dreshti mai: A
By Prof. M.L. Koul
(Engilsh), M.A. (Sanskrit), M.A. (Hindi), B.Ed.
Possibilities of Lalla Ded Reconstruction
Mrs. Bimla Raina - a poet of fantasy
Lalla-Ded-meri dreshti mai - an evaluation
Sample Survey of Mrs. Bimla Raina's Fiddlings
Changes that Bimla Raina has executed
of Lalla Ded Reconstruction
deserves an open-hearted acknowledgement that the treasure-trove of Lalla Ded
vakhs have been saved from extinction as a precious legacy by some ordinary
yet exceptional individuals who kept them alive in the grooves and ridges of
their memory membrane. For preservation and conservation of knowledge it has
been a unique method prevalent in
for millennia. The Rigvedic mantras were preserved this way only. Some
indologists of immense repute like Griffth and Monier Williams have been
lavish in admiring the role of individuals with extra-ordinary memory faculty
for preservation of knowledge in an ancient land like
Grierson, an indologist in the British Service, has rendered the Kashmiri
Hindu Heritage a great favour by getting the Lalla Ded vakhs recorded from a
Pandit, Dharam Das by name, through Dr. Stein and M.M. Pt.. Mukund Ram Shastri,
an awesome scholar of Sanskrit lore and learning.
vakhs as we have them in ‘Lalla vakyani’, despite numerous transmissions
from generation to generation, do retain an archaic flavour and complexion.
What the actual form of Kashmiri in the times of Lalla Ded was is a complex
issue of linguistic polemics and wranglings which remains distance way from a
satisfactory resolution. Bilhan, a kashmiri poet and historian living in 10th
century A.D., in a morsel of information characterises the form of Kashmiri in
vogue in his time as ‘Desh Bhasha’, but does not provide any reliable
sample of it. ‘Bhanasur Katha’, and Mahanaya Prakash’ are written in a
language form that borders on an ‘apbrahmsa’ with all its phonemic and
phonetic characteristics. The linguistic texture of Lalla Ded vakhs appears
prima facie at a divergence from the linguistic shape and form of Bhanasur
Katha and Mahanay Prakash. The transformation is not far to seek. The
transmission of the vakhs from individual to individual and one family to the
succeeding families, it happening through generations together, wrought
linguistic changes that rubbed off and stole away the archaicness of the vakhs.
During the process of transmissions, additions,
deletions, replacements and interpolations cannot be ruled out. One who denies
it is not on firm ground of history. Despite ravages wrought by time and
transmission from generation to generation, Lalla Ded vakhs in Dr. Grierson's
collection do have a semblance of pristinity in word, phrase and form. The
same vakhs as are available in Gopi Nath Raina's collection, Prof. Koul's and
Prof. Parimoo's works on Lalla Ded do have an improvised complexion, yet are
not drained off of old flavour and do not present a linguistic scenario that
is so modernised that it marks a hiatus between their vakhs and those of Dr.
is it that Lalla Ded vakhs have stood the fury and flux of time and Nund
Rishi's shrukhs have suffered a chemical transformation ? The reason, I
believe, is that those who religiously preserved the vakhs of Lalla Ded and
continued with their cultural transmission through succeeding generations were
not driven by religious prejudices and had no hate-soaked motivations to
distort and disfigure them to the level that they remained mere caricatures of
their originals. If the transmitter, per chance, had vaishnavite leanings, he
would interpolate his vaishnavite credos and notions into the texture of vakhs
which on an analysis would not be much in disagreement with how Lalla Ded had
posed herself on issues of God, man and world. But, contrary to Lalla Ded, the
shrukhs of Nund Rishi as are available in an array of popular versions
highlight him as one who is cut asunder from his cultural and civilisational
roots. As a person, he is overlaid with a massive weight of fibs, fables and
figments that pose him as a proselytiser,
semitic in approach and precept, a sufi, not a rishi, at variance with his
nativity and surrounding cultural ambience. The pristine Nund Rishi is lost.
Linguistically, the shrukhs are couched in a language form that bears a modern
ring and glitter and appear to have been cleansed of the dross of archaic
tinge and tone, word and metaphor. Such an over-riding transmutation of
shrukhs can be safely attributed to Muslim zealots who were ill at ease with
his indigenous flavour and were keen to present him as a mauzzin, a preacher
fully oriented to the foreign content of a ‘guest faith’ and more than
most an iconoclast working out the behests of the Kubrawi Sayyid-sufis
responsible for the first holocaust of the native Hindus of Kashmir.
concerted opinion is that Lalla Ded vakhs as are popularly available are in
satisfactorily good linguistic form and shape. Any textual appraisal and
evaluation is slightly a difficult process as we do not have a written
manuscript of her vakhs that could form a firm substratum for any positive
attempt at improvision and quality addition. The vakhs that ring sound and
genuine seem to brook no interference and the lurking fear that I harbour is
that it might open the dykes for a flood of distortions and misconceptions
sneaking into the brilliant store-house of vakhs forming our precious bequest.
Any change if conceived on the basis of genuine scholarship has to be fully
authenticated and cross-referenced. No haphazard tinkering can do. A scholar
who is equipped with profound knowledge of linguistics and textual criticism
and high level of awareness of the times Lalla Ded was faced with can venture
on an effort to improvise upon vakhs qualitatively, not snatch away the
brilliant and thoughtful poetry they winnow out. No a priori methods can do.
Internal evidence of vakhs, their thought nuances, linguistic shades and
style-related flourishes alone can be the parameters to determine the
authenticity and genuineness of any Lalla Ded vakhs.
cleansing of Lalla Ded Vakhs
am not so complacent as to say that all is well with the world of Lalla Ded
vakhs. Many available versions of Lalla Ded scholars do contain in their ouvre
some such vakhs as appear at the very first sight foreign to the world-view
and experiential dynamics of Lalla Ded. A host of interpolations,
interventions, and insertions, deliberately executed, showcase a sinister
design to damage and subvert the very native soul of Lalla Ded. The trajectory
for Lalla Ded subversion was first laid out by the Kubrawi authors of
Rishinamas and Noornamas who under a design made a mish-mash of Lalla Ded
vakhs and Nund Rishi Shrukhs. To create a conceptual disarray Lalla Ded was
given the nomenclature of an ‘arifa’, which in essentia collides against
her status as a Shaiva yogini who as a person was deeply immersed in a quest
of discovering shiva and was in an everlasting
union with Him, the only source of beauteous bliss and enlightenment.
pose Lalla Ded as a sufi is either a cunning attempt to appropriate her or to
relocate her for a different identity, religious and cultural. Be it told,
is a foreign plant and has had minimal acceptance and recognition. The brand
of sufis who entered the borders of
were literal Islamists and fanatically Sharia-oriented. Their nodding
acquaintance with the Indian Vedanta and Buddhism had in no way softened their
religious angularities and hard positions with respect to Jihad, Jaziya and
the status of dhimmis. If characterised as a sufi, Lalla Ded is made to lose
her close affinity and nexus with the cultural and civilisational ethos she
happened to be a fine product of.
ill-conceived efforts on part of literary mullahs are designed to the end of
appropriating Lalla Ded through interpolating
and smuggling Lalla Ded-type vakhs into the rich archive of her vakhs.
specimens of interpolated vakhs are :
Dod kyah zani yas no bane
Gamaki Jama ha valith tane
Gara gara phiras Peyam kane
Dyunthum na kanh ti panani kane
Tembar peyas kava no Tsajin,
Mas_ras (Mansuras) kava ahanajen gav
Shanten hanz kreya tola-mwala vajin,
gaha yeli nebar peyas.
Kalimay parum kalimay sarum,
Kalimay kachum Panun Paan
Kalimay Hani Hani Moyan Tourm
Ada Lalla Vachus La-makan
gom molum ta zinim hal
But to be precise, the
grave peril to Lalla Ded vakhs emanates from a literary organisation, a
creature of constitution, put
under the charge of a ‘cultural commissar’ chosen and appointed by a
dynasty that has aged and grown effete. He unleashed his malicious campaign
way back in 1975 when at the opening ceremony of
he unabashedy talked of Lalla Ded's conversion to an alien faith. To his utter
discomfiture an old man leaning against a staff present in the audience
vociferously contradicted his absurd claims and challenged him to cite
historical evidences and credible corroborations. The cultural commissaar,
sallow in countenance, down in guts and tongue, quietly trod down the dias.
The same cultural commissaar, holding
a seat on the dias, ventilated his hallucinatory condition of having seen
Lalla Ded's grave at Bijbehara. The function where the cultural commissar is
reported to have given vent to his pathological obsession was organised by
Mrs. Bimla Raina for the release of her title ‘Lalla Ded - meri dreshti mei’.
But, despairingly, there was no pandit Jia Lal Koul, Jalali in the audience
who could have rebutted his hallucinatory assertions and crazy bullying.
Hopping in the political circles, the cultural commissar, is reported to have
spoken almost crude nothing on Mrs. Raina's so-called work on Lalla Ded and
rambled on appropriation of Lalla Ded through malicious fabrications and
figmented lies. The same cultural commissar is responsible for partitioning
the monolith of cultural mosaic and civilisational edifice of
through the publications issued out as Muslim Gazettes by the cultural
organisation operating on naked sectarian lines.
Yet, I am fortified in my conviction that all malicious attempts made
by different brands of cultural commissars and pseudo-historians straddling
the portals of academia at religious
cleansing of Lalla Ded will not fructify. Lalla Ded as a cultural and
civilisational sentinel is impregnable. Her tremendous quest for Shiva, her
luminous state of being one with Shiva's supreme consciousness, her
experiential fire and fury, her spontaneous flow and cascading expression can
comfortably edge out all bogus interpolations and spurious replacements.
Bimla Raina - a poet of fantasy
Bimla Raina is a poet and writes Lalla Ded dressed vakhs. Two of her poetical
collections ‘Resh Malun Meon’ and ‘Veth Macha Shyongith’ are available
in print. Without commenting on the poetic quality of her vakhs I would just
say that poetry or any form of literature is and has to be contemporary. A
poet who breathes and lives in the milieu of 21st century and evinces
obsessive concern about irrelevant themes cannot escape the epithet of a
regressive shut up in a canary island where he like a bright, yellow finch
atop a perch sings his own tuneful song. Lalla's poignancy, her moral and
spiritual grandeur and exceptional assertion to be her own self amidst raging
storms of religious bigotry should have mightily sensitised her to the burning
themes of her personal uprootment, mass expulsion of her tribe, alientation,
de-humanisation of camp-dwellers
and cultural onslaught and effacement.
a poet of live sensibilities her vakhs should have been soaked in the dark
shades of a funeral song when brutal Muslim crusaders, Jihadis in Islamic
parlance, perpetrated atrocious barbarities and inhuman cruelties on Kashmiri
Pandit women like Sarla Bhat, Girija Tiku, Rupawati and a host of women for
the simple sin that they were Hindus and had stuck to their faith tenaciously.
