Swami Krishna Joo Razdan
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Achhe Posh Gav Lachhi Novuy Heth

by Prof. Kanhaya Lal Moza

ACHHE POSH GAV LACHHI NOVUY HETH is a superb devotional lyric in Pt. Krishna Joo Razdan's Shiva Pranae. Here the immortal Kashmiri bard rapturously celebrates Uma's union with Chandrachud. The beautiful flowery metaphors illustrate the saint-poet's deep devotion for Lord Shiva and his Divine Consort, Shakti. The fragrant lyric scintillates numerous flowery hues and tinges. The poetic artifact reveals unique sensitivity of the great devotional poet's visual and olefactory perceptions. Into the flowery fabric Razdan Sahib entwines some eternal idealistic verities. The lyric, as a whole, reflects the unique sancity of Kashmin Hindu wedlock. The predominant mood objectified is devotional repute and ecstasy.

 Shiv Pranae is transcreation of Shiva Mahapuran. This devotional literary work opens with the saint-poet's invocation of Lord Ganapati to bless him with the talent for narrating the story of Shiva's union with Shakti. According to the poet, Lord Ganesha, the Onkar-shaped omnipresent god, is the bestower of all kinds of boons. A habitual contemplation of his divine form, dispelling impediments, blesses a devotee with the kinds of successes. Wearing pearly necklaces, he commands Lord Shiva's Rudra legions; he is the vanquisher of Lord Indra and Lord Vishnu, the god with a trunk and a single tusk is the dear son of Shiva and Shakti; he is invited before all gods to bless sacrificial fires, he is the principal attendant of Adi Shakti; the god with four arms, wears red garments and holds his court at Ganpatyar; he carried his four weapons in his four hands for the destruction of demons and maleficent giants.

 Pt. Razdan Joo prays to Lord Ganapati to destroy our ignorance with his single tusk which he uses as a stylus and to destroy our'sins and wrath with his axe and other weapons. Lord Ganesha, the infallible dispenser of justice, is worshipped at all holy places before his elder brother, Kumar Kartikeya. This invocation, replete with rich mythological allusions, has been an important item in the devotional repertoire of all Kashmir Hindus for the last several decades.

 The invocation of Lord Ganapati is followed by thanksgiving to Sad Guru. For Razdan Sahib, Sad Guru is none other than Lord Shiva himself. He prays for the nectar of bliss and light amidst enveloping gloom. He longs for the realisation of Shiva amidst the trammels of the illusory cosmos. Through the exercise of temperance, he desires liberation from the shackles of lust, wrath, avarice, pride and possessiveness. The practice of evil deeds has obliterated from the poet's vision, co~itenmenl, thoughtfulness, dharma and divine contemplation. He earnesly desires being ranked amongst saints who attained shivahood through intense sadlma.

 Pt. Krishna Joo believes that spiritual bliss is realizable through the exercise of Yogic discipline.

    He longs for the revelation of the truths enshrined in the Upanishads. He craves for the attainment of Brahmanand. He is conscious of the fact that contemplative concentration is realizable through rigid Yogic discipline through which he seeks divine grace for the purification of his mind and soul. He prays for Lord Shiva's grace in directing his sense perceptions of the eternal truth of Advaita Vedantic monism. The poet is perpetually conscious about the essential divinity of man.

 After the invocation of Lord Ganesha and thanks giving to Lord Shiva, the saint-poetnarrates the story of creation as enshrined in Vishnu Puran. According to hirn, Onkar is a symbolic representation of Lord Shiva from whom' illusory cosmos has originated. Cosmic illusion gave birth to Lord Vishnu, Who created Lord Brahma. The entire universe and all life were created by Brahma's will. Brahma created Dakhshiprajapati whom he tutored in all kinds of wordly affairs. DakUshipr.ljapati whom Razdan Sahib calls Brahamrishi, a venerable Taporishi and the king of the gods, begot a large number ot' daughters, one of whom was Uma. The poet considers such a parent, who begets a daughter like Uma, blessed by Lord Shiva Himself. Urna is given away in marriage to ash-besmeared Shiva who is the master of the cosmos. Dakhshiprajapati gives away the remaining 27 daughters in marriage to Chandrama and invites all his relations and friends to participate in these matrimonial festivities.

