odaulath chhuna rozaanay
Donway bewafa goy gumaan
Waataan koni chukh be zaanay
Wolo yuri yaari janaanay

(Wealth and affluence do not last longer,
Both are unfaithful, mind it.
Why don't you delve deep into this point?
Come to me, O my beloved! )

~ Rahman Dar

Seerat traavith sooratas mozum
Doulatas sapdaan daas
Thazray thazray oosus
Azlan diutnam wodoluyey

(I gave up nobility and embraced beauty
I became a slave of wealth.
I was like a kind on top,
but my fate pulled me down)

~ Shamas Fakir

Anem soi, wawum soi
Lajem soi pane saai 

~ Kashmiri saying

Panun raeth pansei math

~ Kashmiri saying

Bulbul Na yeh, Wasiyat Ahbab Bool Jayen
Ganga ke Badle Mere Jehlum Mein Mein Phool; Hayen

~ Kashyap Bandhu

"May be it is the bone and blood of the very ancient Dravid (whatever goes with it) civilization which has survived as the ethinic/culture core and around which the present edifice has been built in collaboration with the Aryans, the Ionian Greek, the Konkan Brahmans, the gypsies and the Central Asians"

~ Akhter Mohi-ud-Din 

"You are for Kashmir, that you live for Kashmir, do well for Kashmir, and love everything of Kashmir".

~ Mirza Arif

'Speak of! people of Kashmir speak
O, kashmir thou art a thing of beauty
And a thing of beauty is a joy for ever
keats cheats himself when he believes and says so
Arif tells him to listen to a beloved's woe 
tyranny for you, O! Dishonored land
You are  a charm for the one that has the upper hand'

~ Mirza Arif

"O Nila, the words of the sage will be effective for one Caturyuga. After that you will live in the company of men only. Here the Pisacas will always become weak...Prajapati is called Ka, and Kasyapa is also Prajapati. Built by him this country will be called Kashmira"

~ Nilmat Purana

The first Rishi was the prophet Muhammad;
The second in order was Hazrat Uways;
The third Rishi was Zulka Rishi
The fourth in order was Hazrat Pilas;
The fifth was Rum Rishi
The sixth in order was Hazrat Miran
The seventh (me) is miscalled a Rishi
Do I deserve to be called a Rishi? What is my name?

~ Nund Reshi

Shiv Chaai thali thali wochaan
Mau Zaan Huind tu Musalmaan
Toruk Hai Chookh Paan praznan
Soi Chaai Shiv seet Zaan

(Siva abides in all that is, everywhere
Then do not discriminate between a Hindu and a Musalman
If thou art wise, know thyself
That is true knowledge of the Lord)

I renounced fraud, untruth, deceit,
I taught my mind to see the one in all my fellow-men,
How could I then discriminate between man and man?
And not accept the food offered by brother.

The idol is but stone,
The temple is but stone,
From top to bottom all is stone.

He does not need the kusa grass, nor sesame seed,
Flowers and water He does not need,
He who, in honest faith, accept his Guru's word,
On Siva meditates constantly,
He, full of joy, from action freed, will not be born again.

It covers your shame,
Saves you from cold,
Its food and drink,
Mere water and grass,
Who counselled you, O Brahmin?
To slaughter a living sheep as a sacrifice,
Unto a lifeless stone

The thoughtless read the holy books
As parrots, in their cage, recite Ram, Ram,
Their reading is like churning water,
Fruitless effort, ridiculous conceit

When can I beak the bonds of Shame?
When I am indifferent to jibes and jeers
When can I discard the robs of dignity?
When desires cease to nag my mind

The Guru (Sayyid Husain Simnani, or so we are told, not a mention of Sidha Mol)
gave me only one word;
Enter into thyself from the outer world;
the guru's precept came to me as God's word;
That's why i started dancing nude.

In life I sought neither wealth nor power;
Nor ran after pleasures of sense;
Moderate in food and drink, i lived a controlled life;
And love my God.

Whether they killed a large sheep or a small one,
Lalla had her round stone (as her usual fare.)

Whatever I uttered with my tongue became a Mantra

I burnt the foulness of my soul;
I slew my heart, its passions all;
I spread my garments, hem and sat;
Just there, on a bended knees,
In utter surrender unto Him;
My fame as Lalla spread afar.

~ Lal Ded 

Passion for God set fire to all she had,
and from her heart raised clouds of smoke,
Having had a draught of adh-e-alat,
Intoxicated and drunk with joy was she,
One cup of this God-intoxicating drink,
Shatters reason into bits,
A little drowsiness from from it is heavier than
Intoxication from a hundred jars of wine.

~ Nund Rishi quoted by Suhrawardiyya Sufi Baba Dawud Mishkati*

Adam is the progenitor of the human race,
The Mother Eve has the same primordiality,
(So) from where have the 'low-castes' descended?
How can a 'high born' deride his own ancestry?

One who harps proudly upon one's caste?
Is bereft of reason and wisdom,
Here the good alone can claim noble descent;
In the Hereafter 'caste' will be extinct,
Were you to imbibe the essence of Islam?
Then no one would be purer than you.