Her vakh should have burst out into a shrill shriek when Muslim marauders,
cruel and brutal, arsoned her parental abode, a veritable mansion, at Anantnag
and has been lying in charred ruins. The pathetic eclipse of human values and
brutal rise of medieval barbarism at her native place, resh malun to her, do
not have any thematic value and relevance for her poetic out-pourings. Acrid
hatred and religious intolerance enveloping and encasing Kashmiri society do
not vibrate within the orbit of her perceptions. As a bruised and traumatised
soul languishing in the agonies of exile and banishment I urge Bimla Ji ‘to
go out of the house into the convulsions of the world, out of history into
history and awful responsibility of the time.’
quote Bretcht - could there be singing in dark times / yes, there will be
singing of dark times.
When Lalla Ded resonantly sang out her vakhs, she was in complete
harmony with the spirit of the times. Her vakhs, thoughtful, intense and
esoteric in import, are creative ‘statements of spiritual experiences, lived
and felt and guides to that experience’. As the epitome of indigenous ethos,
Lalla is all embracing, coherent and sweeping, profusely exuding unflinching
confidence and deep sense of pride in her heritage and identity. Irrigating
the fields of Rishi-ethos with its roots embedded in the Vedic Age Lalla Ded
sharpened the cleavage between a tolerant and catholic ethos and a
heresy-hunting creed. She fined-tuned her thought when others were sharpening
their weapons of force and coercion. In sharp defiance of what was alien she
renewed a new force of humanism that was inherent in the indigenous ethos. She
soars into the ‘invisible worlds’, it is from the earth she soars. Lalla
Ded is great and is stunningly creative.
Ded - Meri Dreshti Mei
Bimla Raina's another book ‘Lalla Ded-meri dreshti mei’ is said to be the
Hindi variant of her Kashmiri book - ‘Lalla Ded-myani nazri manz’. As the
grape-vine has it, an urdu version of the same book is under preparation
across the Bannihal Tunnel. In absence of the original and its urdu version my
critique will focus on the Hindi variant that contains call it a preface by
Mrs. Raina and an introduction by Dr. B.L. Koul, a retired professor of Hindi
of Kashmir University.
her pre-face Mrs. Raina makes an astounding statement that Lalla Ded being a
yogini par excellence should be appraised beyond the parameters of ‘panth’,
‘Jati, sampradai’ or even the world-view that she has assiduously
cultivated and garnered. This, in sum, means to denude her of biographical
terrain- her persona, her vicissitudes in mundane life, her trajectory of
cultural up-bringing and her arduous struggle to recognise her spiritual
destiny. To me, it is a non-literary statement aimed at stripping away Lalla
Ded of her identity, personality and tremendous grasp of the delicacies of
thought to which as a superb poet she was wedded to. ‘Know the person behind
the book’ is a platitude not to be overlooked.
Mrs. Raina's parameters for literary evaluation, per chance, were applied to
John Milton, Dr. Iqbal, Sant Tulsi Das and a host of greats, they, I believe,
will get faded into nullity.
B.L. Koul is all plaudits for Mrs
Raina, who, he opines, has given him a book on Lalla Ded resuscitation as per
the canons of textual criticism and linguistics. I am afraid I may be dubbed
as impolite when I debunk the claims of Dr. Koul and say that Mrs. Raina's
work is ten leagues away from textual criticism and linguistics. I would have
felt highly obliged had Dr. Koul informed the wide circle of Lalla Ded
scholars and lay readers about Mrs. Raina's personal achievements and
expertise in the regimes of textual criticism and linguistics, two highly
Grierson's Lalla - Vakyani
As recorded by all Lalla Ded Scholars, most of them of eminence, the
fact about Lalla Ded Vakhs remains that Dr. Stein of the Rajtarangini fame,
and Maha-mahopadyay Pandit Mukund Ram Shastri, Director of Research, JandK
Government, recorded the vakhs from a Kashmiri Pandit living at Gushi, now
destroyed by the Muslim marauders, at the behest of Dr. Grierson. Having put
the repertoire of vakhs to his incisive and clinical scrutiny, Dr. Grierson
published them under the title ‘Lalla Vakyani’ along with his
comprehensive introduction and explanatory notes for which sufficient and
copious aid-materials were supplied to him by Dr. Stein and Maha-mahopadyay
Pt. Mukund Ram Shastri, his two close associates. What I want Dr. Koul to make
note of is that the remarkable Pandit of Gushi had received the vakhs of Lalla
Ded set in a sequence by way of cultural transmission and as a man gifted with
uncommon memory he had carefully preserved the repertoire on the slate of his
memory. The vakhs which the Pandit recited, declaimed or uttered in presence
of two eminent scholars were in no way from any written manuscript. So, the
vakhs as published by Dr. Grierson cannot be taken as a recension of the Lalla
Ded Vakhs. Because of immense popularity of Lalla Ded as a shaivite visionary
and practitioner, there were many Kashmiri Pandit families that had received
and preserved her vakhs as a cultural bequest and with the advent of printing
press some pious Pandits in an admirable effort got them published in
vernacular with good translations and explanations of the vakhs. So, all such
collections too cannot be taken as recensions of Lalla Ded Vakhs.
of Textual criticism
methodology of textual criticism comes into play when a number of manuscripts
or published recensions of a particular work are available and an expert with
profound grounding in the language and script of the manuscripts or their
published variants establishes the authenticity of the work, its language, its
content and context and any insertions and changes if made to fill in the
moth-eaten spaces on the basis of a comparative study. What is of prime
importance is the well-founded awareness and knowledge of the methodology of
comparative study of manuscripts and that is the recognised gate-way to sift
and sieve the chaff of insertions and interpolations from the grain of
authentic content and linguistics of a particular work. The methodologies
worked upon by Dr. Stein, Dr. Ved Kumari Ghai, Prof. Nila Kanth Gurtu and
Prof. Sri Kanth Koul to determine the authentic texts of Rajtarangini,
Nilmatpuran, Paratrimshika and Jonraj's version of Rajtarangini are
instructive in this behalf. It has to be thoroughly understood that it is not
and cannot be the job of a callow mind.
about the basic manuscript
The method employed for linguistic and
textual retoration of Lalla Ded Vakhs by Mrs. Raina in her book is both
puzzling and mind-boggling. She has not made it known as to which manuscript,
ancient or modern, she takes as the baseline for making rapacious forays into
the vakhs that are available in various versions. It is possible she might
have chanced upon some such manuscripts as Dr. Koul informs the lay and the
learned that she has scoured vast swathes of the country in search of research
materials for her illuminating work. Dr. Koul or the author herself should
have made a definitive mention of it so that a treacherous critic could have
acquired, if not so, at least critically scrutinized the manuscripts to assess
their authenticity and genuineness or just to check their credentials and
Vakhs - handled - mishandled
Bimla Raina has treated seventy-nine Lalla Ded Vakhs in all. She has quoted
versions of the same vakhs as are found in the two brilliant works on Lalla
Ded by Prof. Jaya Lal Koul and Prof. B.N. Parimoo. She has not missed to draw
upon Dr. Grierson who has included 108 Lalla Ded vakhs in his collection of
‘Lalla Vakyani’. Then, we are given Bimla Raina- branded Lalla Vakhs, of
course, with explanations and interventions she has the temerity to make and
references galore to Prof. Koul's and Prof. Parimoo's versions of the Vakhs.
Attempt to Re-Orientate Vakhs
an ardent student of Lalla Ded vakhs I feel that Mrs. Raina has not made an
in-depth study of Lalla Ded vakhs and more than most, the two classical works
on Lalla Ded by Prof. J.L. Koul and Prof. B.N. Parimoo. For reasons unknown
she has not tried to know and understand the comparative methodology to arrive
at changes she is keen to introduce in the text of vakhs. What exposes her
immaturity as a critic is that she has not left even the brilliant vakhs
without staining them and I am compelled to say that she is not even remotely
conversant with the Shaiva world-view and praxes and their divergence from
other strands of philosophical stipulations and practices. The type of vakhs
she has framed after cynical changes are not authentic in any wise.
tamperings are made, she has not cared a wee bit to weigh whether those are
organically in sync with the body and soul of the vakh or jell with it. Her
out of context insertions appear as anti-bodies in the texture of the vakhs.
To my dismay, I could not find a single tampering, tinkering or replacement
that could be considered relevant or genuine to the context and tenor of the
vakh. I am flumoxed by the manner she splits a word and constructs new words
that are far-fetched and not relevant to the spirit of the vakh. Mrs. Raina is
a word-splitter and with such skill at her disposal the vakhs she has
structured detract verbal music, tone and tenor, context and structure of the
original vakhs that are available in various versions of Lalla Ded vakhs.
Whatever interventions she has tried to introduce, one must not hesitate to
say, are, on the whole, superfluous, shoddy and crude.
to Appreciate Lalla Ded as a poet
Bimla Ji happens to be a poet she should have appreciated that Lalla Ded is
not only a Shaiva yogini, but also an immaculate poet. She has dexterously
objectified her mystical experiences and spiritual impulses, though subtle and
nebulous, through the flavour of her mother-tongue. She is suggestive in her
expression and artistic in poetic ornamentation. Through simile, metaphor and
apt word she has woven the mosaic of her vakhs that have a magical effect and
prismatic charm. Her bold and concrete images drawn from ware of life are
creatively vehicled to suggest the grandeur of her thought founded on a robust
theoretical background. The vakhs are not designed to expatiate the categories
of Shaiva thought which like all thought architectures are dry as bare bones,
but they vibrate to ventilate her bitter moments of life, spiritual yearnings,
deep sense of quest, joys and sorrows of an existing individual and
celebrate her elevation to the status of a recognised soul. Hers is an
immortal voice that gives spiritual succour and strength to amply authenticate
human condition. The intrinsic cosmic force of her vakhs is the raison detre
for the resilient survival of Lalla Ded as a yogini and poet through ravages
of time and choppy waves of religious bigotry. She is home-spun like a shawl.
‘Mystical lark’ as an apt coinage of Prof. B.N. Parimoo does illustrate
what essential Lalla Ded is. As an ace poet she touches our tender hearts,
enlarges our perceptual field and horizon and uplifts us to a luminous state
Translation of Distorted Vakhs
Vakhs that Mrs. Raina has framed through her fanciful tinkerings are an ersatz
of the vakhs that do carry a deep imprint of Lalla Ded signature. As the vakhs
are despairingly dwarfed and impaired, their translation into Hindi by Dr. B.L.
