- An Introduction by Sh. G. N. Raina
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 millennium, 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, Tuka Ram, 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.
(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 represented 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.
Swami Nand Lal Ji was a brahmachari and was incarnated with sainthood by His Holiness Swami Lal Ji of Banaras. Swami Lal Ji, a great yogi, was so much impressed with the deeds of his shishya that at one point of time
Posh Mot hardly needs any introduction. A religious leader of integrity and a spiritual guide imparts religious guidance to number less devotees and disciples.
Param Gyani Shri Swami Har Kak ji Maharaj of Bamhama (Kupwara), Kashmir alias Shri Swami Hari Ram ji Dhar also affectionately called as Swami Har Bab Ji by the simple masses of Northern Kashmir.
His brother was Ramchand Janda, known in the vicinity of Drabiyar popularly as Ramajanda. He was a shopkeeper selling all sorts of goods besides healing people from various ailments. His eye drops were a guarded secret.
Kashmir the abode of Shiva and Shakti has given birth to many saints, seers, sofis and poets. In the field of literature, especially in spiritual poetry, we have seen works of Lelded, Nund Reshi, Permanand Krishan Joo Razdan, Shamas Faqir etc
It was sometime in 1958 our family came in contact with a saint of great merit, Paramhans Swami Poornanand ji Saraswati. He was staying at Shesharma, a village on the outskirts of Udaipur district.
A pious and religious minded man Sh Kanth Nath Dhar of Dhar, Sahib family and Bhardwaj gotra living at Khan-kahi-sokhta Safakadal Srinagar Kashmir and married to Shrimati Kudmali of Badeepora (Chadoora) from very renowned pious Bhat family, were bestowed with four sons.
Swami Syamanandji Maaharaj was born at Ganpatyar, Srinagar in the Jattu family with the Gotra Dev Bardwaj. His original name was Som Nath. He lost his father Sh.
Smt. Kamlawati Kachru (maiden name as Radha) was born in the family of Kouls (nicknamed as Bonis), residents of Reshi Mohalla, Habbakadal Srinagar.
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