- Dr. S. Radhakrishanan
nations have a history as well as geography. They grow not by the sun and
stars, the wind and rain but by the creative Spirits who by precept and
practice, work toward the establishment of universal brotherhood of man,
overcoming the artificial barriers of caste, creed or colour.
In the last millenium, Kashmir, as also the rest of India, has produced a galaxy of great saints, seers and savants who have enriched, elevated and refined life and helped the people at large in distress. In India, we have had illustrious God-men like Kabir, Tulsi, Surdas, TukaRam, Srikrishna Chaitanya, Eknath, Narsi Mehta, Tyagaraja, Dhyaneshwar, Tiruvalluvar, Namdev, Mirabai, Dayanand, Guru Nanak, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Vivekananda, Swami Ram, Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi, Ramana Maharishi, Sri Satya Sai Baba, and Sri Aurobindo. In Kashmir, too, we have had the great fortune of producing greatsaints like Lalleshwari, Rupa Bhawani, Sheikh Nuruddin, Parmanand, Rishipir, Jeewan Shah, Lassa Sahib, Anandji, Ramji, Sahib Kaul, Manas Razdan, Zaikak, Kakaji Mastana, Grata Bab, Ramjoo Tabardar, Vidya Dar, Shankar Razdan, Bhagwaan Gopinath Ji, Kashkak, Sona Kak, Nandlal Ji, Swami Lakshman Joo, Sati Devi and Mathura Devi.
These saints belong to all times and to all nations. They transcend the bonds of communities and conventions, place and time. They are born to serve God by serving His creatures. A saint, a seer and a sage is, indeed an universal phenomenon.
In the present troubled times when the people of the Valley, Kashmiri Pandits in particular, are passing through untold miseries, the only solace comes from our glorious philosophic and spiritual traditions enriched by our saints and sufis. The sayings of Lalla Arifa echo and re- echo to this day. She sang in the language of the masses. A mystic of the purest ray serene, Lalla urged the people to rise above caste, creed and colour and see the light within.
MO ZAAN HYUND TA MUSALMAN,
TRUK AY CHHAUK TA PAN PANUN PARZANAV,
SOI CHHAY SAHIBAS SATI ZANI ZAN"
(Siva is all-pervading
and present in each particle.
"SANTOSHI BYALI BHAVI ANAND PHAL"We have not been able to collect details of most of our saints and seers. But a good number of them are representcd here and most of these have been drawn from our special numbers issued in the past. We are grateful to the learned authors whose articles on various saints have been reproduced here for the benefit of all, particularly our youth, who, I am sure, will derive inspiration and strength from the lives of these Sages and Seers.
|Articles taken from:
|Jaman Ded||Lived about 200 years ago. She was often found roaming about in the mountains near the Amar Nath cave.|
|Rishi Pir||Lived in the time of Jehangir.|
|Zanana Zui||Resided at Rainawari (Srinagar), was contemporary of Rishi Pir. Lived about 1570 A.D.|
|Krishna Pandit Taplu||Resided at Bhori Kadal (Srinagar). He discovered the shrine of Khir Bhawani which had become unknown during the Muhammadan rule. His descendents practise fortune-telling by looking into the Brihat-Katha.|
|Bhasker Razdan||Grandfather of Manas Razdan. Wrote a commentary on 60 sayings of Lalleshwari in Sanskrit Verse. Lived about 250 years ago.|
|Krishna Kar||Resided at Rainawari (Srinagar); was contemporary of Rishi Pir.|
|Manas Razdan||Resided at Bana Mohalla. He practiced austerities at Qiladar, Punjab, which has since become the Mecca of the Kashmiri Pandits.|
|Sodi Woni||Had darshan of Shiva at Shishram Nag.|
|Jiwan Sahib||Lived about the middle of Eighteenth Century of Christian era. Resided at Rainawari.|
|Zana Sahib||Was the Guru of Chana Sahib.|
|Mirza Kak||Lived at Hangalgund - a village above Achhabal, about 100 years ago. His sayings in Kashmiri verse are current among the people.|
|Nidhan Sahib||Lived at the village of Moran (Avantipora Tehsil). Died in Sambat 1925.|
|Chana Sahib||Lived at Rainawari. Died in Sambat 1928.|
|Gopal Sahib||Lived in a hut under a Chenar tree at Barbar Shah.|
|Isher Sahib||Died in 1880, having lived to an old age. Lived at Haba Kadal.|
|Govind Baju||Lived at Rainawari.|
|Manas Matu||Died in 1878 A.D. having lived to an old age.|
|Anand Ji||Died at an advanced age at Jama Nagar, a village near Shopyan in 1917 A.D.|
|Lal Shah||Died at Rainawari in 1918 A.D. at an advanced age.|
|Labi Shah||Lived at the Tulmula village during the governship of Colonel Miyan Singh.|
|Ganesh Das||Lived at Gush, a village in Uttar Machipura.|
|Thakar Prashad Choudhri alias Bawa Presidh Nath||This ascetic's ashram is at Etawah. Bawa Braham Nath was the Mahant of his ashram.|
The Kashmiri Pandit
by Pandit Anand Koul
Thacker, Spink & Co.