Kaul has diminished in a large measure Lalla Ded's literary, philosophical and
civilisational stature and prominence.
It is an established fact in literary criticism that poetry suffers
serious losses in translations. The poetry in one language if translated into
any other linguistic idiom loses its lyricism, tone and tenor, syntax and
structure. The losses are inestimable when the original content as matter of
translation has been subverted. A scholar like Dr. Koul has chosen to
translate such subverted contents into Hindi, the national language, for a
wider circle of Hindi readers. It is quite natural that his translation of
subverted vakhs will equally be subverted and hence can no longer contribute
to the renaissance of Lalla Ded on a broader cultural swathe of the country.
No cultivated student of literature could have afforded to ignore the
brilliant and focused translations of Prof. J.L. Koul and Prof. B.N. Parimoo
who have successfully resurrected Lalla Ded into the linguistic nuances and
culture of an alien tongue through their skill and grasp of the contents. It
is amazing how Dr. Koul has missed to fathom that Mrs. Raina has not studied
the vakhs ‘inferentially, analytically and critically’ and has just
skimmed, filleted and cherry-picked some vakhs to stud them with her immature
insertions and tinkerings without dilating on solid references to reinforce
the changes that she has stipulated and executed.
she to a grocer, went she to a baker
feel really anguished when I write that Mrs. Bimla Raina is blissfully
ignorant of the seminal historical developments in
. She is a psychological dupe to a myth, a figment and a prejudiced account as
enshrined in the supercilious ‘cultural construct’ that she has
unnecessarily chosen to refer to .
The foreign brand of Sayyid-sufis from
, Gilan and other urban areas of
, who entered
for conversionary activities during the rule of Muslims were essentially
colonisers in their approach and premis. To achieve their ends in
they conceived and devised all unholy strategies to downgrade the natives and
their cultural and civilsational hall-marks. As Muslims had captured state
power, the Sayyid-sufis, though central Asian in their origins, but thoroughly
semitised, considered political power as the sure base for propagation of
their foreign faith. Acting out their role as political ideologues and
religious proselytisers they
manipulated their access to the seats of political power through cryptic and
unworthy methods and instilled the spirit of crusade (Jihad) as a matter of
religious duty in the mindscape of Muslim rulers. A notable sayyid-sufi from
Hamdan delineated a lurid blue-print for the total annihilation of the natives
and the same was given in the form of a fiat to the Muslim ruler for an
immediate execution. As candidly detailed out in the Rajtaragini of Jonraj and
History of Kashmir of Hasan, to mention only a few, the Muslim rulers at the
sheer instigation and prodding of the foreign brand of Sayyid-sufis embarked
upon the sinister path of destroying the cultural and civilisational signs and
symbols of natives.
write the full script of genocide, the Muslim rulers forcibly converted the
Hindus, demolished and arsoned the gigantic temples, molested and set afire
the penance-grooves of indigenous rishis and replicating their Muslim history
burnt books or dumped them into wells and other water bodies.
justify the aggression and holocaust the Sayyid-sufis operating in consonance
with the Muslim state power abominably demonised the native Hindus as
animists, polytheists and heretics. They did not fail to harness colonial
anthropology as a weapon to denigrate, humiliate and dominate the natives who
had generated a sense of absolute inferiority in the psychic-frame of the
orthodox Sayyid-sufis through their ouvre of monumental works on all segments
of human knowledge and their cultural grandeur as manifested in gargantuan
Lalla Ded was a living Hindu Icon, fibs and fables, flippant and irreverent,
were artfully forged to denigrate her as an ascetic wandering semi-nude
through lanes, bylanes and thorough-fares of
. ‘Aayayi vanis ta Gayi Kandaras’ is one such fib that highlights the
hateful perception of the foreign immigrants about the subjugated natives as
denizens of a gulag.
fib relates :-
Ded was wandering aimlessly on a road leading to the town of
. Observing a man coming from that direction she is said to have yelled that
she was seeing a man first time in her life. So, being nude or semi-nude, she
hithered and thithered for shelter to cover her body. Having entered a
grocer's shop for a shred of cloth, she left it in a huff and headed hastily
towards a baker's shop. Finding the lid away from the blazing oven, she
plunged into it and after a while is said to have emerged from the burning
oven dressed in celestial robes.
in the fib is the colonial anthropology that Lalla Ded symbolising the
religious and spiritual personality of the natives was a half-dressed tribal
of the stone age roaming about unmindful of her normal requirement of wrapping
her body. Prior to her having a meeting with the foreign fugitive she was
required to robe herself as per the decent ethical demands. Being a foreigner
the fib extols him as the only alpha male and the whole species of natives
decrepit and deficient in potency. Overlay the fib with a spiritual veneer, it
is interpreted that the foreigner was an apotheosis of high spirituality who
entered an area of darkness where people were only at a primitive level and
needed the light of spirituality, besides shreds of cloth to wrap their bodies
his classical work on Lalla Ded Prof. Koul has not missed to mention this
derogatory myth, but has given it an amazing historical twist.
Possessed of a scintillating intellect and historical awareness, Prof.
Koul records that at the sight of a foreigner Lalla Ded plunged into the
blazing fires of an oven and emerged robed in celestial raiment reminding the
‘mardi kamil’ about his clandestine escape from his native land to avoid
fire-test instituted for him and his whole tribe by Timur, a Muslim ruler and
establishing her own credentials as an accomplished lady of spiritual powers
capable of braving the same fire-test with her bodily frame intact and
as per the Muslim chronicle, Baharistan-i- Shahi, the Sayyid-sufi, extolled as
the ‘mard-i-kamil’, is responsible for the destruction of the Kali Temple
in the heart of Srinagar and issuance of death-warrant against the natives if
they dared flout any of the twenty conditions delineated for the kafirs to
Raina should have researched the myth with a view to understanding the
derogation and denigration implicit in the fib floated by the foreign
colonisers for consumption of the mass of neo-converts and expressed her
vociferous detestation against such a snooty and zenophobic construction now
deeply etched on the wounded psyche of the statistical Muslims.
a master of de-constructing a word by split method, she has fragmented ‘kandur’,
baker, into ‘kah andar’ leaving the Lalla Ded readers in reeling
consternation. ‘Vanis’, grocer and Kandur, baker are hyphenated to convey
all in the myth . If kandur is
broken into ‘kah andar, inside the eleven, if she means the same, vanis,
grocer, demands a Bimla Jian split
to create an artificial and tenuous nexus. The entire myth or fib deserves
whole hog rejection without giving it legitimacy or credence in any form.
Sample Survey of Mrs. Bimla Raina's Fiddlings
pana sodras navi.............
Aami pana is replaced by omapana. All Hindus from north to south of
is a bija mantra and a seeker meditates upon it for final bliss of unity. When
initiated into the spiritual instrumentality of
, a seeker is all blithe and has no reason to be in despair and dejection. His
groping for a beacon to lead him onto the highway of shiva ceases. He knows
the key and hence is upbeat with joy. He has only to work out the bija mantra
with effort and dedication.
Replacement of ‘ami pana’ by ‘om pana’
mars the entire tone and tenor of the vakh.
va Keshava va jin va ....................
The well-known word Jin is tinkered with. It has been de-constructed
into ‘ya zi’, which is ridiculous. Jina is a name in vogue for Mahavir and
Buddha. It is a fact that Jainism had no stint in Kashmir, but Buddhism had a
protracted history in our motherland and has left a profound imprint on the
intellectual and spiritual thought-scape of
. It is equally known that Buddhism was the essential motivational force for
the Shaivite thinkers to mould their thought and yogic praxes.
Jina is the pali version of Sanskrit word Jita which refers to Buddha
as one who has conquered his external senses.
Then, again, bhava ruja stands replaced by bhava raj. Ruj is derived
from Sanskrit word ‘ruja’ meaning disease. The word has been thoroughly
discussed by Prof. Koul in all its ramifications. He refuses and rightly so to
accept its meaning as disease for the valid reason that Shaivism is all
through a philosophy of affirmation. His translation and explanation of the
word ‘bhava-ruj’ is sickness of the world caused by duality.
The last line of the vakh is musical, lyrical and lilting and
has been replaced by a line that is ponderous, boring and lost to
Lalla had a tremendous theoretical grounding in the subtleties of
Shaiva non-dualism. But she has not exposited Shaivite theories in her vakhs.
She is a yogini, a practitioner, who had her spiritual journey. She is a
superb poet too and knows to chisel words to objectify her intense
experiences. Lalla Ded is not Abhinavgupta, somanand or utpaldev.
She makes a frequent use of the word ‘shuniya’ which actually has
come to the shaivites as a legacy from Buddhism. But, they have incorporated
the word for conceptualisations at variance with its Buddhist shade of
dopnam kunnuy vachun...................
The word vachun has been replaced by vakhchun. Why ? What necessitates
the replacement ? Textual criticism does not mean a whimsical change. Vachun
is directly drawn from Sanskrit and has suffered a pronunciational change in
Kashmiri. The word vakhnai is a modern coinage from Sankrit word ‘Vyakhya’
and is a word with different
Vakhchun is also a heavier word than vachun and clogs and disrupts the
harmony of the vakh.
The replacement of the expression ‘nanguy nachun’ by ‘nihanguy
nachun’ is beyond normal comprehension. Explaining the meaning of the
coinage in Hindi, one wonders whether a dance is footed with a help or a
crutch. Can such a dance ever be called a dance ? Dance is the art of a
beautiful blend of movements, gestures and expressions. Spontaneity defines a
As Lalla Ded could never have thought of literally dancing naked in a
conservative society of the 14th century, there is certainly a need to look
for a suggestive meaning which in sanskrit aesthetics is called ‘dwaniyatmac
arth’. Lalla Ded is provided with a key to spirituality by her preceptor, so
she is all joy and song, hilarious and rapturous. ‘Nanguy
nachun’ symbolises her condition of ‘awareness come to her’ and
extreme mirthfulness. As Lalla Ded had a sufficient background of Sanskrit
language, she has used the word ‘nanguy’, drawn directly from Sanskrit
‘nagan’ in the sense of ‘yatharth rupen’, sachmuch’ in Hindi,
‘pazikinyn’ in Kashmiri.
In Sanskrit aesthetics an example like ‘gangayam ghosa’ typies what
suggestive meaning is. There can be no village in the
which is ever in flux. So, a new nuance of meaning is to be divined when the
two layers of meaning, sanketic and lakhshanic, fail to communicate a meaning.
With the help of suggestive meaning ‘gangayam ghosha’ conveys that there
is a village on the shores of the
vata divar vata.........................
