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NSKRI
Faces of Glory 
Quotable Quotes
Vol. I, No. 1 
Vol. I, No. 2
Vol. I, No. 3
Vol. II, No. 4
Vol. II, No. 5 & 6
Vol. II, No. 7 & 8
Vol. II, No. 9
Vol. II, No. 10
Vol. II, No. 11 & 12
Vol. II, No. 13-15
Vol. II, No. 16-17
 
   

Quotable Quotes

"Kashmiri Pandits are linked with history full of the misty past, infinitely remote, whose traditions run back to gods and the divine origin of things."

The Kashmiri Pandit

"He has survived the most runhless, barbarous and savage rule which he was subjected to in the past. Given the same destructive and fatal circumstances to live and work under, can there be found a people, other than the Kashmiri, who could endure this inhuman rule for six odd centuries and survive it? The sons of Avantivarma and Lalitaditya, and the progeny of the blessed Rishis struggled hard, and that in a peculiar way, against the brutal activity of the religiously fanatic administrators. It was neck or nothing with them in order to save their own religion. Hundreds were put to sword, thousands were flung into the rivers and lakes or killed in their homes. Is it not then the tenacity, the adaptability and elasticity of the Kashmiri that has helped him to survive atrocffles and has it not again been foolishly termed cowardice. Free from bigotry, the Pandit deals impartially with all the other communities. He is essentially a man of peace."
- Anand Koul

"There (Kashmir) the godess Saraswati herself is seen in the form of a swan on a lake situated on the summit of the Bheda hill which is sanctified by Ganga source."
- Rajatarangini

"The traditional Sanskrit learning has given to Brahaman community of Kashmir, small as it has been always, a distinguished place in the history of Sanskrit literature since early times."
- Aurel Stein

"The labours I devoted between 1888 to 1900 to the critical edition, translation and commentary of Kalhana's Rajatarangini, the only true historical text of Sanskrit literature, afforded me ample opportunities of gaining close contact with Sanskrit savants of Kashmir, the land where traditional learning of Hindu India had flourished in old times greatly and survived until recent years."
- Aurel Stein

Let us wake to the Prophecy

"Old Kashmir festivals mentioned in the Nilmata, you will understand how difficult it must be for an European scholar to learn about these rites, also how great the risk is now a days of such old festivals and other cermonies being lost for good under the sad changes which are taking place in Kashmir".
- Aurel Stein

"It has always been a great pleasure to deal with a Pandit. This is due not only to his great learning and keen intellect but also to his general education and refined manners, which always make you feel that you are face to face with a real gentleman."
- Sten Konow
[Dr. Sten Konow Ph.D, University of Oslo, Sweden, was a world renowned linguist and worked as Chief Epigraphist, Govt. of India during 1908.]

"On the whole it is probably impossible to find anything whatever in Kashmiri without the assistance of a local Pandit."
- David B. Spooner
[Dr. David Brainerd Spooner was an eminent archaeologist and Sanskrit scholar from Harvard University, USA and worked as Superintendent, Archaeological Survey, Frontier Circle, India during 1908.]

"It seems certain that, though Kashmir was in bygone times, a stronghold of Buddhism, yet the cult of the populace was Brahminical. There were Buddhist monastries as well as Brahman temples everywhere. The people had a religious past having deep rooted conviction and notions of religion based on ancient traditions and sacred mandates. Even if present finds ruined temples the fact remains that their lofty arches and massive blocks of masonary were quarried and erected bit by bit by people who expended their best on buildings which were to be set aside for nothing but noble purpose of worship.

"It has often been noticed that the decay of religion marks the decay of the country and the Kashmiris owing to persistent cataclysm of bigoted invaders lost their religious moorings and consequently lost their place in the race of human prosperity. The ebullition of atrocities of the Mohammedan rulers, their fury and orgies of outrages, wrecked the foundation of peace and humanity. They persecuted the Hindus and forced them to embrace Islam. They pillaged, plundered and destroyed their temples with ruthless and relentless vigour born of bigotry and fanaticism converting them into ziarats and mosques."
-- Anand Kaul

Penolympics

There was no Guiness Book of Records then. Had there been something like that, the names of these Pandits would surely have found place in it for their astonishing feats of penmanship. They are Pandit Ratnakanth Razdan, Pandit Mukund Ram Shastri and Pandit Sahaz Bhatt. For once their quantitative output pushed the qualitative aspect of their work to the backseat.
 
  • Pandit Ratnakantha Razdan

  • Popularly known as Ratta Razdan, he would repeat in a single day what his teacher would teach him in a fortnight. Writing down six hundred Sanskrit shlokas every day was a routine with him. So fast did he write that he once wrote down the entire Bhagwad Gita during the time his companions were busying themselves with a meal.
     
  • Pandit Mukund Ram Shastri

  • This outstanding scholar translated 1,50,000 verses of a Buddhist text -- "Kangur Tangur" from Tibetan into Sanskrit at a stretch. A mind boggling feat, indeed!
     
  • Pandit Sahaz Bhat

  • A physican by profession, he prepared a descriptive catalogue of 6000 Sanskrit manuscripts on different subjects which were lying in the Maharaja's Raghunath Temple Library, Jammu, working with Stein and Govind Kaul and writing brief notes on each.