(By) displaying the caste in the world,
What will thou gain?
Into dust will turn the bones,
When the earth envelopes the body:
To utter disgrace will he come?
Who, forgetting himself, jeers at others

Among the brothers of the same parents
Why did you create a barrier?
Muslims and Hindus are one
When will God be kind to His servants?

~ Sheikh Noor-ud-Din

The three alphabets -Sha-Ra-Ka, are in fact the etymological representation of the three alphhabets - Ka-Sha-Ra or Kasheer

~ Professor Fida Hassnain

O, King! I hail from the land far away;
Where there is no truth and evil knows no limit.
I appeared in the Maleecha country, and I suffered at
 their hands.
I am known as Ishvara Putram (the Son of God)
Born of Kanya-Garban, the virgin
I teach love, truth and purity of heart,
I ask human beings to serve the lord.
The lord God is in the centre of the Sun, and the elements.
And God and the Sun are forever,
Bliss giving Lord being always in my heart,
My name has been established Isha-Mase

~ Bhavishya-Maha-Purana, 115 A.D.

'During this period, Hazrat Yuzu Asaph, having come from the Holy Land to the Holy Valley, proclaimed his ministery. He devoted his days and nights in prayers, and having attained the highest status in spiritual hierarchy, declared himself as the Prophet sent to Kashmiris. I have seen in a work of Hindus that this Prophet was really Hazrat Isa, the Spirit of God, who had assumed the name of Yuzu-Asaph in Kashmir.'

~ Kashmiri historian, Mullah Nadri

'I would like to see whole colonies of English artist, men of science and literature and divines, proceeding to Cashmer'

~ Joseph Wolff in Mission to Bokhara (1832)

When Kashmiris are prosperous, traitors are devastated
When Dhars are prosperous, Kashmiris get devastated

~a Kashmiri proverb

"There is one God
But with hundred names!"

"We belong to the same parents:
Then why this difference

Let Hindus and Muslims (together)
Worship God alone

~Nund Reshi

The mess we inherited. There are some select snippets from a collection of essays titled 'Kashmiriyat through the ages', edited and compiled by Professor Fida Mohammad Hassanain (who it seems spent an inordinate duration of his life trying to prove Jesus was in Kashmir and even talked to the famous charioteer of UFO gods, Erich von Däniken ) from various articles published over last decade or so by various people for various platforms. It arrived as  a gift to me from its Srinagar based publishers Gulshan Books.

An elder cousin caught me reading this book and paused at the name of the editor. 

'He used to be our neighbour in Chanapora. We didn't know he was a writer till the day his daughter-in-law got kidnapped.'

In 1991 Nahida Imtiaz, daughter of Saifuddin Soz was kidnapped by militants. Her release was secured in exchange for some other militants. My cousins tells me Nahida was Fida Mohammad Hassanain's daughter-in-law.

None of it makes sense. Not at this late-hour. Not in this place. To call everything by its true name and the trouble to be reminded that everything is double.

"We must treat our lives as we treat our writings, put them in accord, give harmony to the middle, the end, and the beginning. In order to do this, we must make many erasures."

Joseph Joubert, the French writer who spent all his life preparing to write a book but never published anything while alive. 


*Baba Dawud Mishkati and Abdul'l-Wahhab say that while the Shaikh and his brothers were once trying to break into a house. Lalla, who happened to be there, cried to Nurru'd-Din: "What will you get from this house? Go to a big house (i.e. God). you will get something there." On hearing this Nuru'd-Din, who was thirty years old at the time, immediatley left his brothers and dug out a cave at the village of Kaimuh. Here for many years he performed his austere penances, withdrawing entirely from the life that surrounded him.

~Biographical encyclopedia of Sufis By N. Hanif

Baba Dawud Mishkati was a follower of Suhrawardiyya Baba Nasibuddin Ghazi of Bijbehara. In his 'Asrar-ul-Abrar', written around 1654 AD, and acknowledged as the first work to mention Lal Ded, Baba Dawud Mishkati mentions that word Rishi is derived from the Persian word raish or rish meaning the feathers or wings of a bird. 



  1. Dear Vinayak, Please correct me... while you have credited Sheikh Noorudin Noorani with the below given couplet, to my humble knowledge it is Lal Ded.

    Kiyaah kara paanchan dahan ta kahan
    Yim yath leji wokshun kareth gai
    Yikiwoti samahan akisey rai lamahan
    Kovi maali ravihey khan gaav

    Also by Sheikh Noorudin Noorani u mean Nund Rish of Baba Rishi !!!!

  2. You are right. That vakh is usually attributed to Lal Ded. But in this book, one of the writers attributed it to Nund Reshi (not of Baba Reshi(who was a disciple of Nund Reshi) of Tchar). These essays were written almost a decade ago when there was practically a war going on on Lal Ded Vs Nund Reshi Vs Lal Arifa Vs Sheikh Noorudin.Notice how Husain Simnani is mentioned as Lal Ded's Guru, I am sure it must have got a Pandit rejoinder.As I said, it's a mess.

  3. Dear Razdan, Above mentioned are few lines about the four Vedas, accrediting Shams Faqir. These lines are nowhere visible in his poems or compilation(s). I will be grateful if you could provide me the reference. Thank you!

    1. Don't know....I came across it in an essay in the book 'Kashmiriyat through the ages', edited and compiled by Professor Fida Mohammad Hassanain.


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