Lalleshuri and Kundalini Yoga
*Jawahar Lal Bhat
Picture courtesy: Kanayalal S Raina
alded followed Trikka or Kashmir Shaivism which adopts Laya Yoga popularly known as Kundalini Yoga in Kashmir in her spiritual advancement and liberation. In her immortal poetic compositions (Vaakhs) besides laying down a moral code she has prescribed definite regulations for the realization of the divine in ones own being. In order to understand the Vaakhs of Lalla one has to be acquainted with the Kundalini Shakti and its importance in the awakening of human spirit in accordance with Kashmir Shaivism. Kundalini is believed to be a source of infinite energy (Shakti) in the form of a coiled serpent seated at the lower end of the spinal cord around the genital part of the human body (Swayambu).
The energy is aroused and brought up to the crown of the head, the highest seat of cosmic energy centre (Sahasrara) considered the abode of Lord Shiva, through deep concentration of mind, mantras and yogic exercises especially Pranayama. According to this Yoga there are six Chakras (Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, Visudha, and Ajna) or centers of cosmic power in the human body. The Kundalini Shakti, when aroused travels up through these chakras and reaches finally to Sahasrar Chakra which is located at crown of the head inside the brain where it becomes one with Lord Shiva, the ultimate goal of all spiritual seekers and a source of unlimited joy and achievement. According to Kashmir Shaiva Philosophy Lord Shiva is the principal deity controlling the universe. The lord has two aspects, Shiva and Shakti though the two are the same, the two sides of a coin. Man's spiritual goal is to establish identity of the two in his own being. Since man is unable to control the waywardness of the mind and shed the shackles of worldly attachments and thus goes on living many lives without performing the actual purpose of life. The unnerving task here is to experience the truth of life and get detached from the glamour of actual life and virtually die before death to the worldly attractions.
Laya Yoga or the awakening of Kundalini is a way of attaining this goal. The wavering mind is controlled by concentrating on a vital energy centered in the body called Susmna Nadi and thus the uneven movement of Prana and Apana is brought to uniformity by the practice of breath control (Pranayama). The Susmna nadi extends from the Muladhara right up to Sahasrara in the crown of the head along the spinal cord. It is through this subtle mystical corridor that Kundalini Sakhti rises upwards to meet her consort Shiva in that thousand-petalled lotus of Sahasrara. Within these two extremes are six centres of energy called chakras or lotuses as indicated above. There are also two other Nadis running parallel to the Susmna. These are Ida and Pingla. Prana flows through Ida while apana flows through Pigla.
The inhalation and exhalation of breath are kept in perfect balance through the practice of yoga. All the Nadis join at the two eyebrows' junction called Triveni, symbolic confluence of Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati. The Kundalini Shakti which normally lies dormant is awakened by yogic exercises and it cuts its way through the six chakras to meet her consort Shiva in Sahasrara. Prana goes upwards while Apana downwards. To attain this spiritual goal, man has to control five Pranas, ten Indriyas and their controller, the wavering mind. This is done through Abhyas or Yoga practice. It is here that the seeker enjoys the taste of the Amrit flowing from Shashkala or the digit of the moon. Lalleshuri (Lalded) has described her personal achievement of arousing Kundalini and enjoying the overflowing Shashkala in the following Vaakh:
Shie van chaetith shashkal wuzem, Prakrath henzem pawnie seitee,
Lalla reached her desired goal and enjoyed the nectar trickled from Shashkala after she crossed the rugged path of six forests indicating the six Chakras as mentioned above. She says it was the result of her heart stirring devotion, deep concentration, sustained breath exercise and bringing under control all worldly desires and senses that she reached her goal. She says precisely, “The whole world shrunk for me in the inhalation and exhalation of my breath and while I roasted my heart in the heat of the love of my Lord, I found Him.” By the concentration of mind mental fluctuations, false knowledge, all kinds of illusions and conditions analogous to sleep are brought under control, a stage in which the soul sours beyond the three Gunas: Satva, Rajas and Tamas.
Tsitta-twaruge vagi hyath ro'ttum, Tseylith milavith dashinaaddi vaav,
Lalla says she reined in the fast running steed of her mind, i.e. controlled the overpowering senses and by constant practice and meditation succeeded in bringing the proper alignment of wavering Prana through Nadis till she achieved the final goal of guiding the Kundalini Shakti to its destination, the crown of the head. It’s here that she enjoyed the nectar of the mystic moon (Sheshkal) which came overflowing upon her whole body and the void merged with the cosmic void i.e. she became immortal and an integral part of the supreme soul which is the ultimate perfection of the individual soul to become one with the cosmic soul or Parmatama. Lalleshuri gives a lucid description of her mystic experience in her poetic compositions which goes to her credit as besides a highly accomplished Yogini she was a celestial poet with a definite mission of not only achieving her own liberation but also setting a precept for the coming generations to follow.