    (Inputs S.N. Pandita)

"As a stick and another stick come together in an ocean and depart afterwards, the beings meet and depart. I shall never forget those wonderful days in Kashmir when I studied along with you the poems and dramas in Sanskrit in the shade of row of trees in the garden near by the pond beautified by fully opened lotuses. When shall I come back to the holy land Bharata by the force of my luck, when shall I see Kashmir, the girdle of the Himalayas, the abode of Devi Sharada in Kashmir (Srinagar), your auspicious face in that city? This thinking I have hope every day. What to write more. It is to be arranged by the Creator."
- J. Ph. Vogel

"Now one year has elapsed. Hereafter the city Srinagar appears to my eyes as Sri in a form. I eagerly await the moment when I behold Kashmir and its great scholars and become blessed again."
- J. Ph. Vogel [Excerpts of letters from Prof. J. Ph. Vogel, University of Leiden, Holland to Pt. NS: 1917]

"In addition it is a return to the past. My old clerk Ram Chand Bali, now well up the state's official ladder, arranged for me to get through all my tasks. I visited again after 50 years the Raghunath temple library. The six thousand Sanskrit manuscripts had been catalogued by me with the help of Pandit Govind Koul and another excellent scholar friend Sahaz Bhatta in what seems now like previous birth. It had been a dreary task but it saved the collection from being lost. I had a very attentive reception, had to talk Sanskrit again for an hour or so, thus purifying my tongue by use of the Sacred Language after all my peregrination in the barbarian north and west. It was a quaint experience to find myself in the end garlanded in the traditional Kashmiri Hindu fashion for the first time in my life."
- Aurel Stein [Excerpts of Aurel Stein's letter dated 18.12.40 from Jammu to Mrs. Henery Allen (Madam), a close friend in Vienna, Austria.]

"The freedom of the spirit makes India the last civilization that is still existing. If this civilized spirit has to be preserved then I think all of us should leave no stone unturned in making Kashmir as a corner stone of the Indian Culture."
- Nirmal Verma, Eminent Hindi writer

Predicament of the Pandits

Though Kashmiri Pandits are a small community, we have been forced by the events of history to look outwards and seek new frontiers. But the last 8 years have witnessed ourforced exodus leading to diaspora and dispersal of huge dimensions. The one thing that can yet keep us together is the historical sense of our glorious cultural heritage. NSKRI and similar institutions can play a pivotal role in creating that sense of history and in the preservation and promotion of our culture. Three things that can bind us are: our language, our unique identity and the desire to seek our roots, and all these have to emanate from a sense of pride and a feeling of self esteem which have been snatched from the community over the last six centuries, more so during the last five decades. We have to rediscover that pride and set forth on march to a political and cultural resurgence.
- Dr. K. L. Chowdhury
Medical Specialist, Jammu

"In the night ride across the Wular lake a small storm made me worry for the safety of my manuscript (Rajatarangini). It seemed as if the goddess of wisdom - Sharada, represented by waters of Kashmir, was unwilling to let me abduct the manuscript. This is what happened 1200 years ago to the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen-Tsang, who had to leave his Sanskrit manuscript in the angry Indus River."
- Aurel Stein

"But perhaps the greatest advantage I derived from Kashmirian Pandit association with my labours was the chance it gave me to study in close contact those peculiarities of traditional Indian thought, belief and conduct which separate Hindu Civilization so deeply both from the West and the East and which no amount of book knowledge could ever fully reveal to a maleecha.
- Aurel Stein

The Three Traditions

In Sanskrit there are three major traditions of manuscript editions. One is the Central Indian tradition, represented by the Devanagri script, supported, more or less, by Bengali manuscripts. Then there is the South Indian tradition, and then the third tradition is shared by Kashmir and, strangely enough, by Kerala. And, for example, when I was workinging on the text of Katha Saritsagara of Someadeva, the printed version and the Kashmiri version in the Sharada script (when I speak Kashmiri version I speak of the Sharada script), the Sharada version was at least seventy to eighty percent different than the Devanagri version. Because in Kashmir things have just frozen in times, let us say the thirteenth-ffteenth century, the texts in Kashmir really deserve to be published as such, except a few rare works like Ashtadhyayi in which there is no change in Kashmiri version and Devanagri version.
- Dr. Lokesh Chandra

The Saptarishi Samvatsara

Time is eternal. It is the rhythm of divine pulsation. However, it is only linear or chronological time in which life unfolds itself on this universe. So when we talk of the Saptarishi Samvatsara followed by Kashmiri Pandits we have to travel back in time to the people of Satisar, the ancestors of the present day Kashmiri Pandits.

Why is the name of the Saphrishis associated with this era? Legend goes that some 5074 years ago Saphrishis, the seven great sages of the Hindus, came to Sharika Parvat, the abode of goddess Sharika at the auspicious movement when the first ray of sun fell on Chakreshwara, and paid obeisance to her. The place where they are said to have assembled is still called Sata Peshy. It is a rock where devotees of the goddess go to ask for a boon and meditate upon Mahakali to attain siddhi. Astrologers made this auspicious moment the sorting point for their calculation of the Nova Varsha Pratipada.
- Dr. C. L. Raina

"Kashmir Shaivism teaches that monistic thought can be practised by anyone, man or woman, without the restriction of caste, creed or colour. Kashmir Shaivism,
therefore, is a universal system, pure, real and substantial in every respect".
- Swami Lakshman Joo

The Shaiva philosophy does not conceive of the Supreme as a logomachist but as an Artist. Just as an artist cannot contain his delight within himself. but pours it out into a song, a picture or a poem, even so the Supreme Artist pours out the delightful wonder of this splendour into manifestation of creation?
- Jasdev Singh

Kashmir Shaivism is not based on rational thinking and augmentation alone. The basic source of its finer principles has been direct revelation of the exactly correct truth regarding the nature and the character of the real self of a person and the essence of the world around him. Such a realization was the result of the practice of a superior kind of Shivayoga of the Trika system known as the Shambhavi Mudra. A Yogin practising the mudra recognized himself to be none else than Shiva Himself.
- Dr. B.N. Pandit

 


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