Thursday, February 18, 2010



Lalleshuri was a master literary artist besides an ascetic of the highest order. Her poetic compositions, an explicit expression of her personal spiritual experience and knowledge combined with high poetic genius is almost unprecedented in the world of literature. She had attained all the peaks of personal realization and all the divine secrets had clearly opened for her. A fully realized soul and an incarnation of Lord Shiva she describes her personal celestial experience and achievements in her various vaakhs obviously to show a clear path for the seeker in the divine journey.

Lall bo drayas kapse posh sachey, Kaed te doen kaernam yachey gath
Tih yali khaernas zaavij tanchey, woveir vane gayam alaenchey lath.
Doeb yaeli chaewnas doeb kani paethy, Saz taey saaban maechnam yaechey
Saechan yaeli firnam hani hani kaechy, Ade Lalli mae praevem parmay gath.

In a beautiful metaphor she describes the journey of a cotton flower to its culmination into a beautiful garment worthy to be worn by a king. She says she was born as a cotton flower, a symbol of innocence and purity. Soon the cotton wool was collected and given for carding, essentially an excruciating process. She was later taken by a weaver who gave her again several knocks and beatings to make the thread out of it capable to be taken to the weaving-loom for weaving a coarse cloth where also she had again to face the painful process but she withstood. The cloth thus woven was further taken by the washer-man who washed it by beating repeatedly on his washing stone after applying soaps and detergents. Then the tailor took over who mercilessly cut her into pieces and joined them by sewing with sharp needles to give it finally the shape of a beautiful garment worthy to be worn by a king. Lalleshuri has in this very beautiful metaphor clearly pointed out that the journey towards spiritual awakening and liberation from the worldly bondage is not so simple. One has to pass through lots of tests and tribulations just like the cotton flower but the end is quite rewarding.

Saras seity sodah korum, Haras kaerem gode seevan
Shairas peithe kane nachan duothum, Gachan deithem aayam pach.

Lalleshuri says it was a clear agreement of convenience with her lord that she shunned all worldly desires and dedicated herself fully in continuous service and spent several days in washing the divine feet with the tears of her devotion. Quite strange, at the end of a hectic struggle when she was crowned with success she saw her lord nowhere else but on her own head dancing with joy. She was now able to understand that her lord was always with her, quite near her than everything else. This gave her the ultimate satisfaction whatever she had wished for and strived for long was satisfactorily achieved by her. Thus Lalleshuri brings home to the seeker that only with selfless devotion and complete surrender can one reach the height of enlightenment.

Wuchaan bo chaes saersey andhar, Wuchum prazlan sarsey manz
Boozith te roozeth wuch haras, ghare chuey tasunduy bo kuese Lall.

On getting awakened to the ultimate reality Lalleshuri felt the dazzling presence of her Lord in everything around including her own self. She experienced the profusely glaring Lord Shiva everywhere and not a single object without His presence. Lalleshuri was nowhere seen and her existence reduced to nothingness. It also indicates the insignificance of the human body once one reaches the celestial heights. The message here is clear that the whole creation is the representation of the Lord with all its constituents the essential glimpses of the supreme. One who is lifted above this temporal existence by the power of spiritual advancement enjoys the fruit of this celestial experience. For him the distinction between man and God vanishes. To him the whole creation seems to be the embodiment of the Lord and the existence of the seeker reduced to merely a naught.

Azappa gaytray hamas hamas zapith, Aham traewith ada soye rath
Yaem trov aham su rood panay, bae no aasun chuy wopdeesh.

While describing her personal mystic voyage, Lalleshuri sets a guideline for the seeker in the path to eternity. She guides him to follow the regular routine of the systematic recitation of Gaytrai Mantra corresponding to the beats of his breath on the condition of having renounced the entire worldly ego and false worldly attachments. One who succeeds in overcoming these impediments in the path to salvation naturally becomes one with the supreme losing all his personal identity and this as per Lalleshuri is the basic and the highest lesson for the seeker towards awakening. The two conditions laid down for spiritual advancement, shunning ego and the subsequent surrender of personal identity are worthy of prime attention and following.

Abhyse kiney vikas pholum, Soprakash zonum yohuy deih
Prakash dhyan mokh yee dorum, sokhey borum korum teiy.

Lalleshuri says further that her individual self transformed into a glorious spiritual entity by persistent meditation and practice of yoga. She was able to realize the eternal truth in the same body of flesh and blood and thus her human existence proved a safe vehicle for her development to present stage of emancipation. Here the stress is again laid upon the importance of the human body in the pursuit of divine realization as without it no transformation of spirit is possible so Lalleshuri refutes the theory of the neglect and persecution of human body while proceeding on the celestial path.