The words ‘divar vata’ is replaced by dehvar vata and ‘pyatha
buan’ is invested with a far-fetched meaning of ‘sky and earth’.
‘Hoota Bata’ is strangulated into ‘hyata ba hatha’. All this is word
Had comparative study of the vakh been done, it would have become lucid
clear that the text of the said-vakh is identical in Dr. Grierson's version
and that of Prof. Kaul's and Prof. Parimoo's versions. The changes that have
been fancifully invented cannot be imposed on the texture of the vakh.
Lalla Ded was well-versed in Shaivism and she was aware that formal
worship outside the ‘self’ of man was nothing but duality. The key given
to her as the primary lesson was to turn her gaze inwards and Shiva was there
in the confines of her microcosmic body. So idol and temple made of one
material could not be of any relevance to her search within. Her exhortation
to the foolish Pandit is to synchronise his mind and vital airs if he is keen
to know his real nature, his self disguised by not-self.
‘divar vata’ can never be changed into ‘dehvar vata’. The
former has a clear-cut meaning of a temple stone and is still known as
‘divar kany’. ‘Hoota batta’ is cruelly de-constructed for a distant
import of ‘be determined to’
the said vakh had been recited after the execution of the stipulated changes,
the disharmony and musical banality of the vakh along with losses of meaning
should have definitely been sensed.
ranya archun sakhar.................
vakh contains three Sanskrit words
having definite meanings. It is categorically said that ‘rany’ is no word
in Sanskrit nor does it have a form in Apbrahmsa. The word ‘rany’ is
derived from Sanskrit word ‘raghni’. ‘Al’, ‘pal’ and ‘vokhur’
have been invested with meanings that are far-fetched and demonstrate
ignorance. ‘Al’ and ‘pal’ are Sanskrit words meaning wine and flesh.
Vakhur means a slice of bread.
Lalla Ded was fully aware of the kaula practices prevalent in her
native land which did not exclude physical enjoyments for purposes of higher
Keeping in view the overall import of the first three lines of the vakh
Prof. Parimoo's version of the fourth line is quite appropriate. He has also
given an alternate text of the fourth line of the quatrain citing the
anonymous manuscript lying in the Research Library,
An attempt has been made to introduce a variant of the last line of the
vakh. It does not sound relevant when the import of the first three lines has
baras atagand dyul gom..................
Bimla Ji, I believe, is bereft of aesthetic sense as she has absolutely
failed to appreciate the vakh as a gem in the rich archive of Lalla Ded vakhs.
She should have left it unpolluted in view of its exquisite poetry. But,
perhaps, keen to win kudos from inepts, she has picked up a word vanun, only
to fragment it into ‘vyan na yun’. Can it be asked if it is a poetic
expression and again if it is germane to the context of the vakh ? The word
‘vanun’ refers to the preceptor's fundamental initiation that seems to
have disillusioned her about the manner of life she had been living and even
her notions about spiritual way of life. The entire vakh conveys that Lalla
Ded is on cross-roads.
manas kol akol na ate.........................
The entire vakh stands distorted, nay, destroyed if the changes wrought
are incorporated in the body of the vakh. ‘kol’ and ‘akol’ are
translated as ‘vakhat’ and ‘be-vakhat’, ‘samai’ and ‘ku-samai’.
‘Vakh’ and ‘manas’ are translated as ‘mansika japa’
Be it told that the above meanings are not relevant to what Lalla Ded
wants to pour out. ‘Kol’ and ‘akol’ are two recognised terms in
Kashmir Shaiva non-dualism. ‘Kol’ implies expansion, prasar, and
‘akol’ means ‘transcendental shiva’, Shiva in equipoise. In Shaiva
yoga, the two terms underline the seat of Shakti at muladhar and sahasrar, the
seat of shiva respectively. ‘Vakh’ means gross word, speech and
’ - the limited thought.
ba drawyas lol re..................
The explanations given for the stipulated changes are misplaced. The
fact remains that Lalla Ded had been in quest and in deep pain and anguish too
as she was yearning to know the key to attain the blissful state of identity
with Shiva. Then a time came when it dawned upon her that Shiva was within her
own bosom and there was no need to wander about in His search. That time or
moment was both momentous and auspicious for her.
To establish the misplaced notion about the vakh ‘ba drayas’ has
been crucified into ‘bodhi ayas’ and ‘lol re’, a highly lyrical
expression, has been convoluted into ‘lol hure’. The changes wrought are
not necessitated by the internal needs of the vakh and then do not sit well on
the soul of the vakh.
pondi gosi zami................
For tinkering ‘asi’ has been cherry-picked and ‘pondi’,
‘zosi’ and ‘zami’ have been left as they stand in the original vakh.
As willed under a whim, ‘asi’ has been related to a yogic praxis, a-oose.
What about other human acts like sneezing, coughing and yawning ? What is the
connect of ‘a-oose’ with other acts left outside the realms of yoga ? It
is a big incongruity.
Another word from the vakh chosen for crucifixion is ‘par-zantan’.
Dr. Grierson's text of the vak has the same word and Prof. Koul's and Prof.
Parimoo's text of the vakh retain the same reading of the word. The word
‘par-zantan’ carries an archaic hue and it is replaced by the word ‘praznautan’,
modernised linguistic form of the said-word.
Lalla Ded in the vakh conveys that all acts of laughing, sneezing,
coughing and yawning are the acts of Shiva who through his ‘Swatantrya
Shakti’ assumes the form of an anu, a jiva, a limited being.
The Shaiva thought stresses that certain intense moments like laughing,
sneezing et al can be synergised with one-pointedness for uplift to a state of
unicity with Shiva, the absolute . In his monumental work, Shiva Dreshiti
Somanand refers to such intense moments as can have tremendous spiritual
kyah jan chuk vonda chuy kani.................
The vakh is spurious and does not form a part of Lalla Ded archive of
vakhs . Yet the fiddling as a reflex act of the lady has taken its toll. This
vakh is available in the version of vakhs that is published by the
that works out the ill-design of decimating the pristine Lalla Ded with all
her intrinsic genius and worth.
The word-hoard of the said-vakh is most modern and its content is
lacking in the passion and fury of Lalla. For kanya Lalla
Ded has used ‘vata’ and ‘shila’ and ‘asal’ is no word in
her spiritual parlance.
kara panchan dahan ta kahan.................
Topsy-turvying the recognised meanings of ‘five’, ‘ten’ and
‘eleven’, five have been taken for five bonds of attachment, ten for ten
nadis and eleven for five motor senses and five cognitive sense perceptions +
But, the recognised meanings in Shaiva thought for five is five tattvas,
ten for five motor senses + five cognitive sense perceptions and eleventh is
the antakaran (mann, budhi and ahankar).
For purposes of de-constructing words, ‘vokshun’ and ‘samahan’
have been picked out.
‘Vokshun’ is split up into ‘voha-akhyun’ and ‘samahan’ is
manipulated to the form of ‘samatahan’. After the first change has been
affected, the verse-line stands translated into - ‘all the above tattvas,
senses and mind have destroyed the body.’
Be it firmly told, the Shaiva thought has no ideological reference that
focuses on the destructive role of tattvas, senses and mind. Its emphasis is
to synergise everything in the human body to achieve the end product of
‘Samatahan’ is considered apter than ‘samahan’. why and how ?
‘Samatahan’ disrupts the flow of the verse line and the entire effect of
the vakh. Rhyme and rhythm are known virtues of all forms of poetry.
In the last line ‘kahan’ has been cynically changed into
‘kohan’ without mulling over the relevance of it to the whole-grain
semantics of the vakh. Lalla conveys that ‘spiritual cow’ would not have
been lost if all the material tattvas constituting
the body, sense-perceptions and mind had acted in unison and absolute
shey che timia shey meya....................
As Lalla Ded was an initiated Shaiva yogini the ‘six’ that she
refers to are the six attributes of Param Shiva. His attributes are -
Omniscience, contentment, absolute self-sufficiency, knowledge of the past
eternity, irreducible potency and Omnipotence. The ‘jiva’ has all these
attributes, but are stained with limitation. His attributes as jiva are kala,
niyati, raga, vidya, kala and maya.
Like Dr. Grierson, Bimla ji in imitation has extended the scope of six
to include six seasons, six stages and six vikaras.
But, it is an erosion of the Shaiva thought. Six attributes the jiva
has come to him from Shiva who through his ‘swatantrya shakti’ has
assumed the form of a jiva. Jiva is shiva and shiva is jiva. But the
attributes of Shiva are absolute and the attributes of Jiva are limited in
scope and extent. Therefore, the extended scope of six to include six seasons,
six stages and six vikaras are not the attributes of Shiva, the absolute, but
are the attributes of a Jiva tainted with limitations. The additions to the
list of limitations are based on succession and vikaras. But Param Shiva is
meta-succession and meta-vikaras.
‘Shyam gala’ is chosen for crucifixion. Declaring it meaning-less
and absurd, its womb is ripped open for ‘shyami agola’ to emerge, meaning
‘six that does not melt’. It is poor and pathetic and does not deserve
‘Shyam gala’ conveys its meaning to all who are Hindus.
The word ‘tatith’ is certainly derived from Sanskrit. But, it is
not derived from ‘tadan’. It owes its origin to the Sanskrit word
‘tikht’ meaning bitter, sore, difficult and even miserable.
Vondi Zolum, Jigar Moraum ........................
The said vakh is resonant and poignant with the intense yogic praxes
that Lalla Ded had subjected herself to drain off the malas (dirts) that
wrapped her microcosmic frame as an anu. As per Shaiva tenets the three malas
(dirts) are -anavamal, karma mal and mayiya mal. Her spiritual achievements
through intense yogic praxes had invested her with the spiritual chuzpah to
claim that she earned a name after she resigned herself to Shiva's shakhtipat
(grace). ‘Anava-mal’ cannot be removed through human effort and for it a
seeker has to seek for Shiva's shaktipat (grace).
In this vakh a word like ‘dalya’ is netted to tear it to shreds.
Lalla Ded has expressed her sense of resignation through ‘dalya’ and keen
to meddle Bimla Ji analyses singular and plural form of it.
Poets do enjoy a liberty called ‘poetic license’
It is gem of a vakh in the treasure-trove of Lalla Ded vakhs. Lalla Ded
bemoans her lot as she feels all helpless-none coming to bail her out of the
mire she is steeped in. A wooden bow with pithless weed-made arrows, an unwise
carpenter to shape the palace of her mind, a lock-less shop in the market
place and her body wihout a ritual bath are culled together to frame her
despondent condition. The vakh drenched in despair
and angst implicity conveys that she has not been ably initiated and
guided for the spiritual under-taking by an adept preceptor.
