Tag Archives: religion

Hairath(Shivratri)

Once Jabbar Khan, the Afgan Governor , continuing the Islamic-proselytism and hegemony,  banned the Kashmiri-Pandits from celebrating “Shiv-ratri” on the usual day(normally feb-March). KP’s believed that Rain and Snow will definitely accompany “Hearath” .To break their faith in the myth accompanying “Hearath”, He ordered that  Shivratri should be celebrated instead in June-july. Distressly, KP’s were forced to abide the tyrannical-dictum. To the surprise of everyone, though, that year, the Shivratri was observed in June-july, It snowed in the valley of Kashmir that day, and the belief of KP’s in their religion strengthened and increased manifold.

During the last 25 years-in exile, My memories of celebrating the “Hearath” or “Shivratri”(in Kashmir) have faded to an extent. But the feeling of the “Heart” in Kashmir is still fresh. The smell of the burning “Kantgun”,  the havan, cold water-soaked-walnuts. The happy faces of my family. “Hearath Kharach”. “Haare”(shells).The shrilled voices of the exciting-children of our neighborhood. The weather. Rain and snow. The fervor. ….

Shivratri normally begins from the lunar calendar of Falgun Krishan paksh-Dwadishi/Triodishi(12 or 13th day of descending moon) and  culminate on falgun-paksh-Amavasya(new-moon).

In Kashmir, My Grandfather would be pre-occupied whole day on Haerath. First with the preparations of the pooja, and then with the actual pooja. It would take him anything between 4-7 hours to go through the intricacies and religious-hymns of the festival .During the pooja, of and on, he would look down towards his right and read the shlokas from the Pooja-Book. And if anybody , accidentally, interrupted him , while he was amidst  chanting the sacred mantras, He would get agitated and would shout loudly, “ Keep quiet, Don’t you see I am chanting the Mantras.” After the pooja was over, his face would reflect a sense of  accomplishment.

Mother and Grandmother would be busy whole day, mostly in the kitchen, during the festival of “Hearath”, that would last for 3 consecutive days. On religious occasions such as “Hairath”, I recall them smearing the floors with the mixture of special-clay(gurut maicz) and cow-dung.( This is still a regular-practice in the rural-India.).There used to be a unit of 2-3  earthen-Chulhas(Stoves) in our old house. These dry-wood-fuelled Stoves would only be used on special occasions and festivals. And Shivratri definitely topped the chart of religious festivals of Kashmiri-Pandits. In new house, However, there was no “Chula”, but the floor of the room where the “stahpana” and ritual had to be performed was smeared.

Children would wait impatiently for Salaam(13th or 14th day of Falgun-Krishan Paksh). “Hearath-Kharach”-Money to be spent away-was given by the elders to the young.(This is still widely practiced).The celebrations would culminate on the Amavasya(New-moon).

Over the years, I have seen 24 “hearath’s” outside the valley. Since, I didn’t had my own house after being forced-exiled in my own country, I have changed as many as 5 houses and as many different locations. But, my elders always made it sure, as is in our traditional ritual, to leave Shiva and his consort alone in the room, where  we do staphana(invoke and arrange the Shiv-parivar in a particular manner), even when my whole family of eight was living in a small quarter of 2 rooms.

I am a link between the past and the future. I feel blessed to have seen and lived with my elders, not only in Kashmir but elsewhere also. The elders have mystically carried on the Kashmir, in their own-self. The aura of “Kashmir-ness” is visibly written over them. So are their stories of Kashmir and the unique tradition of “Hearath”.

In Kashmir, our compound comprised of two independent houses with at least 40 members. It used to abuzz with the activity and energy of not only my whole family, but our neighbors too. The “Prasaad”-in the form of walnuts was distributed amongst the in-laws of my Aunts as well as neighbors. The Muslim shopkeepers and Children would often pester us to give them our days old water-soaked-walnuts.

However, Today, most of us are scattered all over the Globe. The prasaad of walnuts are still handed over to the in-laws of our Daughters and Aunts, in case they live in the same city.Otherwise, Walnuts are couriered to the family members in  various parts of India and Globe. Almost all Pandit-neighbors of Kashmir are forgotten and seldom are walnuts sent over to them. Nonetheless, they form a part of  sweet memory of the “Shiv-ratri” that was once celebrated with zeal in the valley.