Chaith novuy chandram novuy, Zal mei deothum novum novuy
Yane lalle mey tan man novuy, Tane Lall bo naevey naevey chaes

The vaakh is a superb poetic composition with a strange jugglery of words for their diverse meaning and expression. In her ecstasy of achievement Lalleshuri feels herself completely transformed on her having washed her whole person both interior and exterior with the celestial waters and to her amazement the sun and moon and the whole world along with her own self looks entirely reformed, all new, beautiful and fresh.
Gagane paethe bootal shiv yaeli dyeothum, Ravas labem na rozan shaai
Sirye kay prabhave shivmaiy zonum, Zal gav thalas saet meelith kyah.
Lalleshuri, in further expression of her personal experience says that she has experienced the whole universe as an embodiment of Lord Shiva extended from the highest skies to the deepest extensions of the underworld in such a huge form that there seemed no place for the Sun to show its face except for a few sunbeams that fell on the earth exhibiting a superb spectacle of water and land mingled on its surface. The whole depiction suggests the essential spirit of Kashmir Shaivism that the universe as a whole is the personification of Lord Shiva or Shiva Darshan.

Swargas feeres bergas bergas, Torgas khaesith maerim choh
Andh no lobum chaenis vargas, bae kose Lal Ded mae kyah naav

Lalleshuri says she toured all the heavens riding on her celestial horse and enjoyed the sights and scenes throughout. She was really amazed to witness the expanse of her Lord’s influences and was almost lost to her own self finding that there was none called Lal-Ded found anywhere and it was only her transformed self without any name or identity, fully merged with the supreme. The condition expressed here is the ultimate final stage of extreme joy and satisfaction which the seeker is able to experience beyond which nothing remains to be realized. It is the ultimate truth that every conscious devotee wishes to achieve, to be one with the supreme on losing all traces of individual identity. It’s again like a drop of water losing its personal name and identity when merged with the great waters of the ocean.

Vavech grayah paanas vuchum, Paanas denthem soore ranghe vaes
Dyanas andhar dame dame meeleis, Goenan trovum muchrith bar
Pawan te praan somuy dyothum, Meelith roodum shere khor taene
Deeh yali mothum ade kyah motum, Na kune pawan tae na kune praan

During her celestial journey into the space, Lalleshuri says she experienced the weightlessness of her body and seemed to have turned herself into deep grayish white colour. In the situation she got intermittently absorbed into deep meditation keeping all doors open to incoming spiritual experiences. Thus she enjoyed the fruits of her awakening into the divine world of ecstasy. In the absence of air in the space she felt her own spirit mingled with the air around her thus forming a single whole and floating in the space wholly from head to feet. It further suggests the complete union of the individual soul with the super soul without any trace left of the body structure or its constituents after its essential function is over. The seeker upon his full awakening forgets all interests of the body or the worldly existence and gets mingled with the absolute leaving no traces of his formal existence.

Shiv chuiy thali thali rozaan, Mo zaan heiund te musalman
Truk aii chukh panun paan par zaan, soey chaiy sahibas seitey zany zaan

Lord Shiva is present everywhere, in every object, every person and thing. As such there is no reason to discriminate between a person from another, a Hindu from a Muslim or anything like that. The wisdom lies instead in considering ones own self a stranger by giving least importance to its interests and pleasures and simply act for the realization of the ultimate truth of this universe which is the real purpose of coming in this human form after changing numerous other life forms. Only this life form is capable to seek and approach the abode of the Lord for the ultimate fulfillment of purpose so it is only the wise who seek the right path to recognize Shiva everywhere, in every object and every form. How childish is it to discriminate one from another when every form and shape is the abode of Shiva, the supreme lord.

Aami pane soedras navi chaes lamaan, Kati bozei daiy myon maeti diyi taar
Aamain takain poeyn zan shaman, zuw chum bramaan ghare gache haa

In this superb poetic marvel and a very popular Vaakh Lalleshuri describes her journey through life. She says she is pulling along the boat of her life through the murky waters of the sea of life pulling at the frail untwisted cotton thread praying constantly to her lord to help her across. She compares her life to unbaked earthen dishes filled with water gradually seeping through ready to fall apart, but she is still hopeful and aspiring to get liberated from the agony of life and reach her real home, the house of her Lord. The metaphor used here is very appropriate. There is a permanent danger to this boat sailing through the turbulent ocean of life to get detached from the path of salvation and get lost. The pulls and pressures of worldly attachments are so hard that there is always a danger of going astray from the reality. Moreover the life process is such a frail experiment that it’s liable to fall off with the smallest provocation like the dishes of unbaked clay filled with water.

Shuneuk maedaan kadum paen paanas, Mai Lalli roozem na bodh naey hosh
Vaizey sapedes paanay paanas, Ade kami hilli phoel Lalli pamposh.

Lalleshuri says she toured alone the highest reaches of space during her celestial journey. Though she lost all consciousness of her body sensations during the travel but gained gradually the awakening of her real self which gained for her the great satisfaction of achievement and she felt elated enormously and got awakened to the inner recesses of her Lord’s chambers. The achievement described here is compared to a lotus flower sprouting out of the dirty muddy surface of wet lowlands which indicates to Lalleshuri’s down to earth background and the subsequent achievements high up into the skies.

Sheooneke maedaane waare waare paekzey, tate chey baed baed doeb tay naar
Amey naaray aend aend neerzay, tate chaey durlab saheze vaichaar.