Not appreciative of the subtle content of the vakh, Bimla ji as per her
manner forks out ‘abakh chan’, ‘Razdane’, tirathros pan’ and turns
and twists them for word-forms that appear queer and incredible.
‘Razdane’ is Lalla's own microcosmic frame which is the abode of
her own ‘self’. It has been twisted into ‘ras-dwane’. The cue,
perhaps, for the change seems to have come to her from some raw mind, who has
come across the word ‘rasdwani’, which
in Indian aesthetics has an exalted sense and meaning. With
‘ras dwane’ as replacement the tenor of the vakh goes upside down.
‘Abak chan’ is deconstructed and invented into ‘abodi chyan’ causing a
hiatus in her mood of exhilaration. ‘Tirath ros.......’ is squeezed to eke
out ‘titha pan ras gom’ and ‘
’ is mutilated into ‘moal’, value in English.
The said vakh after strangulation of Lalla's apt words and metaphors is
translated into Hindi conveying entirely absurd import and discordant notes.
nadi dal mann ratith.....................
Splitting ‘Zanha’ into ‘zan yee ha’ and ‘kruth’ into
‘kiva Ishto’, word-tearing touches its height. And it has been acclaimed
as linguistic study.
After incorporating unpoetic changes the version of the vakh conveys a
sense quite at variance with the original vakh couched in beautiful poetry and
Lalla Ded would have come to know the methodology of preparing the
alchemy of yoga for attainment of unity with Shiva, had she known to manage
and control her fickle mind and nerve-plexi and also to tear, collect and
pulverise the tuft of klesas. Her counsel is that with all such knowledge at
one's disposal, Shiva is still difficult to be accessed. She mentions the
‘klesas’ in the vakh for the fact that they do cause a disturbance during
the process of awakening the Kundalini. Such remains the crux of the vakh.
Through word-tearing and inept inventing of new and strange word-forms
the magnetic poetry of the vakh has been impaired and mutilated.
parum ta kalimai sarom....................
The vakh has been interpolated into the repository of Lalla Ded vakhs
and is available in the version of vakhs published by the state cultural
It is not in consonance with the essential spirit of Lalla Ded, her
Shaivite culture and Shaivite yoga praxis. ‘
’ and ‘aham’ are her bija mantras that have acted as her beacon during
the course of her spiritual journey for ‘self-recognition’ and
‘one-ness’ with Shiva.
The vakh is not only spurious, but apochryphal too. Any attempt to
change the first word in the so-called vakh into any other word of
‘Bija-mantra’ is rejected and has no meaning.
Krai chai nor dharun ta parun..................
In a pedagogic vein Lalla Ded exhorts the unwise that right action is
neither to decorate the body nor is it to remain engrossed in the bodily
affairs. It is not even to ornament the body.
‘Dharun’ and sandharun’ have been picked out for meaning less
tampering. ‘Dharun’ is changed into ‘darun’ - not to get defeated and
‘sandharun’ into ‘dehsanz-ravun’ - to get liberated from body
ornamentation. Far-fetched and cynical !
pothyan Chi ha
Koul's vakh begins with the word ‘avestar’ meaning foolish or those not
given to read between the lines. Prof. Parimoo's Vakh carries ‘avyachar’
in place of ‘avestar’ and the word implies foolish or thoughtless. Without
resorting to her innovative method of splitting a word, Bimla ji retains
‘avechar’ in her version of the vakh.
As per her reflex act she forks out two words ‘dava’ and
‘paran’ and twists them into ‘dyon’ and ‘paran’. ‘zaldava’ is
archaic in form and ‘zaldyon’ is a later formation. Then, her replacement
of the word ‘paran’ by ‘paran’ is ridiculous. Bhagvatgita as a divine
book is to be read, not to decorate oneself with. Books are objects of study
and not objects for decoration.
She has left the word ‘aham’ in the vakh untouched, but in a
different vakh she has mutated it into‘ham’. why ? ‘Aham’ is a
prominent word in Shaiva thought and has oft been used in many a context.
Like a number of Lalla Ded vakhs the said-vakh has two versions. What
Bimla ji has done is the addition of two lines as are found in Prof. Parimoo's
version of the vakh to her version thereby making it six-lined monstrosity of
a vakh. What textual criticism as a craft teaches is to place the different
versions as they are without making a mix or re-mix of them.
Zooni Vathith mot bolnovum.............
It is a brilliant vakh pulsating with a sense of yearning and
emotion of love. It carries an imprint of poignancy and yearning to meet with
her Lord and be in an ever-lasting bond of unicity. ‘Lal’ is her own self
which through yogic praxes she is awakening assiduously and liltingly.
Bimla ji has ineptly foraged into this glittering vakh and distorted it
to mar its poetical beauty and lyricism.
She has picked out ‘mot-bolnovum’ and hacked it for a construction
that is a sheer monstrosity. Highly expressive and emotionally charged
‘mot-bolnovum’ is mutated into ‘man bodh novum’, and Dr. Koul
translating it as ‘cleansed her mind and intellect’. Poor and pathetic !
She has also chosen to delete ‘tas’ as is beautifully woven into
the texture of the line and added ‘man pran’ only to satisfy her vagrant
mind suffused with cynicism. ‘man’ has relevance, ‘pran’ is an
imposition and tinsel accretion.
dama kormus daman hale.............
The vakh is illustrative of Lalla Ded's yogic praxis and a
comprehensive understanding of her intrinsic nature dawning upon her. Bimla ji
has replaced ‘dama dama kormus’ by ‘damhah dommus’ ignoring readings
in different versions of the vakh. Prof. Koul's reading contains
‘damahdam’ and Prof. Parimoo's and Dr. Grierson's readings are identical.
Where-from does the word ‘dommus’ come ? Words cannot be added to the text
of the vakh out of sheer waywardness. It is not warranted by the methodology
of textual criticism. Replacement must have a base supplied by readings of the
same vakh available in different versions and has to be integral to the vakh.
Then the introduction of the word ‘dommus’ into the text of the
vakh is not warranted as it underlines force and vigour for suppression of
breathing processes. Lalla Ded in the vakh is for sublimation of the breathing
process, not for its suppression. ‘Inhalation-exhalation’ in Shaiva yoga
has different purpose from that of Patanjali yoga. Read, Pratibhijna Hridyam
by Khemraj, an erudite scholar of indigenous Shaiva thought and she will come
to learn what he has to say about pranayam. Bimla ji has replaced ‘gati’
by ‘guthi’ and her explanation for replacement is ridiculous. In the
entire annals of Hindu Mysticism ‘ghat’ for human body is staple. Lalla
Ded knows the efficacy of human body as the basic resource to find
Shiva. ‘ghat ghat mei Ram samayo’ is a well-known verse.
In the translation of the said-vakh
Prof. Parimoo conveys that the lamp of Lalla's self got lit-up and she
realised her ‘self’, the real one and the light sparkled out. In the
encompassing darkness she gripped the gem of her ‘self’ and never let Him
go. What a translation and what an understanding ! It exposes Bimla Ji's
unformed and uncultivated mind to smithereens.
taar chali tim ambar hyata.............
This is the vakh that establishes Lalla Ded as a poet of gentle
moderation, advocating the use of clothes for safe-guarding the body from cold
and wind disasters. She also exhorts the aspirants to ‘introspect’,
otherwise they might miss the inherent meaning and purpose of life in the
Here in the vakh Bimla Raina has chosen ‘bochi’ and ‘chali’ for
linguistic tyrannies. She has replaced ‘bochi’ by ‘kyod’ and
‘chali’ by ‘gali’. Why ? She has not explained. ‘Bochi’ is a
Kashmiri word drawn from Sanskrit word ‘Bubuksha’ and ‘kyod’ is
another Kashmiri word drawn from
Sanskrit word Kyuda. Why replace boche by ‘Kyod’ when ‘bochi’ is aptly
placed in the texture of the vakh. Then it is no longer her innovative bout as
Dr. Grierson and Prof. Parimoo have given ‘kyod’ in the readings of the
Her innovation lies in the usage of ‘gali’ for ‘chali’. She is
absolutely ignorant of ‘bochi chalyan’ in our daily concourse and ‘bochi
chalyan’ never means ‘bochi galyan’. The former expression means to eat
to satiate hunger at a particular point of time. ‘Bochi galyan’ means its
total suppression or extinction. Lalla Ded was not for suppression of hunger
as is amply clear from the tenor of the said-vakh.
The last line of the vakh has various versions conveying the same
import. But Bimla Raina's re-construction of the line is sheer absurdity. It
puts that ‘mind has to think what body is feeling or experiencing.’ It is
understandable to the genius of Bimla Ji only. The Hindi translation of the
Vakh is strange and mind -boggling.
purith yus ant vage.............
Raina has been kind enough to leave the vakh almost untouched. Yet to win
kudos from her patrons she has picked out ‘anta’ for crucifixion. The word
‘anta’ is of Sanskritic origins and means ‘an end’, ‘last of all’
or ‘in the final analysis’. But, to Bimla ji, it is ‘anti’ meaning
inside. Be it told that the entire yogic praxis is an internal affair, an
affair of the mind. The word ‘anta’ is placed in its proper context and
conveys that what it does as per its context.
Aai to gachan gache.............
The vakh has incessant cycle of birth and death of a mortal as its main
theme. It also sets the destination of a man to return to and be an integral
part of ultimate source of life. ‘Kenh nata kenh’ is the metaphorical
expression denoting the ultimate source of Reality.
Bimla ji has failed to grasp the pith of the vakh when she twists
‘turi’ into ‘turya’. How can ‘turi’ be ‘turya’? Mortals have
not to go to the state of ‘turya’ as the source of life and universe. It
is Param Shiva who is the ultimate source of life and universe. ‘Turya’ is
the fourth psychological state that a yogi has to pass through and if he comes
to the state of ‘turyateet’, he requires Shiva's grace for ultimate
upliftment and mergence into Him as the ultimate Reality.
She has split up ‘yoria aayi’ into ‘yava rayi aayi’ for
redundant meaning. She should have thought if ‘rai’ as a word could be in
the word-hoard of Lalla Ded. The word has different origins. Then, the whole
exercise is futile as it is not in sync with the innate soul of the vakh.
The last line is so lofty and pregnant with meaning that any change in
any word of the vakh renders it mutilated and incapacitated. The change of
‘nata’ and ‘kyah’ into ‘huta’ and ‘kyat’ is fanciful and
Before using her pen for a change in the last line she should have
carefully mulled that Prof. Koul's and Prof. Parmoo's version of the line is
identical. Even Pt. G. N. Raina's and Pt. Nila Kanth Kotru's reading of the
line is no different. What impels her to effect the change ? Not
loosas pani panas...........
