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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



When I look to the portrait of Bhagavaan ji

by T.N. Dhar 'Kundan'

The first time I looked to the portrait of Bhagavaan ji was at his Aashram in Pamposh colony at New Delhi. Thereafter the portrait was replaced by a marble statue. I happened to visit this place a number of times and had so many occasions to look up to him. Next it was the Aashram at Uttam Nagar where again I looked at his statue. In the meantime some literature published by the Foundation also was seen -by me including Bhagavaan ji’s biography, which I wrote and these contained many of his different photographs, which I have been seeing time and again. My experience has been that this gaze at his photograph, statue or portrait has been so fascinating, so inspiring and so invigorating. It gives us a new zeal, imparts fresh energy and fills with enlightenment.  

Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji
Bhagawaan Gopinath Ji

The first thing that I see is the radiance, the sparkle and the shine that emanates from his face. The rays of light radiate from his forehead in particular and simply mesmerize me. The effect is some sort of a trance in which I feel at peace with myself. This is an experience better felt than described. Then the light of his eyes penetrates, as it were, the mind and I feel that it is purified and put on a meditative mode where I can see piety and pious resolutions directed towards truth. Of course, it is not possible to withstand the dazzle and, therefore, my eyes involuntarily look downwards. Then again I raise my head and have a look at the portrait. I feel Vedic chants are sprouting forth from his delicate lips. I get a feel of a magical environment in which the seed syllable ‘OM’ resounds and instantaneously I perceive that God is all over the place in the form of the ‘Shabda Brahma’,  the Eternal Sound.

Thereafter I look up to his spotless white turban and the traditional Kashmiri attire, ‘Pheran’ and get a message of the three golden words, which Bhagavaan Ji himself has prescribed as virtue for a pious noble person. The message is to lead a life of simplicity, purity and truthfulness. These qualities should not only be preached but must be translated into action so that these are manifest in our thought, word and deed. His hands assure me of his benign grace and give me a great solace that he is always there to hold my hands and put me on the right track should I venture to falter or go astray. His broad ‘Pheran’ is a shelter for me. I am assured that he is there to provide me a safe haven from all troubles and tribulations. This shelter will protect me from all difficulties. It is there to cover me so that no shade of any evil falls on me and I remain unscathed from the turmoil of this world.

When I see his partially hidden left foot, I begin to perform ‘Pada-puja’ , worship of his holy feet, in my mind. I visualize both his feet joined together, forming a full-grown lotus, the symbol of life. I worship this lotus and pray that my life too be like a lotus, unscathed and unaffected by the ups and downs of the world around me, where I conduct myself as a member of the vast association of mankind. I remember what Shri Gita ordains us to be, ‘Padma-patram-iva ambasa’ – like a lotus pod in the waters.

I see him as my father, my mother, my Guru, my guide and my savior. I feel safe at his feet and am assured of protection, guidance and enlightenment. I am confident that he will liberate me from ignorance, show me the path of righteousness and steer the boat of my life safely. I see in him God and he tells me to see the same God in myself and in everything around me. I believe in him, I trust him and have an immense faith in him. I am, therefore, sanguine that this belief that everything here verily is God will one day, with the grace of Bhagavaan ji fructify and I will realize this universal truth. I know that if I ask him for some mundane and worldly comforts, he will certainly oblige me. But why ask for a transient and temporary pleasure, when you can get from him permanent bliss for asking? I implore him to give me an ever-lasting divinity that will give meaning to my life. This assurance I always get from him by merely looking at his portrait either in one of his Aashrams or at my home or in any publication.

Not to speak of the pleasure I derive from his portrait, I feel and experience a satisfying happiness even when I meet a devotee of his or have a chance to talk about him with any noble soul. At that moment I feel his presence near me. He guides my thoughts and words and eventually when these thoughts and words are put to action and implemented, the results are pious. I often get a silent message from him to turn to Shrimad Bhagavad Gita for light and guidance. I remember his statement that any ‘Shloka’ from seven hundred and odd verses of this holy book can be our mentor and preceptor. Even so he also enjoins upon me to turn inwards to search the truth and not waste my energy in searching outwardly.

Whenever I sit before his portrait I experience tremendous amount of concentration. My mind does not wander aimlessly even though in the words of Arjuna, it is fickle, arrogant and hard to control, ‘chanchalam hi manah Krishna, pramathi, balavad dridam.’ I try to ponder over the purpose of my life, the secret of the human existence, the creation and the creator as also their mutual relationship. The rays emanating from his eyes keep me focused and I feel that my inquisitive search is in the right direction. When I see his ‘Chilum’ and the ‘Dhooni’, both having fire inside, I am reminded of the famous ‘Shloka’ in the Bhagavad Gita, which goes like this: ‘Brahmaarpanam, Brahma havi, Brahmaagnau, Brahmana hutam, Brahmaiva tena gantavyam Brahma-karma-samadhina.’ In this vast gigantic sacrificial fire, the oblation, the giver of oblation, the receiver of oblation, the fire proper and the purpose and objective of the sacrifice all are the same Divine. Those who are engaged whole-heartedly in this divine action they attain the Divine, no doubt. I feel that this message is the sum and substance of the different messages given by our beloved Bab Bhagavaan and the sooner we realize this, the better for us and our enlightenment.      

T. N. Dhar Kundan's Articles


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