Today, I am celebrating 25th “Hairath” outside Kashmir, like most of KP’s. Preparations have already started since yesterday .Kalash, Kand, flowers, wood for havan etc is ready and the pooja will start today at around 6.00 p.m and will last till 10 or 10.30 p.m.

But for strange reasons; I am thinking about how it might have looked in Kashmir today. If I would have been in Kashmir; though still cold, the windows would have  been opened today and the fresh cold-air would rush-in and titillate  the chocked walls of the first floor. Sometimes the occasional sunshine would tease the freshly-drenched soil and its  sparkle on the quagmire would look like the shining-jewels. The passing clouds over my house would block the sunshine for a while and the wind would then merrily swing it away over the mountains…..

I do not know, how many more “Haeraths” will a KP  have to spend outside Kashmir. History is a witness to the seven exoduses of Kashmiri Pandits. It is also a witness that the “KP’s” did come back although their numbers dwindled with each exodus. I pray to Shiva, today, on “Hairath”, and ask for his “Anugrah”(Blessings) to the entire KP community..

A Muslim friend just whatsapped me that it is raining today in the plains of Kashmir and snowing in upper reaches of Kashmir. The legend of Hairath lives on.

Happy Hairath to all…

 

Kashmiri Pandits: VICTIMS of TERROR ‘n HATE CRIME

CRIME against HUMANITY: For the attention of pretended world bodies, contaminated human rights organisations, pseudo-secularists, self-styled leaders, so-called policy makers, tainted political parties and slack bureaucracy…..!

Kashmir can claim the distinction of being the only region of India which possesses an uninterrupted series of written records of its history. The earlier known kings of the Valley are Gonanda I and Damodara I. According to Kalhana, Gonanda I was the contemporary of Kauravas and Pandavas (later Vedic period). Hasan Khuihami claims to have traced the thirty-five kings, which were missing in Kalhana’s chronicle. Of the early kings who ruled over Kashmir at the beginning of Christian era, Ashoka followed Buddhism; while his son, Jaloka, reverted to the worship of Lord Shiva. The Buddhists, however, regained their strength under the patronage of the Turushka kings-Hushka, Jushka and Kanishka.

History of the Kashmiri Pandits is the history of Kashmir since unknown millennia. They are associated with its very existence – society, culture, civilization, customs, traditions, myths and realities. A period of comparative historical validity in the region began with the establishment of the Karkuta rule in AD 627. During the regime of Lohara dynasty, Kashmir came into direct contact with the Muslim invaders who attacked India. When Mahmud Ghazni annexed the Punjab, most of the tribes on the borders of Kashmir embraced Islam. At that time, the Valley was ruled by Sangram Raja (AD 1003-1028). Even after their conversion to Islam, these people continued to visit Kashmir – as traders, wanderers and even missionaries. There are historical evidences that some of these tribals settled in a locality called “Malichmar” near Alikadal (Srinagar) and made some venture into propagating their new religion.

Harsha (AD 1089-1101), was a man of extravagant habits and a jumble of contraries. He robbed temple treasures and got the idols of gold and silver melted to tide over his financial crisis. Before him two other kings, Jalauka and Kalasa, employed the same approach of plundering the temples to augment their depleted treasuries. Harsha also employed Muslim generals, who are called Turushkas by Kalhana, for the first time in the history of Kashmir. Now Muslims as a class appeared in the political field and began to consolidate its roots. Bhikshachara, a descendant of Harsha, organized a cavalry force mainly consisting of the Muslims. During the reign of Gopadeva (AD 1171-1180), the Brahmans once again consolidated their position. But Ramadeva (AD 1252-1273) humiliated those Brahmans who had helped him in his coronation. A reign of terror, loot and plunder was let loose against them. Many Brahmans were killed and others crushed barbarously. This was the first direct assault against them in the history of Kashmir. To save themselves they concealed their identity and cried “ Na Batoham” (I am not a Hindu).