Here in the vakh Bimla Raina has picked out ‘loosas’, ‘althan’
and ‘bara bara bana’ for split and demolition. ‘Loosas’ is broken up
into ‘lah achus’, far-fetched and irrelevant, ‘althan’ is changed into
‘aalithan’, reflective of her gross ignorance and ‘bara bara’ is
mutated into ‘
bore’, a squirming de-construction.
‘Loosas’ has sufficiency of meaning underlining her exhaustion
during the arduous struggle to discover her real self. ‘althan’ means a
tavern, where people drink for pleasure. ‘Al’ in Sanskrit means
‘wine’. Here in the said-vakh it is the abode of Nectar, Sahasrar, the
abode of Shiva. It can never be ‘aali than’, ‘ol’ is the kashmiri
variant of Sanskrit word ‘aalaya’, nest in English. ‘
bore’, a laboured version of ‘
bana’, has no relevance to the tavern where aspirants,
if set on track, go in earnestness to drink cupfuls of wine, nectar,
spiritual Nectar or wine. Lalla draws an optimistic picture for aspirants that
they do have to put in stressful and arduous struggle for the quest within,
but they as a result will enjoy the unique privilege of drinking the spiritual
wine in chalices brimming to the hilt.
vate gayas na vate ...........
The vakh oozes out a sense of desperation and despair. Lalla Ded had
descended direct from Shiva's Abode, but was not sure of the road-way that
would lead her back to the same Abode.
She has picked out ‘Suman’ and ‘Swath’ for tinkering. Suman is
drawn from ‘seeman, a sanskrit word in origins and over a period of time got
metamorphosed into ‘sum’ as is in vogue in common parlance. ‘Swath’ is
a kashmiri word drawn from ‘Setu’, a Sanskrit word in origins. ‘Suman
swathi manz’ denotes an embankment over which stood a ‘setu’, a bridge.
It was there in the midst of the bridge over the embankment that Lalla Ded
found the daylight fading because of the setting sun. It is her experience
when she was groping in darkness and had not found a preceptor who was a
perfect soul capable of initiating her in the Shaivite praxes and canon. Bimla
ji has changed ‘loosum’ into ‘losi’, something happening in future.
No, it is Lalla's experience when she was in ardent quest and
had lived the moment. ‘Har’ though an ordinary word, is so aptly
placed that it conveys a wealth of meaning in the sense of ‘spiritual wealth
or merit’. Another variant of ‘har’ is ‘Hara’ who is Lord Shiva
Himself and Prof. Parimoo has dwelt upon its meaning after the manner of a
great scholar on Lalla Ded.
Kami deesha ta Kami Vate...........
The readings of the vakh are almost identical in the versions of Prof.
J.L. Koul, Dr. Grierson, Prof. B.N. Parimoo, Pt. Gopi Nath Raina and Pt. Nila
In this vakh Lalla Ded has alluded to the two theoretical concepts of
‘avarohan’ and ‘aarohan’ - descent and ascent. Had Bimla Raina known
it, she would not have whimsically tampered with the words that are aptly
placed in the vakh.
To tamper with the text she has dragged ‘kawas rozun’ as a
replacement for ‘kava’, meaning ‘how’ or what manner. How is it
relevant ? Does it in any way light up the thought Lalla Ded aspires to
express ? Bimla Raina does not weigh the words and their intrinsic relevance
and worth when she chooses to
introduce them in the text of the vakhs.
‘Kanch’ and ‘Kanh’ are two variants that have been in parlance
at various stages of linguistic evolution. But Bimla ji's replacement as
‘kanchun’ is the kashmiri variant of Sankrit-word ‘Kanksha’ meaning
desire or wish. It tantamounts to the total mutilation of the vakh through the
The third line of the said-vakh is from an alternate reading
of it as given by Dr. Grierson. When there is a total agreement among
the Lalla Ded scholars on the first variant of it, the alternate reading can
be put but does not eliminate the original one.
gol tai prakash aava zoone...........
Bhan, chander, chitta and bhur, bhuva and swaha, all have special meanings in
the yogic glossary.
means the sun and is drawn from Sanskrit word, ‘bhanu’. In the yoga
terminology it is the microcosmic sun, which has twelve digits and throws its
rays upwards through the Pingla on the right side of the yogic body suffusing
the entire structure. ‘Chander’ is the ‘Chandrama’ which is the
microcosmic Moon lying at the apex of the vertebral column. It has 8 or 12
digits, perennially exuding nectar, amrit, flowing down through Ida on the
left side of the yogic body for sustenance and nourishment of the internal
per Khemraj, Bhanu and Chander are pran and apan which need sublimation for
spiritual rise and flight.
is the limited form of ‘Chitti’, an infinite consciousness, the same as
Shiva. ‘ Chitta’ denotes the waves of thought, its various shades ever
disturbing the human mind.
of sheer ignorance of the sublime thought that had nourished and cultivated
Lalla’s cerebral potentialities, Bimla Raina, to the consternation of all
Lalla Ded lovers, has demolished ‘ban’ and its ruined remnants are ‘ba
van,’ which, to her is ‘ mei ka bodh,’ her feeling of physical
existence. It is incredible non-sense. Then, she demolishes a known word ‘
Chander’ into ‘Cha andur,’
again meaning ‘mei ka bodh’. It is repulsive non-sense doubled.
Bhuvah and Swaha are known as ‘ Vyahrities’ in the Indian thought.
‘Vyahrities’ are translated into English as ‘interjections’.
Lalla Ded conveys is that the sun melted away, the moon vanished,
consciousness dissolved, there remained nothing , which means ‘ Shunya’,
the principle of vacuity, which is Shiva or Supreme consciousness. And in this
state the three vyahrities, the earth, the sky and the nether world too
ji has botched up the whole vakh, topsy-turvying and demolishing the words and
their profound meanings.
ti syaduy ta gacha ti syaduy............
vakh expresses the rock-bottomed faith of Lalla Ded that she is sure to return
to the source of Shiva where-from she has directly descended.
Ignorant of methodology of textual criticism and the language of
Sanskrit, Bimla Raina has lifted the word ‘ agrai’ for a monstrous
mutilation . To her, ‘agrai’ is ‘ agarai’ if in English and then she
feels satisfied with the import of the Vakh.
is a Kashmiri word drawn from Sanskrit word ‘
’ wich means source or beforehand. The word as such in the text of the vakh
is appropriately placed and conveys its full import in total integration with
the texture of the vakh. The change is fruitlessly effected without checking
whether ‘agaria’, if, could be a word in the vocabulary of the times Lalla
Ded had lived. For ‘agar’ her word is ‘yudvai’ or ‘yud’ which is
directly drawn form Sanskrit word ‘ yadi’ and if ‘vai’ is added to it,
it becomes ‘ yudvai’ in Kashmiri.
another change is based on gender. She thinks that ‘vyazai’ is gender-wise
apter than ‘ vyaduy’. But this change we already find in the reading of
the vakh as given by Prof. Parimoo. I feel that a wise critic would not look
for such changes in the texture of vakh couching poetry, which is lofty in
content and expressive in vocabulary.
the glossary part of the vakh ‘ vyandun’ is translated as ‘chahna’, to
wish, to desire,.But, it is not so. ‘ Vyandun’ is drawn from Sanskrit root
‘ vid’ which means ‘ to know’.
na pan na par zonum............
this vakh Bimla Raina has spotted
‘ Sadai’ for her interference. ‘Sadia’ is drawn from Sanskrit word ‘
Sadaiva, meaning ‘ always’. ‘Sadia’ is now archaic and has fallen out
of use. People who have nodding acquaintance with Lalla Ded do understand that
‘ sadia’ is Sadiva’, ‘ always’ in English
kasi sheet nivari............
said-vakh is manifest in its content and vocabulary. But, Bimla ji has
wittingly destroyed it beyond conceivable limits. The essential spirit of the
vakh is against animal killing.
has plucked ‘ bata’ and ‘ vats’ from the text for de-construction and
subsequent replacement. ‘ Hoota bata’ to her genius, is ‘ yuth haba
change evokes derisive laughter and is nothing but mockery of a change. It
destroys the text of the vakh which is crystal clear in its import. Lalla Ded
exhorts the foolish Bhatta, a pandit, to desist from offering a pulsating and
harmless animal, though useful to man, at the altar of a stone, devoid of life
and sensation. ‘ Acheetan vats’ is sufficiently clear to convey its
import. But, to invest it with a lousy garb of ‘ acheetan hath’ is
catastrophic and kills the soul of the vakh.
mind that is devious in approach and premis gets exposed when in the
explanatory notes it is written that ‘ hoota Bhatta’ has to be broken up
as it does not address all sections of the kashmiri populace. It is of prime
importance to know that Bhattas ( Pandits) were the only people living in the
valley when Lall Ded trod upon the
. It is a fact that conversions had gained momentum, but the
neo-converts were on the border –line and had not distanced away from
their cultural and civilisational inheritance.
deeva gartas ta dharti srazak............
vakh underlines Shiva as the creator of life on the earth. Though soundless,
yet his sound has all immanence. Such a God needs no proof to establish His
word ‘ srazakh’ is from a Sanskrit word ‘ srajak’, one who creates.
The word srajak is replaced by the word ‘satraj aakh’ which is pure
hogwash. How can ‘ dharti’ be changed into ‘darith’ and ‘ srajak’
into ‘satraj aakh’? The meanings of the words in the vakh are quite lucid
and do convey the potentiality of Shiva as the creator.Nothing in the vakh
hints at the veiling of the Lord for an act of creation.
be precise, in Shaiva non-dualism of
creation means manifestation or emanation. The manifested thing is already
within Shiva, which He wills to manifest. He manifests Himself to Himself.
replacement of the weighty word ‘ srajak’ by ‘satrajaakh’ is
dubious too. Only dim-witted can think that Lalla Ded could have used
the unusual and unknown word ‘satar’ when she had a tremendous word-hoard
at her disposal to express the self-veiling act of Shiva. Lalla had a cultured
mind glued to her own valued treasure-trove of inheritance.
nom tava tachai............
changes that have been stipulated in the vakh are in no way valid.