Lall bo chayas suman baghe baras, Wuchum shivas shakti meelith te wah
Lalla describes her extreme ecstasy upon her realization of the ultimate reality and says that she entered the garden of beautiful flowers indicating the abode of Shiva on the crown of her head. There she saw Shiva and Shakti mingled into one, the most coveted stage of all Yogis and the final stage of Kundalini Jagran. She enjoys the scene, takes deep into the lake of overflowing divine nectar and becomes eternal, one with the supreme. She achieved this all by experiencing virtual death to worldly desires before the actual death. This is a stage for the saints of high order to be quite unconcerned about their body and its needs as the purpose of body for them is over as they’ve become one with the absolute. So for Lalla also the purpose of the existence of her mortal frame has finished having achieved its eternal purpose of merging with the ultimate truth i.e. Lord Shiva, so she claims to be dead though living in the eyes of the people outside. She’s absorbed completely with her lord and has little care about her body needs.
Dokh chen traivith mokh wuch haras, Taile dezei parma saras manz thah
Lalla calls the Kundalini Shakti seated in the form of a serpent at the base of the spinal cord a Shah-Maar (Royal Serpent) the source of unlimited energy and liable to be awakened and made to travel upward by sustained devotion. She calls upon the devotee to lift the massive lid, allegorically a big mountain off the container of the Shah-Maar (the dormant Kundalini Shakti) i.e. awaken it by the power of devotion and controlling all the worldly desires and body pleasures as these are the worst enemies of all devotion and development in the path of spiritual advancement. Lalla calls upon the seeker to shun all worldly fears and surrender completely to the wishes of the Lord and dive deep into the celestial waters of His blessings present at the crown of head, the abode of the lord.
Lalli Guer bramande pethe kane vuchum, Sheshkal vaechem paadan taney
On her ultimate achievement of establishing Shiva and Shakti in her own being through arousing the Kundalini Shakti and bringing up to the crown of her head Lalla was astonished to see her master (Guru) seated on the top of her head while the overflowing Sheshkal had flooded her whole body till it had reached her feet which indicates that she was filled with the divine nectar or Amrit or in other words she had got awakened fully about the full secret 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 also indicates the fact that Guru is the ultimate lord for all purposes for a seeker and there remains no need to approach anything else for ones development whatsoever except ones spiritual master.
|*JAWAHAR LAL BHAT Born at village Peth-Makhama, Magam, (Kashmir) in the year 1946; got M.A. in English Literature from Kashmir University in 1972; worked a long tenure in J&K Government Education Department as an English Lecturer. Had an exclusive taste for teaching English Literature and Language improvement; left Kashmir in January 1990 along with fleeing Pandits and retired from Government Service in 2004; currently settled in Faridabad, Haryana (India).
Publications: Authored six books on English Language improvement and one on Personality Development - (Kumar Publications, Rajender Place, New Delhi). Below are the most popular ones:
• Choicest Essays - for IAS, IPS and other competitive exams
• A New Approach to Modern Grammar and Practice
• A Dictionary of English Usage
• English Phrases and Idiomatic Expressions
• Essentials of Personality Development
Articles: Got interested mainly into writing on KP displacement imbroglio. Following articles published in various issues of ‘Koshur Samachar, New Delhi’ are worth a mention:
• Lalleshuri------ a brief study – June 2008
• Time Ripe to Retrospect on return to Valley - October 2007
• Sant Swami Nand Lal Ji Maharaj - June 2006
• What Ails Our Youth? - August 2005
• Alliances Outside Community - October 2004
• Slipping Paradise - November 2001
• Hindu Kashmir sans Pandits - December 2000
• We and our Cultural Heritage - September 2000
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We need many more such articles to create a repository of Kashmiri Spiritualism and Transcendence which our great sages and seers spread through their messages of love and faith.Shejhar deserves kudos for its grand efforts.
Added By pushkar ganjoo
This article on lallishori is really a guiding force to lakhs of kashmiris scattered all over globe,particularly the young.i hope that in days to come we shall recieve more lalla walkhs,translated in english from you, Maharah
Added By RATTANLAL dass
Well knit write-up on Lalleshvari.
Added By Chaman Lal Raina