To counter the supremacy of the Brahmans, the rulers of Kashmir encouraged the influx of Muslims into the Valley. During the reign of Suhadeva (AD 1301-1320) many Muslim adventurers came to Kashmir. The chief among them was a Muslim missionary- Bulbul Shah. Two others were Shahmir from Swat and Rinchana from Tibet. Shahmir came in AD 1313 along with his numerous relations. Suhadeva granted him a jagir in a village near Baramulla. Ramachandra, the Prime Minister, employed Rinchana and granted him jagir in a village in the Lar Valley. These two adventurers were instrumental in the establishment of the Muslim rule in Kashmir. Another adventurer who received Suhadeva’s patronage was Lankar Chak.

Dulucha, a Tartar chief from Central Asia, invaded Kashmir with 60,000 strong horsemen. Suhadeva tried to induce him to retreat by paying him off a large sum of money. For this purpose he imposed heavy taxes even upon the Brahmans who had never before been taxed. But Dulucha refused to retreat and struck terror. He ravaged the Valley with fire and sword. Terrible miseries were inflicted upon the people including the Brahmans. According to Baharistan – i -Shahi, “Dulucha and his soldiers killed everyone they could find . People who had fled to the hills and forests were pursued and captured. Men were killed, women and children were reduced to slavery and sold to the merchants of Khita (Turkistan), whom the invaders had brought with them. All the houses in the cities and the villages were burnt. The invaders ate as much of the corn and rice as they could . Whatever was left, they burnt and destroyed. In this way the whole of the Kashmir Valley was trampled under foot”. Suhadeva fled to Kishtwar, leaving the Kingdom to the cruel aggressors. Dulucha stayed here for eight months and took about 50,000 Brahmans with him as slaves. But all the troops and slaves perished while crossing the Devsar Pass. It was a terrible experience for the legendary Kashmiri Pandits. The cruel invader went away from the Valley but left it haunted. The cursed people had lost all faith in their ruler- Suhadeva. Taking the advantage of the chaos and confusion, Rinchana- the refugee from Tibet, occupied the throne with the help of some chiefs . He killed his benefactor, Ramachandra, in the fort of Lar by treacherous means and married his daughter, Kota Rani.

Rinchana, a Buddhist, wanted to get initiated into the Brahmanical fold to strengthen his political position. At that time, Shaivism was the most extensively practised religion in the Valley. So he called Sri Devaswami, the religious head of the Shaivas, to indoctrinate himself into the Hindu religion. Devaswami called a meeting of the prominent Pandits, who refused to accept Rinchana into Hinduism because of his low birth. Jonaraja says,” The King asked Devaswami to initiate him in the mantras of Shiva, but as he was Bhautta (Tibetian), Devaswami feared that the King was unworthy of such initiation and did not favour him”. This was a tremendous blunder on the part of Pandits, which turned the course of history. In fact, the Brahmans were not ready to share their privileges with an outsider. Thus deflected, Rinchana wanted to establish a uniform faith of warring sects and creeds in Kashmir with himself as its head. But Shahmir and Bulbul Shah managed his conversion to Islam. Ramachandra’s son, Ravanachandra, and many others also embraced Islam. A Muslim ruling class came into existence. In this way the Kashmiri Pandits were responsible for the destruction of their own ascendency and the ruin of their very existence. They are tremendously paying for it even now. People of inferior origin and subordinate castes were attracted to Islam by gradual methods. This newly established Muslim class slowly consolidated its position and employed various methods to propagate the new faith. However, the Brahmans put a brave front and resisted the tide. After the death of Rinchana (AD 1326), Udyanadeva, the brother of Suhadeva, was installed on the throne of Kashmir and Shahmir was appointed as Commander-in-Chief.

Achala, a Turkish Chief, invaded Kashmir during the reign of Udyanadeva, laying waste the territories he passed through. The king fled to Tibet. Kota Rani – the queen, faced the invader, procured his death and saved the kingdom. In this operation , Shahmir played the dominant role. Jonaraja says, “Strange that this Believer in Allah became the saviour of the people. As a dried up river allows men to cross it and gives them shelter on its banks, even so this believer in Allah, calm and active, protected the terrified subjects.” Shahmir’s influence increased tremendously and he further strengthened his position by entering into matrimonial relations with the powerful nobles in Kashmir. A subversive struggle was born between the tolerant Hinduism and the militant Islam.