‘ namya’, exactly as ‘nam’ is a sound word contextually placed. Why
change it by ‘ nava’ which is its Kashmiri variant?
second line of the quartet is in perfect order. The world as a blazing pan
burns for those who are under the thick veil of forgetfulness, taking not-self
as their essential self. ‘Mood’ in Shaiva parlance denotes a ‘ sakalakal’,
one totally enmeshed in the duality of the world. The blazing fire that heats
up the world-pan comprises anger, attachment, greed and immoderate sex. The
enmeshed souls are lacking in personal discernment and suffering from
non-availability of a perfect preceptor.
is the virtue of ‘Gnanies’ who through it fully comprehend the nature of
the balzing world-pan. The Gnan-mudra can be realized through the yogic
matri-rup pai diye............
vakh prima facie expresses the varied aspects of a woman, her different roles
on the stage of life and world. It is quite an objective pictograph of a woman
founded on the multi-dimensional experiences of Lalla Ded as an existing
individual. It is graphically delineated in apt words.
the vakh connotes for thoughtfuls is that ‘yihay prakriti’- this very
prakriti, the materiality of the world assumes various forms of a mother, wife
and killer. Shiva is the lord of the prakriti, its creator, and Maya is His
potency and lords it over. In such a situation Shiva is fearful and hence a
thoughtful is required to mull over the act of creation of the prakriti by
this shade of meaning can be juxtaposed another shade which highlights Shiva
as kind, generous and merciful. Having known all this about Shiva, a
discerning reader and a cultivated critic will not visualise ‘kruth’ as
cruel and merciless. For him ‘kruth’ will mean ‘ Shiva is difficult to
be accessed or reached’. Dr. Grierson, Dr. S.K. Raina, Pt. G.N. Raina and
Prof. J.L. Koul have all appreciated the expression in the same light.
chuy kruth’ is replaced for the heck of it by an ugly formation ‘ kiva
ishto,’ put in Hindi as ‘Shiva Kaise Ishta hei”. Is the change
corroborated by internal or external evidences?
Razdan, who has translated sixty vakhs of Lalla Ded into Sanskrit, has
translated ‘ Shiva chuy kruth’ into ‘ kashten sadhyam Shivam’. The
critics who are intellectually unfair or at zero donot rummage works on the
subject that they treat for vital cues and use them for appropriate evaluation
mata, thali-thali taptyan............
vakh is in the formation of a riddle. The sun and the rain-god, varun, though
manifestations of Shiva only, have been vehicled to establish the sweep,
immanence and universality of Shiva.
and ‘luka garan’ have been plucked out for demolitional exercise. Prof
Koul’s reading of the vakh is more accurate as it stresses the sun shining
everywhere, on high and low. Dr. Grierson’s version carries ‘atma-thali’
in place of ‘thali-thali,’ thereby meaning it might shine upon his abode
only.But the fact is contrary to it.
Bimla ji, a tinsel critic, has coined an unpoetic coinage like ‘a-utyam’
and smuggled it into the first line of the quartet, perhaps conveying
‘ordinary places’ as against sacred lands. ‘Looka gara’ is an explicit
expression and why twist it into ‘loktyan garan’? ‘Looka gara’ conveys
all about the varun-god universally showering its sheets of water without any
it told that any changes that are to be brought about have to be corroborated
and evidenced. Nobody’s fancy can enjoy a free rein and unbridled play. In
the tantrik context ‘ravi’, which implies ‘surya’, has the nature of
fire that destroys all meshes of duality and ‘varun’ stands for chandrama
which is cool in nature and provides internal joy and mirth and nourishes it
to the brim.
and Varun’ as a combination symbolizes ‘ prakash and vimarsa’ in case of
‘shambava-upay,’ ‘Jhan Shakti and kriya shakti’ in case of
‘shakhto pay’ and ‘pran shakti and apan shakti’ in case of ‘Anavopay’.
the three rise and rest in the ‘madhya-nadi’ or ‘sushumna nadi’.
gur tai keshav palnas............
is an allegory of a superb order. Shiva is the horse, Keshav (Vishnu) is the
saddle and Brahma is the stirrups. Brahma is the creator, Keshav is the
preserver and Shiva is the assimilator. In fact, these three gods represent
creation, preservation and assimilation, which are the three prime functions
of Paramshiva. These three gods are not sovereign, but they act at the behest
of Param Shiva and are His agents. As per the allegory Shiva’s vehicle is
the horse, Keshav’s is the saddle and Brahma’s is the stirrup.
further explain the allegory, reference must be made to the Sankhya thought to
which the Kashmiri thought of Shaiva non-dualism is indebted for twenty-five
tattvas constituting the materiality of Prakriti. As per Sankhya thought the
horse with his saddle and stirrups symbolizes ‘satogun’, ‘tamogun’ and
rajogun’, which are the attributes of Prakriti. Shiva as the assimilator
represents ‘tamogun,’ keshav as the preservator represents ‘satogun’
and Brahma as the creator represents ‘rajogun’. The horse with all its
paraphernalia is the ‘trigunatmac horse’.
tradition of weaving allegories with horse as the leitmotif begins with the
Upanishads, especially kathopnishad and Shuvetashvetar Upanishad. The allegory
woven by Lalla Ded has Shaivite content of creation, preservation and
assimilation as its motif but Upanishads had a different purpose for its
let us have a look at Bimla Raina’s innovations, all based on word Jugglery.
destroy the allegory ‘gur’ derived from ‘turag’, a Sanskrit word, is
twisted into ‘gor’ after the manner of
‘ tamasha gor’, ‘gyawan gor’ and ‘gindan gor’. Without giving the
origin of the word,‘gor’ it is taken as one who creates and conducts the
‘leela’ of the world. In the allegory Shiva is taken as one who
assimilates (samharak) and not the one who creates.
as put in the allegory is changed into palnas and ‘payriyan’ is twisted
into ‘pyryan’ denoting as per her ‘body metalbolism’, all far-fetched
is altered into ‘praz-zanyas’. The reason for the change is given that
‘parzanyas’ means ‘paraya samajana’. It is gross ignorance of the word
that has emerged from the basic root ‘ Jna’ getting changed into ‘
Janati, Janitah, Jananti’ when conjugated as per grammatical rules in
and prati are the prefixes added to the root ‘Jna’ and various words Jnan,
parijnan, paribijnan, pratibignan and pratibijna are formed and zan, parzan,
praznav, praznavun etc. are their kashmiri variants emerging after a
protracted linguistic evolution and metamorphosis.
change ‘ chadyas’ into ‘ chadyas’ is sheer absurdity and heightens the
thoughtless violence on the vakh. The spirit of the vakh is that a yogi (atmanya
aiva atma tushta) comes to learn about God who rides the ‘trigunatmac
horse’ through His yogic prowess.
should be rammed home to any ciritc emerging from blue that Brahma as the
agency of Param Shiva is the creator and strengthening of body metabolism as
has been hinted at does not mean an arduous act of creation (sreshti), which
in Shaiva thought means manifestation of the world of objects. The entire
stuff of explanations aimed at justification for the alterations are off the
track and do not carry conviction.
Rain has managed to play trick on the said-vakh.But, I believe, she must have
felt tremendous difficulty in handling the vakhs like, ‘Chyth twarug, gagan
brahmvon’ and ‘Chyath twarug vagi hyath rotum’. That must be the reason
to keep the two vakhs out of the purview of her book.
Kha Swarup shunyalai............
vakh has to be understood as a sequel to the vakh ‘Shiva gur tai keshav
first-vakh has been totally botched up and it is axiomatic that the vakh that
has to be studied as sequel to it shall suffer from grave impairment.
Kha-swarup, shunyalia, aham-vimarsa and nad-bind have philosophical meanings
and need be studied and explained in the light of thought Ladda Ded was deeply
and Bindu as explained with the
help of ‘Hindi Sahitya Kosa’ by Bimla Raina or her mentor, the translator
of the original Kashmiri version into Hindi, are far from accurate.
as per the Shaiva lexicon is perfect, undifferentiated, luminous,
meta-physical and eternal consciousness Supreme. Nada is the expansion of
Bindu for manifestation of what lies inside the Bindu. Bindu is ‘prakash’
and Nada is ‘vimarsa’.Bindu has no types as has been mentioned in the
explanatory notes. It has layers of expansion, prasar or visfar, from ‘a-kala’,
chita-kala, to Anand shakti (aa), Iccha-shakti (e,e), Jnan-Shakti (u,u) and
Kriya-Shakti (re-ow). In total Bindu as the central luminous and perfect
consciousness has eight layers of outer expansion. The expansion is inside the
consciousness supreme and not-outside it. In Shaiva thought creation is
manifestation or emanation. We see the objective world as a manifestation of
that what is inside Param Shiva or consciousness supreme.
is certainly considered as the fourth station or state in the process of
awakening up the Kundalini that lies coiled up in a state of sleep at ‘Muladhar’.But,it
is not what Lalla Ded means by ‘anahat’. To her, ‘anahat’ has a nexus
with Bindu and Nada. In fact, as is put in the vakh, Anahat is ‘Pranav’,an
eternal, unhindered sound,
This very ‘pranav’ when in a state of unity or identity with consciousness
supreme or Param Shiva is Bindu and when in expansion or visfar for outward
manifestation is Nada.
entire word-hoard, (Shabada rashi), when lying in a state of total un-differentation
from the consciousness supreme (Chitti) is Bindu. But when it expands into
various states of gross verbal expression, it is Nada. Hence the unhindered
and perpetual sound (
) is Bindu when in unicity with ‘Chitti’ and Nada when it evolves into
verbal expressions through the stages of pashyanti, madhyama and vaikhuri.
and Vimarsa as prime concepts of philosophical import for Lalla Ded have
equally been messed up because of gross philosophical ignorance. The duo of
‘aham and vimarsa’ are the same as Bindu/Nada, Pranav in unicity with
Param Shiva and in differentiated form of gross verbal expression. ‘ Aham’
is Bindu, Prakash, undifferentiated state of unity and beyond physics and
vimarsa is Nada expansion, visfar and manifestation. Aham is undifferneitated
‘I, as an inherent stir and vimarsa is differentiated I-ness. This is why
‘Aham’ is a bija-mantar. Unaware of the subtleties of Shaiva thought. The
tinsel critic has changed ‘Kha-swarop’ into ‘Ksa and ha swaroop’.For
this some tantric works have been alluded to without giving
Lalla Ded readers their
titles and publisher’s names. Be it told that Kashmir Shaivism is certainly
founded on Tantric thought, but those tantras are non –dual tantras, not the
tantras that accept Arda-narishwar as a vital concept. To the purists of
kashmir Shaiva non-dualism the concept of arda-narishwar is based on dualism
which accepts Shiva and Shakti as two separate entities and polarities. They
hold that Shiva is Shakti when He wills to manifest Himself to Himself. Shakti
is Shiva's inalienable potency to manifest, expand, and create multiplicity
is the right word as it denotes Shiva as beyond the relations of time and
space. ‘Kha’ in Sanskrit means ‘akash,’ sky, etherealty or void. It
has direct link with the type of God who will ride over the ‘trigun-atmac’
horse. Such a God is beyond the world and is Bindu, Prakash and Kha swaroop
all transcendental attributes.
is connected with ‘Shunyalai’ which as per Shaiva non-dual texts means
void, but not the Buddhist void, which is a total vacuity and emptiness. It is
a void where-in the objective world lies in a state of absolute mergence in
the consciousness supreme (chitti). The word meaning of ‘Shuniya’ is
‘abhava’ which if separated from the prefix of ‘a’ becomes ‘bhava’.
