Lalleshuri The essential purpose of human life

The essential purpose of human life

*Jawahar Lal Bhat

Picture courtesy: Kanayalal S Raina

alleshuri brings home to man that human life is a rare occasion to work for the awakening of soul and realization of the divine in one’s own being besides freedom from the cycle of life and death. This life is a rare opportunity provided to man after changing lots of other body forms to struggle for its liberation. For a vigilant seeker all roads towards enlightenment of self are always open and it is only the will and determination that takes him to his goal. The presence of the Lord can be visualized in all living and non living things so there is no dearth of resource. There is no use of excessive attachment in worldly affairs as it is all transitory so each moment of life is to be spent for its real purpose, the pursuit of the awakening of the self and liberation from the cycle of life and death. The only hurdle is the ceaseless attachment of worldly affairs which confines man to the futile pursuit of worldly possessions, family, children, wealth and the like thus ignoring the essential purpose though knowing precisely that these things cannot last beyond present life which has to end very soon.

Tale chyui zuis tay pyathe chukh nachan, vante maali vonde kave pachan chyui
Soruy sombrith yatyee chyui mochan, wante maali ann kave rochaan chyui.

Lalleshuri castigates the erring man asking him how he relishes his food and drink when he knows that he has to leave this world alone leaving behind all the worldly possessions collected by him. It is just like a dancer dancing overhead with full ease knowing fully well there is a yawning pit underneath which would invariably engulf him. The lure of the world is no doubt overpowering and man does not come out of this web though there are enough resources available for the liberation of soul and the indications of the presence of the Lord are not scarce as they are found everywhere. Lalleshuri was an incarnation of Lord Shiva and a messenger from God to awaken the masses from the deep slumber induced by worldly attractions. Her orations are clear teachings for making life worthwhile and coming nearer to the grace of the Lord.

Lerah lazem manz maidaanas, aend aend kaermas takye te gahh
Soe rooz yatey te bo gayas paanas, voen gow vaanas faalaw dith

In this beautiful couplet Lalleshuri describes again the futility of the glamour of life and its allied attractions. She says ironically that she had build a magnificent house in an open field and decorated its interiors with very beautiful gadgets but suddenly she herself left to an unknown destination and the magnificent house remained closed and of no use. It was just like a shopkeeper downing the shutters of his shop full of materials ready to be sold at a good price at the peak of season and leaving for ever never to return. The house mentioned here is the human body which gets all our attention all our life decorating it and attending all its calls ignoring its essential essence the soul which actually keeps it going and when upon death the soul takes flight to an unknown destination the body remains of no use and is disposed off immediately.

Razae hamse aasith loguth koeluy, kustam choeluy kyahtam heath
Grate gaw band tay gratan hyot goluy, grate wol choeluy phal phoel heath.

Lalleshuri gives an excellent description of a very hard reality of life, i.e. the end of life or death. She compares the activities of a person to the life of a royal swan which is famous for its flying high and singing in high ecstasy and freedom over open water bodies and marshy lands. Now Lalleshuri questions the just dead person in a high ironic note, “What has happened to you? You were just now singing and enjoying life like a royal swan! What has made you such incapable of even an ordinary speech? Somebody has taken something out of you such that the grinding stone mill inside you has stopped working and probably the master of the mill, the miller has escaped away with the grains he had come to grind at your mill.” Actually the essence of life, the soul, has gone away unnoticed and the body mill has stopped working instantly and the grains have choked as the miller has run away with the grains unnoticed. Thus Lalleshuri explains when death approaches the soul departs along with the accumulated fruit of the action of life and is drawn to such a state which is suitable to it. The description indicates to the ego of a human being who unmindful of the eminent and sudden end of life goes on collecting material wealth ignoring the essential requirement of life, i.e. seeking the ultimate truth for himself.

Shiv chyui zaevuil zaal wahraavith, kranzan manz chyai taerith kath
Zinde nyae vuchhan ade kate mareth, pane manze paan kad vaichaarith kath.

The presence of the Lord (Shiva) can be felt everywhere. There is not a single object living or non-living that does not exhibit the presence of Lord. It is the vigilant eye that can explore the celestial existence but only in life not after death. Lalleshuri wants to bring home to man here that one can strive to reach the highest stage of realization only through human existence, the opportunity that one gets after passing through lots and lots of bodies in the cycle of life and death. Unfortunate as it is, the opportunity is missed by one and all except quite a few who realize the truth of their existence. The significance of the human body as stressed here is important quite in contrast to the view of various theories in the context. The human body is the safest vehicle that can take the seeker to the heavens though there is no doubt that once the finite merges with the infinite the body becomes immaterial.

Naar gachei chaalun te aar gachei gaalun, odur gachei kadun wopal-haakas te handey
Hade gachei ratun te made gachei waalun, veih gachei chalun ade achak grandey
Shoob gachei kanchein loob gachei maarun, paan gachei naavun amey seindey.

Lalleshuri pinpoints some essential values for higher life-- one should be composed and calm in the face of strongest provocation of anger and rid oneself of the unnatural attachment to and sympathy for the worldly sufferings which are the result of past karma. Lalleshuri has compared this dramatic revolution in man to drying up all moisture in some wild Kashmir herbs used as fresh veggies. The moisture is basically their essence and it seems unnatural to an ordinary person to dry it up in them but in man it necessarily leads to higher life. All worldly desires and sensual pleasures should be kept under control and all kind of ego shunned. One can reach a higher stage of realization only when one is able to display extreme patience in controlling the baser elements of human life like tasting the most deadly poison boldly. There is no harm in displaying a worthwhile outer aspect but it should not give rise to any kind of greed or attachment to the worldly pleasures. Lalleshuri says one should thus be able to take a deep dip in the egoless and selfless clean waters of the ocean of divinity and reach higher stages of realization.