 At this stage of narration, Pt. Razdan Joo ceases to be an omniscient narrator. He sketches lightly the tedium of straight and horizontal narration. His Dakhshiprajapati is a typical Kashmiri Hindu deeply steeped in devotion. He is enjoying a beatific experience because Shiv Nath has become his intimate relation incognito as Dakhshiprajapati. Razdan Sahib feels his being blossoming like a lotus. The mendicant friar, with the Ganga flowing down his hair, has married his daughter. He decides to feed him with boiled rice, butter-milk and sugar-candy. He is convinced that the mystery surrounding Shiva is impenetrable. Shiva's camphor-frame exudes poignant aroma. He is Himself Brahma, Vishnu and the Supreme Being, an ocean of knowledge and the mystery of Onkara. It is through the non-dualist attitude alone that He can be realised. Throughout Shiv Pranae, we observe narrative omniscience beautifully punctuated by dramatized narration.

 Pt. Krishna Joo Razdan celebrates the union of Shiva and Shakti in his Achhe Posh Gav Lachhi Novuy Heth. This lyric is one of the most superb achievements in Kashmiri language. Here Shiva is Chandrachud appearing in dark fortnight and Uma is Param Shakti; here Shiva is Lachhinov and Uma is Achhe Posh. With the union of Shiva and Shakti, spring stalks the earth afresh and the cosmos blossoms like a lotus. Here the immortal bard luxuriates in cataloguing flowers. Among the Kashmiri saint-poets, none has made a comparable brilliant use of this technique for the objectification of his devotion. He resorts to a superb metaphorical use of flowers. Uma is Arni Posh and she is carried away by Shiv Ji who is Neov. Like a typical Kashmiri Hindu bridegroom, Shiva is greatly respectful towards Uma's parents. He carries away Uma after seeking the blessings of her parents. Shiva is Gloab; he is Sombul. Uma is Aarwal; she is Yemberzal. Razdan Sahib constantly enjoys the vision of Uma-Rudra. He supplicates before Lord Shiva for a boon of spiritual bliss. In spite of being a master of fabulous treasures, Shiva enjoys being clad sparsely. These persons need no ornaments upon whom the Creator of the universe showers His own bounteous benedictions. Being free from avarice, the material wealth has absolutely no significance for Shiva. He is the creaser of both Brahma and Vishnu.

 Razdan Sahib is convinced that spiritual progress is realizable only through regular Yogic exercises. The number of such exercises is very vast but an aspirant needs to practice only a few of them. Achhe Posh Gav Lahhi Novuy Heth is an inspired lyric which cascades forward like the waters of a mountain fill. It exudes the aroma of flowery vernal Kashmir landscape. He imparts superb pictorial touches to the short poetic artifact. The poet's love for Shiva rises to the level of God-intoxication. His Shiv Ji is a cliff supporting the crescent moon, he is vernal Neov; he is Golab, and he is Symbul. For him Uma is Param Shakti, she is an Achhe Posher she is Arni Posher she is Aarwal and she is Yamberzal. All these flowery metaphors conjure up before readers the celestial couple - Lord Shiva and his divine consort Gauri. Lord Shiva is the creator of the cosmos; He is the bestower of respectability; being free from greed and avarice, material riches have absolutely no significance for him. He supplicates before Lord Shiva for spiritual enlightenment, leading to the attainment of salvation. Through a figurative use of Kashmiri, he objectifies his intense love for God.

 Just as there are physical phenomena, in the same manner there are mental phenomena. Both these types of phenomena are apodictic realities. It is erroneous to extol one set of phenomena at the cost of the denigration of the other. Rational living consists of a simultaneous recognition of the importance of both these types of phenomena. With the modem man's ever-increasing interest in physical phenomena, we are likely to overlook its importance. This is the tragedy of modem civilization. For rejuvenating our springs of bliss, we will have to cultivate afresh the desire for enjoying it. Just as reading about philosophy can never be a substitute for reading philosophy, in the same manner, reading about philosophy can never be a substitute for reading poetry. Great devotional bards like Pt. Krishn Joo Razdan can be best appreciated only through first-hand experience.

 (Prof. Moza teaches English in the Gandhi Memorial College, Bantalab, Jammu.)

Source: Koshur Samachar

 

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