The history of India has for its landmarks not wars and emperors but saints and scriptures.
- Dr. S. Radhakrishanan

 
The 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.

    "SHIV CHHUY THALI THALI ROZAN,
    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. 
    Never differentiate between a Hindu and a Muslim.
    If you are shrewd and intelligent, know THY SELF. 
    There lies acquaintance with god".)

Long after her, Parmanand gave us a recipe for attaining peace of mind.
"SANTOSHI BYALI BHAVI ANAND PHAL" 
(Contentment leads to perennial joy and bliss.)
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:

Koshur Samachar
Kashmir Bhawan 
Amar Colony, Lajpat Nagar 
New Delhi - 110 024 

and 

Patrika
Bhagwaan Gopinath ji Ashram 

CONTENTS

ARTICLES


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.
Source:
The Kashmiri Pandit
by Pandit Anand Koul
Thacker, Spink & Co.
Calcutta
Kashmiri Overseas Association