Lalleshuri cautions the seeker to traverse the plains of the space very carefully as there are lots of big ditches and fissures ready to gulp you instantly indicating the deviations that a seeker has to overcome on way to the eternal truth that lies beyond. The seeker has to manage avoiding all these digressions, the task that’s very hard to undertake but with determination and devotion things go easy though there is no occasion for the seeker to concentrate on the truth of his journey.

Soen thav thaje taiy hosh thav phokas, Loleke naray sorus vaichaar
Suey ras sartale wavath pyayee, ade soen sapdey kundan kaar
Chaet chay yirnay gyane dokray, paet kanas kuney taar.

Lalleshuri advises the seeker to take extreme caution and concentrate fully on his Sadhna and avoid all distraction of thought in his path to salvation. She compares the process beautifully to the working of a goldsmith, who with his knack and presence of mind succeeds in extracting pure gold out of various impurities. She refers allegorically to a goldsmith collecting pure gold in the form of a thin wire. She advises the seeker to be continuously in line with the exhalation and inhalation of breath exactly as the goldsmith does not fail to direct the air current of his bellow directly into the dross to separate it clearly from the pure gold. He uses his sharp intellect and presence of mind for his maximum advantage and in the same manner the seeker in the path of divinity can achieve his goal soon if he uses the skills of his patience, sacrifice and devotion in ample measure in the proper direction. The allegorical description is the example of supreme poetic genius in its exactness of comparison and vivid description.

Sarafas nishe kahwache kharun, Rache rache tolun choene ma haar
Chawuhme baazare pahe lagey, penchehme sapdakh kundan kaar
Shatwuheme baazare molum sapdey, paanay grakh tay paanay swarnkaar

The stages that a seeker has to encounter in his path to divinity are discussed in this couplet but again allegorically with reference to the working of a goldsmith. After a seeker crosses the first stage of his Sadhna, he has to present himself before his master (teacher) for his first test just as the goldsmith takes his gold to the market to verify its purity. The disciple is then tested for 24 days by his master and on passing out successfully he is honoured graciously on 25th day. On 26th day, which is the day of great celebration for the pupil, there is an automatic feeling of divine realization in the mind of the seeker and he becomes one with his master and his Lord. The wall of separation between the seeker and the sought vanishes and he turns into the absolute truth and tranquility.

Daemy dhitthu'm gaej dazeveney, daemy dhitthu'm dheh nate naar
Daemy dhitthu'm pandavan haenz maeji, daemy dhitthu'm kraeji maas.

Lalleshuri indicates here the shifting values of the world where nothing is stable and everything is liable to change with time. One who is rich today can lose all his wealth instantly and reduce to poverty tomorrow. A household enjoying prosperity of all kind today can be a pauper the other day. A happy mother with five sons brave, strong and prosperous like five Pandvas of Mahabharata today can be just like a destitute and issueless woman tomorrow. This is the fact of life that one has to face while following the ordinary existence. The only thing that’s eternal is the God’s name and those who achieve life’s real object, i.e. the realization of eternal truth and reality. The purpose of elucidating this particular fact of life here is to throw light upon the instability of ordinary life and its interests compared to the eternal life of an awakened soul.

Sourga jame praewith alakh prowum, daeg lalenaewem daye saenz praey
Poet zoene wothith moet wuznowum, chaen te malae kulis paeth naender chaey

Lalleshuri says that she achieved her celestial robes only by renouncing fully the worldly attractions. She continuously bore in her heart the love of her lord like an unavoidable shooting pain which one is compelled to bear for fear of death. She continued getting up very early before dawn, the most appropriate time for such worship and awakening her love, her Lord. Lalleshuri enjoins upon the seeker to understand the facts and not be merely busy with the worldly pleasures as if enjoying deep sleep on the branch of a tree with nice air blowing to and fro but liable to fall off any time. Here Lalleshuri stresses upon attaching ones heart continuously to the thought of the Lord along with renunciation of the worldly attractions besides the auspiciousness of the before dawn time for worships.

Latan hund maaz laryom wattan, akey haewnam akichey wath
Yim yim bozan tim kone mattan, Lalli booz shatan kuney kath

Lalleshuri says that her journey towards eternity was so hectic that while traversing endlessly the flesh of the soles of her feet tore off and mixed with the dust of the road. Her master continued leading her 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 there.

Lall bo chayas suman baghe baras, Wuchum shivas shakti meelith te wah
Tati lai karem tath amrit saras, Zinday maras mai kare kyah.

Lalleshuri describes her supreme realization and says that she entered the garden of beautiful flowers indicating the abode of Lord Shiva on the crown of her head. There she saw Shiva and Shakti mingled into one, the highest stage of Kundalini Yoga. She enjoyed the scene, took deep into the lake of overflowing divine nectar and became eternal, one with the supreme. She achieved this all through the temporal human body as only it has the capacity to be used for such celestial experience. Now for Lalleshuri the purpose of her existence has finished having achieved its ultimate purpose of merging with the eternal soul. She calls it her voluntary death while alive, an activity performed by only the highest awakened souls......

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