‘a’ stands for Shiva Kala, Anuttar, Param Shiva and ‘bhava’ typifies
the world of objects. So, Shuniya, as per Lalla Ded, is that state of
Shiva’s consciousness in which the world of objects lies merged in an
undifferentiated and unmanifest form. Such a concept of’Shuniya’ is
positive as against the negative shade of meaning that Buddhism has invested
ayas chandri garan............
tinkerings with this vakh are just superficial. The second line of this vakh
begins with the word ‘garan’ in the readings of the line as are found in
the versions of Prof. B.N. Parimoo, Dr. Grierson, Dr. S.K. Raina, Pt.
G.N.Raina and Pt. Nila Kanth Kotru. The sole exception is the version of Prof.
J.L.Koul, who gives the word ‘charan’, which exactly is the meaning of the
replacement conceived by Bimla Raina is ‘gwaran’, as per her, an Arabic
word, drawn form ‘ghour’with Hindi meanings of ‘manan, chintan, dhyan………’
cheers for her! She knows Arabic too.
change is scandalous. Lalla Ded has no such word in her repertoire. Arabic was
an unknown language during the period she lived and wove her poetry. It was
Zain-ul-abidin who changed the language of the court, which was Sanskrit, by
an alien language called Persian at the persistent prodding of foreign
dominating his court. A poor student of History, called Bimla Raina, should
not stoop to the abysmal level of thoughtlessness only to earn derision and
word ‘garan’ is the rightword as it is available in all versions of the
vakh. It is an indigenous word, musical, oft used
by Lalla Ded to shape her mystical feelings. Then, mischievously other
versions of the same vakh have not been reproduced as has been the case with
other vakhs. If ‘garan’ is appropriately placed in the
first line, how come it loses its appropriateness in the second line.
Poets repeat a word or a line for emphasis or for highlighting a special
meaning. Shakespeare has repeapted ‘and’ three times to ram in his point.
Arabic like other Semitic languages is so stiff-boned that ‘ghour’ if
Arabic can never get shaped into ‘gwaran’. Semitic languages like the
Semitic logic are rock-hard and non-malleable.
word ‘Chandray’ has been broken up into ‘cha andrai’. It is crude and
disgusting. In Shaiva yoga ‘Chandrama’ is taken for ‘apanvayu’ rising
from outer dwadashant. During this process of inhaling ‘chitta’, mind,
limited form of ‘chitti’, also goes inwards. ‘Chitta’ represents a
collectivity of the outer world of objects, called in proper terminology as
‘ghat, pat, neel, sukh’ et al. Hence, Chandrama as in Shaiva yoga is
accepted as the world of multiple objects.
Lalla Ded through this illustrious vakh conveys that while
practising ‘pran-apan’ process she attained a state of
interiorisation of outer world of material objects, in fact, she sucked it up
into her ‘swarup’, intrinsic nature. She also sensed a condition of ‘saksatkar’,
communion of the objective world outside her with her own intrinsic
consciousness. As a result for her as a yogini everything in her mind and that
what is outside her in the world of objects, all is drenched in the exalted
consciousness of Shiva. This condition is known in Shaiva parlance as
‘Bhairav mudra’. Some name it as ‘Jagdanand’.
vakh is suffused with the Shaivite matter, but as result of her catholicity
she has used ‘Naran’, Narayan, Vishnu, as the focal god, not shiva because
all gods for her are potencies of Paramshiva, who is essentially responsible
for the multiplicity of this world and all forms of differentiation which we
as subjects witness all around us.
gayatri hamsa hamsa zapith............
word ‘hamsa’ has been exposited variously in the texts of
Shaivagamas. The bija mantra of ‘hamsa’ is ‘ahamsah’.
‘aham’ is the divine will of Param Shiva and ‘Sah’ is the divine
cognition of Him. ‘aham’ is taken as ‘pran’ and ‘sah’ is taken as
‘apan’. There is an incessant conflict going on between ‘pran’ and
‘apan’and the real yogis alone have the capacity to overcome the roaring
conflict with the aid of their volitional power. The ‘Tantralok vivek’
draws a graphic picture of the conflict between ‘pran’ and ‘apan’
as a bija mantra is uttered continuously till the stir (spanda) of vimarsha of
the real self (swarup) is awakened. The mantra is to be internalised and must
lead an aspirant to a state where he starts scirring his own pervasion of
word ‘aham’ has been replaced by ‘ham’. Why? ‘Ham’ emerges with
the drop of ‘a’ sound due to regular and un-interrupted utterance of the
whole mantra. When Lalla Ded refers to giving up ‘aham’, she means to
convey that the mind-set of taking not-self as self has to be abandoned. And
in Kashmir Shaiva thought it is called ‘avidya’ or ‘Ajnan’. The
awareness of self-pride (gamand) in the elucidatory notes is not the point
Lalla Ded has put across. ‘I-ness’ in an individual has come to him from
Shiva only. But, it is limited ‘I-ness’. It has to outgrow its limitations
to attain identity with the Supreme consciousness of Shiva where it gets
totally submerged and remains in an undifferentiated form. The evolution of an
individual from his limited I-ness to attain indentification with the
consciousness of Shiva (chitti) is the value.
gali tai manther moche............
vakh branded Bimla Raina, is moulded on the pattern as is available in Dr.
Grierson’s Lalla –Vakyani. The other versions of the vakh as are available
in the collections of Prof. J.L.Koul, Prof. B.N.Parimoo, Pt. Gopi Nath Raina,
Dr. S.K.Raina and Pt. N.K. Kotru have been totally left out and ignored. How
is it that the version of Dr. Grierson is taken as very authentic? His version
of the Vakhs has not been taken as base-line to determine the worth and
texture of Lalla Ded vakhs in totality. Due to her inherent incapacities to
properly elucidate the content of vakhs the vendor of tinsel wares handles
them as per her whim and fancifulness. There is no scheme and no methodology
involved and no format that could accord her attempt a veneer of schematic
second line of the vakh stands tinkered with and ‘chyath’ is dropped for
inclusion of ‘swapnya’, a strange construction interpreted as sahaj jnan,
antardreshti and antar Jnan. ‘Svapan’ in English means dream which as per
the seminal Shaiva text, Shiva-Sutra, is ‘svapno vikalpah’. When
interpreted, Vikalpah means internal perceptions and thoughts. Mind of a man
remains under persistent disturbance and confusion because of these currents
and cross- currents of perceptions and thoughts. It is the condition of human
mind in the state of wakefulness and continues to be the same during the state
of dreaming. The projection of dreaming state, svapnya, to Bimla Ji as the
state of intuition, Sahaj Jnan or antar jnan is monstrously and brazenly
word that is apposite to the context is ‘Chyath,’ Chitta, derived from ‘Chitti’,
infinite consciousness supreme. ‘ Chitta’, in modern parlance, is mind, a
store-house of thoughts and perceptions. When it ceases to be, nothing
remains. It is the state of ‘Turya’, the state of Bhairav, suffused with
quote Svacchanda Tantra
the activity of the mind apart, one must unite, that activity in
God-Consciousness. Then this bound limited being (pasu) will realize the state
of Shiva and be liberated’.
Raina bound within the cocoon of her limited knowledge and range has declared
‘Shunyas shunya meelith gav’ as an interpolation made by some Lalla Ded
contrary to it, the fact remains that the line is absolutely germane to the
whole tenor and content of the vakh.
to Lall Ded, is the sadak who has succeeded in calming down his ‘chit’,
sum total of perceptions and thoughts and is in the state of ‘turya’,
suffused with Bhairav consciousness and is merged in it.
therefore, is the person who has attained a loftiness of spiritual nature and
is in ecstasy of consciousness known as ‘Chitta chamatkar’.
is the consciousness supreme or Param Shiva, in whom the world of objects
remains submerged in an undifferentiated form. It is not the Buddhist
‘shunya’ which is total vacuity, emptiness or void. It is the principle of
all objects remaining in dilution and submergence within Shiva’s
consciousness. Hence ‘shunyas’ refers to Param Shiva, who is a void, but
the world of objects remains in a state of non-differentiation within Him. His
state is both void and not-void.
quote a Shaiva-Shastra
Shunyam iti’ ukhtam shunyat cha abhava ishyate!
satu vijneyo yatra bhava layam gata !!
shunya meelith gava’ means the union of an aspirant having attained Bhairav
consciousness with the Supreme consciousness of Shiva.
Mrs. Bimla Raina's attempt at re-orientatioin of Lalla Ded vakhs is
biased and prepossesed. The whole attempt is laboured, far-fetched and does
not even minimally add to the honing up of vakhs for better understanding and
appreciation. As a poet of tremendous originality Lalla Ded cannot be imposed
with meanings that belie her own indigenous content as expressed in her
glittering vakhs. As a witness to horrible and volatile developments in her
native place she exhorted the foreign Islamists working under the garb of
Sufism and mis-using religion to see God's essence in all men of all faiths
without discriminating one human being from the other on the basis of
religion. Lalla Ded's thunder remains and has gained more relevance in present
reduced to a veritable hell by crazed crusaders and religious fanatics.
1. Lalla Ded - Prof. Jia Lal Koul
2. Ascent of Self - Prof. B.N.
3. Lalla Vakyani - George Grierson
4. Lalla Ded - Dr. S.K. Raina
5. The word of Lalla -
Sanskrit Translation of 60 Vakhs of Lalla Ded - Rajanak Bhaskar
75 Vakhs of Lalla-Ded - Anand Koul Bamzai
Amritvani - Ram Joo Kalla
Lalla Vakhs - Pt. Jia Lal Koul Jalali
Lalleshwari Vakya Rahasya - Pt. Gopi Nath Raina
Lalla Ded - Prof. R.N. Koul
Siva-Sutra - Vasugupta
Pritibijna Hrdyam - Khemraj
Pandit Sarwanand Chiragi (Urdu Translations)
that bimla raina has executed
||shuniya and earth
||huta ba hatha
||gar kee samgree (Hindi Translation)
|| woni na yun
||vakhat, be-vakhat (Hindi Translation)
||mansik japa (Hindi Translation)
||zan yee ha
||kiva ishto (Hindi Translation)
||mann bodhi novum
||milvith mann pran
||chenta dehas vyan kyah von
||yava rayi ayi
||huta and kyat
||sum na swathe
||yuth haba hatha
||a - utyam thali
||ksha and h swaroop