Lalleshuri ---- On the significance of her Guru
*Jawahar Lal Bhat
Picture courtesy: Kanayalal S Raina
alleshuri was a blessed soul that had taken the human form in the mid-fourteenth century Kashmir with a mission ---- to serve as a guide in the divine path for numerous misled mortals and also to serve as a bridge between Hindus and Muslims of Kashmir who were divided in their faith merely by the callous attitude of their Muslim rulers that had taken control of the valley to change her total face from a strong pious Hindu background to a fundamentalist Muslim culture. She used the medium of her novel poetic compositions (Vaakhs) to achieve her purpose in which she succeeded fully. The outpourings of Lalleshuri had such an impact on the masses without discrimination of faith that these were immediately committed to public memory as a divine word and preserved for ages strangely without any obvious distortions. Both before and after her celestial flight Lalleshuri has been commanding great spiritual influence and is considered a living incarnation of Lord Shiva. Born with substantial divine realization the essentiality of a teacher (Guru) seemed questionable. But her personal awakening notwithstanding she has spared no words in highlighting the role of her master in her personal realization. Her Guru Shri Sedh Kanth, popularly known as Sedh Mol was in fact their family purohit and obviously well-versed in Kashmir Shaivism, a perfect yogi and an awakened soul. She gave her a thorough grounding step by step till her final realization which is accepted by Lalleshuri in her various Vaakhs. It also proves the significance of a competent teacher in the spiritual development however awakened the pupil may be. In the following vaakh she expresses her indebtedness to her master:
Gurey mol tay gorey mojjy, gorey divan naetran gash,
Yaem tshares mares vastaer laegey, chuey poenaes baagi te naetran gash
Lalleshuri admits with pride that her master is both father and mother to her who made her spiritually blind eyes capable to see. She confesses honestly that her Guru made her bare body wear the royal celestial garments and made it capable to stand upright. She further glorifies her Guru being the divine sight of her eyes and an equal partaker of the outcome of her good deeds and divine activities. Thus, as per Lalleshuri the role of a Guru in the path of spiritual advancement is too great to be ignored.
Gure shabdas yus yach pach barey, gyane ragi ratti chaet torgas
Indrey shomreth aanand karey, ade kus mare tas te maaran kas
One who submits wholly to the directions of his Guru and keeps under control the fast running steed of the worldly desires and aspirations reaches the highest stages of awakening. The basic requirement to commence the celestial journey is to keep five human instincts, anger, envy, greed, attachment and ego under control. These are the worst hurdles in the path of spiritual development. These instincts produced by five sense organs controlled by the mind itself as their master are individually responsible for misleading the mind towards directions that keep us away from the real path of development. One who is able to control them is the real master of his own self. For him no worldly death is of any significance and his personal demise is equally no event as he is already dead to the worldly desires that people mourn about.
Guran wunnam kunuy watsun, naebre dopnam andhar atsun
Suey mae Lalle gow wakh te watsun, taway hyut mae nangay natsun
The crux of the teachings of her Guru to Lalleshuri was a single word that of entering the internal recesses of ones own heart instead of loitering around in search of the ultimate reality. The truth of this word of her Guru is greatly significant in her teachings. Seeking the ultimate truth about life in the interiors of one’s own body temple is the pivot on which Kashmir Shaivism revolves and here Lalleshuri stresses upon the fact that this word of her Guru changed the entire perception of her life as she was immediately convinced that she had found the real path for her development and in the ecstasy of her achievement she began dancing with joy least caring about her clothes that would cover her nakedness. This condition of a yogi is the result of his or her total detachment from the worldly affairs as the world around for such an exalted soul is nothing but a dream that is liable to vanish once the gates of reality are opened for him or her.