Asee aasy te asee aasav, asey dor kaer patevath
Shivas sori na zyon tay marun, ravas sori na ategath.

Lalleshuri says we have had an existence in the past and will have it in the future too. The process has been continuing throughout ages, each life gets dissolved after getting reborn in various forms. It’s not going to stop as each life is destined to perish as the cycle of Sun which goes on rising daily in the east and setting daily in the west. The idea here is to remind the seeker about the hard reality of all life processes and that the choice is left with the human being to either get involved in the false worldly pleasures or seek the goal of righteousness which would ultimately free him from the shackles of life and death and merge him with the ultimate truth.

Maney push taey yach poshany, bhaveik kosam laegzais poozay
Shishras goed dizyas zalchee daany, choepi manther shankar soe aatame wuzay.

Lalleshuri gives a beautiful description of the worthy devotion of the Lord with the flowers collected by the florist of the pure consciousness and the garlands prepared by the deepest faith. Only the prettiest flowers of the sincere devotion and love of the Lord are to be offered in the prayers. The lord should be bathed in the purest water of the dew drops collected from the fresh rose petals only at dawn. Now the sacred mantras that are to be offered to the Lord in the prayers are only the calm and the silence adopted in the meditation by great sages and that’s only capable to awaken the grace of Lord Shiva.

Kyaah kara paantsan dahan ta kaahan, vakhshun yath leyji yim karith gay
Saerey samahan yeythi razi lamahan, ada kyaazi raavhe kaahan gaav.

Lalleshuri indicates to the damage caused by the body instincts in achieving the goals in personal awakening. Anger, envy, greed, attachment and ego 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 existence. Had all the senses and their respective organs in the body along with their master 'the mind' joined together in good faith, to pull on the rope of this life's boat, why should all the eleven pulling on together, lose the cow, i.e. the essential spirit of the body. As such, a human being capable of attaining the highest attributes of awakening in its lifetime becomes the captive of these bad instincts produced by none other than his own sense organs and the mind together thus losing the essential occasion of crossing the ocean of ignorance and achieving salvation.

Aayas wate tay gayas ne watey, saimanz sothay loosum doh
Chandas wuchum haar ne atay, yath naave taaras dyeme kyah bo

Lalleshuri defines the life of an ordinary person ironically attributing it to herself saying that she came into this world through the right path i.e. with a definite mission of attaining personal awakening and divine consciousness but unfortunately she didn’t follow the right path and in the middle of his journey the day waned and she lost her way. Now in order to get across the ocean of existence she began looking for some money in her pocket but not finding even a single penny worthy to be paid to the ferry-man she was extremely disappointed as it was not the ordinary coin that would help. It actually needed some worthwhile action in the divine path that would ferry her across and as she had none she had to return sorrowfully.

Mayas hyo ne prakaash kunay, payas hyo ne tyerthey kaanh
Dayas hyo ne bandav kunay, bayas hyo ne sokhey kanh

Lalleshuri gives a great lesson to the seeker in these lines. There is no greater light that can show the path to eternity in the wilderness of the world than the love of God. The love of the Lord or Bakhti takes the seeker to all his goals and there is no need of any better guide considering its intensity. Moreover there is no pilgrimage spot better than the place of devotion where the seeker finds his soul’s content and is able to communicate with his lord. There is no friend and guide who can better assist him in his adversity than his Lord and above all the fear of God which keeps the seeker permanently on the divine path of truthfulness and godliness is the greatest comfort in this world.

Paraan paraan zaiv taal phojem, tsey yougi kray taejim ne zaah
Sumran phiraan naeth te aungjie gajaem, manech dyae mali chaejim ne zaah

Lalleshuri gives an apt description of the Sadhna of various people who follow a certain routine of hectic devotion of the Lord all their lives and are actually unable to attain anything substantial in respect of reaching a stage of awakening. Lalleshuri gives an ironical description here of her personal inability to achieve a certain goal just to bring home to the seeker an important point in her teachings. She says that her tongue and palate got bruised with her continuous reading aloud the sacred scriptures but she could not perform the desired devotion worthy of her Lord. Again her thumb and fingers got worn out with continuous telling of beads but unfortunately she remained still attached with the worldly affairs and she could not cleanse her mind of the ill thoughts for others. There is no dearth of such devotees of the Lord who spent lot of time and money for ceremonial devotions just to gain public reputation and never for some of their personal awakening.

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*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: The author writes posts regularly on his personal blog titled ‘Kashmir Warbling’ available on the following link:
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Dad, I feel so proud to see your name listed in such an age old and reputed magzine and the contents are really very close to heart. This effort shall keep us and the generations to come in sync with our glorious past and heritage. LOVE YOU!!
Added By rahul bhat
J.N.Kaul (Kamal) was translating the vakhs after migration when he was residing in a rented house at Sarwal, Jammu with his family. I was often visiting his humble lodging. He was very much particular to complete the project. The project could not be completed due to his sudden demise in a road accident. After reading the article and books written by the author, I request you, sir, to complete the commentary on all the vakhs in English for future generation. I salute you for your efforts.
Added By Chander M. Bhat