In AD 1339, after defeating Kota Rani by a foul strategem and procuring her death, Shahmir ascended the throne of Kashmir under the name of Sultan Shamas-ud-Din (The Light of the Religion – Islam). He got khutaba read and the coins struck to his name. Islam became the court religion. Shahmir became the legitimate author and architect of Muslim rule in Kashmir. With the establishment of the new regime Muslim missionaries, preachers, sayyids and saints penetrated into the Valley. Sayyid Jalal-ud-Din, Sayyid Taj-ud-Din, Sayyid Hussain Simnani, Sayyid Masud and Sayyid Yusuf came to Kashmir to avoid the intended massacre by Timur. Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani (Shah Hamadan) entered Kashmir with 700 sayyids; and, his son, Mir Muhammad Hamadani, with 300 more. They endured in the Valley under royal protection and disseminated the message of Islam. Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani (AD 1314-AD 1385) wrote in “ Zakhirat’ul Maluk ” :

1. Muslim ruler shall not allow fresh constructions of Hindu temples and shrines for image worship.
2. No repair shall be executed to the existing Hindu temples and shrines.
3. They shall not proffer Muslim names.
4. They shall not ride a harnessed horse.
5. They shall not move about with arms.
6. They shall not wear rings with diamonds.
7. They shall not deal in or eat bacon.
8. They shall not exhibit idolatrous images.
9. They shall not built houses in the neighbourhood of Muslims.
10. They shall not dispose of their dead in the neighbourhood of Muslim graveyards, nor weep or wail over their dead.
11. They shall not deal in or buy Muslim slaves.
12. No Muslim traveller shall be refused lodging in the Hindu temples and shrines where he shall be treated as a guest for three days by non-Muslims.
13. No non-Muslim shall act as a spy in the Muslim state.
14. No problem shall be created for those non-Muslims who, of their own will, show their readiness for Islam.
15. Non-Muslims shall honour Muslims and shall leave their assembly whenever the Muslims enter the premises.
16. The dress of non-Muslims shall be different from that of Muslims to distinguish themselves.
This naturally caused animosity among the Brahmans and resulted in frail rebellion during the reign of Shihab-ud-Din (AD 1354-1373). In order to break the upheaval among the Hindus and to make them prostrate, the Sultan turned his attention towards their temples. All the temples in Srinagar, including the one at Bijbehara, were wrecked to terrorize the poor Kashmiri Pandits. It seems that by this time, the sultans of Kashmir were perfectly islamized as a result of their contacts, interactions and intercourses with the sayyids. These sayyids came here as absconders in search of safe harbours, but manoeuvered the events for their own cause and fanatic iconoclastic zeal. The Hindus began to feel deserted and alienated in their own land. To consolidate their rule, sultans institutionalized the “policy of extermination” to eradicate all traces of Hinduism in any form. However, the Kashmiri Pandits stuck to their own religion and traditions, ignoring the atrocities, barbarism and cruelties of the privileged ruling class. But there were many from other castes who, either by conviction or in order to gain royal favour, embraced Islam. These new converts were looked down upon by the Kashmiri Pandits as traitorous and treacherous, with no loyalty for time-honored values. This gave rise to a new class rivalry. Suha Bhatt, who after embracing Islam took the name of Saif-ud-Din, became the leader of the fresh converts during the reign of Sikandar (AD 1389-1413).

