Wagh Bhat of Village Wagh
by Chander M. Bhat
Those who believe in austerity of thought and those who believe that specialties
are not uncommon, leave an impact to such a personality, for whom there are no
scriptures and any written history to make him immortal. Wagh Bhat belongs to
this tiny village some 5 km from Bijbehara. There was no Kashmiri Pandit family
in this village at the time mass exodus. Only what remains of his memories is
that, oral stories flow from generation to generation.
It is said that Adi Guru Shankaracharya, while on
his visit to Kashmir, stayed at Vijeshwara Temple at Bijbehara. He was enquiring
about blissful and learned people with whom he could exchange his ideology.
Apparently little known Wagh Bhat came to his knowledge by some local resident
as being the spiritual personality with magical powers.
He left in search of him and landed at Wag Hama. During his quest he found him
ploughing his field and was advised to go to his home at the village. Adi Guru
proceeded to his home. What he saw in the corridor [Voouz in Kashmiri],
felt like a hammer on his pious heart. The wife of the spiritual Wagh Bhat was
cleaning small fist locally known as ‘Gurran’ in the corridor. Adi Guru
was helpless. The house wife asked him to come in and advised him to sit in the
room adjacent to the corridor called ‘Wuot’ in Kashmiri. She continued
cleaning the fist and Adi Guru did not like it because of being a vegetarian.
He waited for Wagh Bhat for an hour or so. As he felt restless, he asked the
house wife about the reason of his late coming. On knowing, that Adi Guru was
intentional to have a dialogue with Wagh Bhat. She wanted to break the illusion
of Adi Guru about Shiva being the supreme with only an unimportant secondary
place to Shakti.
She took some water from the pot in which she was cleaning then and threw it on
the broom and urn, containing cleaned combine of water and red clay for
purification of rooms and corridor [locally known as Leven Dul].
Surprising for Adi Guru, was that he experienced flow of Shalukas from
both these broom and urn kept in a corner of the corridor. He was moved and
accepted that Shakti is equally powerful and is part and parcel of Shiva. He had
a mission which got completed even before meeting Wagh Bhat.
Hats down for those Kashmiris who have had at their command such spirituality
that even Adi Guru Shankaracharya was out smarted.