Gure kath hradiyas manz baagh ratem, gange zale nowum tan tay man
Soe dihe jeewan mokhti praevem, yame baye cholum polum akh
Lalleshuri says she accepted wholly and adopted fully whatever her Guru commanded her. It was just washing her body and soul with the sacred waters of the Ganges i.e. she got transformed from the ordinary mortal to a fully awakened soul with the blessings and directions of her Guru. A spiritual master of a disciple helps him cross all the stages of development under his care. Thus Guru proves the God and Lord, Brahma and Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti and everything for a disciple. Lalleshuri says under the care of her Guru she achieved the highest state of spiritual advancement called ‘Jeewan-Mukhta’ i.e. freedom from the cycle of life and death in the same flesh and blood. With this she overcame the fear of death as the significance of human body had ended for her as its ultimate function was over and there was no need of its existence henceforth.
Guras prechom saase lattey, yas ne kaenh wanaan tas kyah chu naav
Prechaan prechaan thaches te looses, kyanh nas nishay kyah taam drav
Lalleshuri says that she asked her Guru a thousand times to tell her the name of the nameless. She was completely exhausted upon repeating the question time and again but she got no answer as her Guru remained silent continuously and didn’t respond. Later Lalleshuri got herself enlightened about the truth of the silence of her Guru as it was itself a big answer to the question put by her. The truth of the total realization is that individual self is lost in the sea of nothingness and the universal self is born without any personal identity; an indivisible part of the whole.
Lalli Guer bramande pethe kane vuchum, Sheshkal vaechem paadan taney
Gyaneke amrite prakrath barem, loobey morum ande wand taney.
The message conveyed in this couplet is again the significance of Guru in her celestial journey. On her ultimate achievement of establishing Shiva and Shakti in her own being through arousing the Kundalini Shakti and bringing it up to the crown of her head Lalleshuri was astonished to see her master (Guru) seated on the top of her head while the overflowing nectar of the mystic moon (Sheshkal) had suffused her whole person till it had reached her feet which indicates that she had got awakened fully about all the secrets of the universe and everything had unfolded clearly before her and nothing had remained unachieved for her holy person. She had naturally shed all the worldly desires especially the ego, which is the worst enemy in the path of spiritual development. It indicates the fact that Guru is the ultimate lord and guide for all purposes for a seeker and there remains no need to approach anything else for ones development whatsoever except the spiritual master.
Latan hund maaz laryom wattan, akey haewnam akichey wath
Yim yim bozan tim kone matan, Lalli booz shatan kuney kath
Lalleshuri says that her journey towards eternity was so hectic that while traversing barefooted endlessly the flesh of the soles of her feet tore off and mixed with the dust of the road. Her master continued leading her step by step till her fulfillment though the strange thing about it was that the Lord was present everywhere and there was no need to travel so hard but to seek Him within the recesses of ones own self. Lalleshuri says whoever knew it danced with joy as she told everybody about this hard reality as it proved an answer to all the questions raised in the context. The description is simply symbolic of the dedication and deep determination that’s required for the job otherwise no such hard roads are to be traversed barefooted.
Razas bhoj yaem kartal tujey, sorgas chuey taph tay daan,
Sahzas bhoj yaem gure kath paejee, paap poen bhoj chuey pannuy paan
Lalleshuri defines the attributes of different things and people here. The success of a King depends on how efficiently he can handle the sword while the heavens can be attained only by doing appropriate oblations and giving away sufficient alms to the poor and needy. The ultimate awakening of self can be attained only by following the directions of one’s master (Guru) but at the same time one is himself responsible for both the good and evil deeds whatsoever. Two things worth note are described here, first the importance of the Guru who is the only one capable to guide you in the path to salvation but at the same time he (Guru) is a equal partner to all good done by the pupil while none else except him is responsible and hence accountable for any evil committed by him.
Koel tei moel kath kyoet chui, toet kyoet choi shant sobhav
Kraye hund aagur wati kyot choi, ante kyot choi bas Gure sund naav
In the path of ultimate realization there’s no significance of higher caste or status. It’s only the personal humble behaviour that’s counted on the divine road to success besides the right Karma or the righteousness of purpose that helps to proceed. And above all it’s only the blessings of the master that’s the ultimate key required to open the gates of the abode of Lord. Without this key the seeker cannot get admittance into the garden of flowers or the ultimate destination of all seekers in the path to eternity. Lalleshuri wants to stress upon the fact that without the blessings of a Guru the seeker cannot attain perfection in his purpose. The word of the master is in fact the final authority on the path to eternity.