Sikandar- the Butshikan, was bigoted with fanatic religious zeal to spread Islam in the entire Valley. This fanaticism was stimulated by Mir Muhammad Hamadani. Suha Bhatt – the convert, was appointed Prime Minister by Sikandar and both hatched a deadly conspiracy to prosecute the Hindus and enforce upon the Nizam-i-Mustaffa. Jonaraja says, “ The Sultan forgot his kingly duties and took delight day and night in breaking images … He broke images of Martanda, Vishaya, Ishana, Chakrabrit and Tripureshvara …… There was no city, no town, no village, no wood where Turushka left the temples of the gods unbroken.” According to Hassan (History of Kashmir), “ This country possessed from the times of Hindu rajas many temples which were like the wonders of the world. Their workmanship was so fine and delicate that one found himself bewildered at their sight. Sikandar, goaded by feelings of bigotry, destroyed them and levelled them with the earth and with the material built many mosques and khanqahs. In the first instance he turned his attention towards the great Martand temple built by Ramdev (the temple was rebuilt by King Lalitaditya, AD 724-760) on Mattan Kareva. For one year he tried to demolish it, but failed. At last in sheer dismay, he dug out stones from its base and having stored enough wood in their place, set fire to it. The gold gilt paintings on its walls were totally destroyed and the walls surrounding its premises were demolished. Its ruins even now strike wonder in men’s minds. At Bijbehara, three hundred temples including the famous Vijiveshwara temple, which was partly damaged by Shihab-ud-Din, were destroyed. With the material of Vijiveshwara temple, a mosque was built and on its site a khanqah, which is even now known as Vijiveshwara Khanqah.” The stones and bricks which once configurated a marvelous and splendid temple or monastery, now hold up mosques. Hassan further adds, “ Sikandar meted out greatest oppression to the Hindus. It was notified in the Valley that if a Hindu does not become a Muslim, he must leave the country or be killed. As a result some of the Hindus fled away, some accepted Islam and many Brahmans consented to be killed and gave their lives. It is said that Sikandar collected, by these methods, six maunds of sacred thread form Hindu converts and burnt them. Mir Muhammad Hamadani, who was a witness of all this vicious brutality, barbarism and vandalism, at last advised him to desist from the slaughter of Brahmans and told him to impose jazia (religious tax) instead of death upon them. All the Hindu books of learning were collected and thrown into Dal Lake and were buried beneath stones and earth.” Sikandar issued orders that no man should wear the tilak mark on his forehead and no woman be allowed to perform sati. He also insisted on breaking and melting of all the gold and silver idols of gods and coin the metal into money. An attempt was made to destroy the caste of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans by force and those who resisted were subject to heavy fines. Farishta says, “ Many of the Brahmans, rather than abandon their religion or their county, poisoned themselves; some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped the evil of banishment by becoming Muhammedans”. To strictly enforce the Nizam-i-Mustaffa, Sikandar established the office of Shaikh-ul-Islam.

According to W.R. Lawrence, the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir were given three choices-death, conversion or exile. “Many fled, many were converted and many were killed, and it is said that this thorough monarch (Sikandar) burnt seven maunds of sacred threads of the murdered Brahmans”. As for the statements of Hassan and Lawrence, six maunds of sacred threads of converts and seven maunds of murdered Pandits were burnt. The number of people, to whom these thirteen maunds of sacred threads belonged, might have been tremendously colossal. A mammoth number of the Saraswat Pandits also went into exile, causing the first disastrous mass exodus of the community. When Suha Bhatt- the convert, came to know that many Brahmans were leaving Kashmir, he tried to check their exodus and ordered the frontier guards not to allow any one to cross the borders. The unfortunate Pandits caught while crossing the border were awarded severe punishments. Even the converts were required to pay jazia as they were suspected of secretly clinging to their old religion.

Not only Sikandar- the Butshikan, but Suha Bhatta – the convert, also was responsible for this barbarous, murderous and cruel approach towards the mythical Kashmiri Pandits. Jonaraja says, “ Suha Bhatta- the convert, after demolishing the temples felt the satisfaction, and with the help of sayyids, ulema and newly converts tried to destroy the caste of the people… the illustrious Brahmans declared that they would die rather than lose their caste and religion, and Suha Bhatta – the convert, subjected them to a heavy fine, jazia, because they held to their caste and religion.” There is no parallel of this religious persecution in the history of mankind.