Gaytray azappa tshale aki taejim, suham satsey kermas thaph
Ahmas loti paeth zathrei waijem, gure kath paejem tsaejim tsakh
Lalleshuri says, after the systematic practice she was able to align her exhalation and inhalation of breath with the proper rhythm of Pranayama and recitation of Gaytray Mantra such that the process became a natural one which ultimately took no efforts but came out automatically and thus she stuck to it permanently. Lalleshuri admits that she did it all under the guidance of her master (Guru) while she cut the roots of all egos firmly along with controlling all anger which was the first and foremost essential requirement in such devotion and spiritual advancement. Two things again come up here, one her gratitude for her Guru Maharaj and the other shunning of all egotisms regarding any thoughts of human achievements considered futile in the spiritual development.
Nabeid boras ette gand dyol gome, dehe kaan hoel gome haike kawe hay
Gore sund wanun rawane tyol pyom, pahle roes khyol gome haike kawe hay
Lalleshuri describes the worldly life and its attractions that keep a person engaged absolutely throughout life. She compares these worldly engagements with a heavy back-load of sweet candies with its slings loosened and the heavy impact of the load on her deeply bent back indicating the so-called worldly comforts along with the permanent fear of impending end of worldly existence. Thus she is heavily tortured in the situation as she is unable to carry the load further on which indicates further the helplessness of an ordinary mortal. Who else than a competent Master (Guru) could save her in the situation. Now she gets a severe reprimand from her Guru Maharaj to immediately shun all worldly affairs and engage herself in the pursuit of her Lord but she’s again tortured by her indecisive nature as she on the one hand wishes to follow her master’s biddings but on the other is unable to leave the attractions that bind her to the world very hard. She further compares her position to a sheep-herd without any shepherd to look after and hence running helter-skelter. The present confusion is an apt depiction of the worldly life that has no purpose except its real one i.e. seeking the ultimate reality, the abode of the Lord.
Brahm burjas paeth watenowum, tsate chay tare saet dopmas lam
Hamsoo travith sooham provum, dopnam Lalli atethey shram
Lalleshuri here describes her personal experience of the awakening of Kundalini Shakti from its initial stage to the top of her head which she calls the highest quarters of the Lord in her own being. The whole exercise is associated with the perfect control of ones mind and getting in line with the systematic exhalation and inhalation of breath (Pranayama). On reaching the pinnacle of her success Lalleshuri had to do away with her basic breath exercise and be contented with her ultimate achievement of being one with her Lord and it’s here that the direction of her master (Guru) came who directed her to stick permanently to her present position as there was nothing further to be achieved. There is a permanent danger of falling back from this high position and that also with serious consequences unless great caution is maintained under the guidance of master, as such Lalleshuri was given a severe warnings by her Guru to retain her position with great restraint.
*JAWAHAR LAL BHAT belongs originally to Peth Makahama (Magam) Kashmir. A Post-Graduate in English of 1972 and a teacher by profession he retired as a Senior Lecturer (English) from J&K Education Department in 2004.
He has to his credit six books on English Language improvement and one on Personality Development published by Vee Kumar Publications, New Delhi besides a recently self published book titled ‘Yogiraj Swami Nand Lal Ji Maharaj --- A Biographical Study’ on the holy life of Swami Ji of Tikkar (Kupwara) Kashmir.
His articles mainly related to KP displacement imbroglio and Kashmir Culture get regularly published in ‘Koshur Samachar’ Delhi besides some E-magazines. The writings of the author are also available on his web page on the following link: http://ikashmir.net/jlbhat/index.html. The author writes posts regularly on his personal blog titled ‘Kashmir Warbling’ available on the following link: http://kashmirwarbling.blogspot.com/
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Again a MASTERPIECE. Congrets!
Added By Chander M. Bhat