Ali Shah – the tyrant (AD 1413-1430), son of Sikandar- the Butshikan, during his short rule of six years, carried on his father’s 24-year tyrant reign with homicides, conversions, tyranny and enforced jazia. Suha Bhatta – the convert, who retained the prime ministership continued his earlier crimes and atrocities against the Kashmiri Pandits. Jonaraja gives a graphic account of the plight of the illustrious Kashmiri Pandits in the draconian reign of Ali Shah. He says,” Suha Bhatta- the convert, passed the limit by levying fine, jazia, on the twice – born. This evil-minded man forbade ceremonies and processions on the new moon. He became envious that the Brahmans who had become fearless would keep up their caste by going over to foreign countries, he therefore ordered posting of squads on the roads, not to allow passage to any one without a passport. Then as the fisherman torments fish, so this low born man tormented the twice-born in this country. The legendary Brahmans burnt themselves in the flaming fire through fear of conversion. Some Brahmans killed themselves by taking poison, some by the rope and others by drowning themselves. Others again by falling from a precipice. The country was contaminated by hatred and the king’s favourites could not prevent one in a thousand from committing suicide …. A multitude of celebrated Brahmans, who prided in their caste, fled from the country through bye-roads as the main roads were closed. Even as men depart from this world, so did the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir flee to foreign countries. The difficult countries through which they passed, the scanty food, painful illness and the torments of hell during life time removed from the minds of the Kashmiri Pandits the fears of hell. Oppressed by various calamities such as encounter with the enemy, fear of snakes, fierce heat and scanty food; many Brahmans perished on the way and thus obtained salvation.” This was the second miserable mass exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits. Jonaraja calls it “ Chandh-Dandh” – violent, cruel, brutal and horrible punishment, for the abandoned and vulnerable Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir. History repeated itself again in AD 1989-1990.

The brutal religious persecution of the Kashmiri Pandits has been borne testimony to by almost all the Muslim historians. Hassan, Fauq and Nizam – ud – Din have condemned these excesses in unscathing terms. It was the reign of terror and homicide. The majority of the Hindus were converted forcibly and a large number of them left the Valley. Yet many more were passing their days in the most deplorable conditions only on payment of jazia. The allowance of the Brahman academicians was stopped to destroy the ancient learning, literature, education, art and culture. These enlightened intellectuals had to move from door to door for food, like dogs. One can’t imagine a higher level of mental torture!

The Brahmans, even after paying jazia, could not openly declare themselves as Hindus nor could they apply tilak on their foreheads. Neither could they pray in their temples or perform any religious ceremony. Even then they did not forget their past and rich tradition. As the custodians of their extraordinary cultural heritage, they wrote the illuminating treatises on the stupendous Kashmir Shaivism, colossal literature, splendid art, marvelous music, grammar and medicine.

Sultan Zainul Abidin – the Budshah (Great Monarch), ruled Kashmir from AD 1420 to 1460. The son of Sultan Sikandar – the Butshikan, and the brother of Sultan Ali Shah- the tyrant, Zainul Abidin followed the policy of tolerance, endurance, patience, sympathy and broad mindedness. He recalled the Kashmiri Pandits who had left the Valley during the rule of Sikandar and Ali Shah. Jazia was abolished and the Brahmans were given their earlier positions in administration. Demolished temples were rebuilt and new ones constructed. Two temples were built by Zainul Abidin at Ishbar, Srinagar. The Sultan also participated in the Hindu festivals. A large number of houses were built for the widows of the Brahmans who had suffered during the reign of terror. Zainul Abidin stopped the killing of cows, restricted the eating of beef and catching of fish in the sacred springs of the Hindus. Even the personal law as laid down in the Shastras was adopted for the Hindus. The legenday Kashmiri Pandits were resurrected and resuscitated. Ferguson observes that indeed history has very few examples where the policy of a father was so completely reversed by the son. Even the Mughal monarch, Akbar – the great , capitalized on the religious policy of Zainul Abidin. But the conservative and dogmatic Muslims reacted very sharply to this policy of toleration and mutual coexistence . According to Mulla Bahauddin, “ The Sultan reimported practices of infidels which had once become extinct”.

But the honey-moon of the Kashmiri Pandits proved very brief. During the reign of Haider Shah (AD 1470-1472) – the prodigal son of the great Zainul Abidin, Kashmiri Pandits once again suffered tremendously. Under the evil influence of Purni- the Hindu barber, Haider Shah adopted various corrupt and cruel practices against the Saraswat Brahmans. The repression was so terrible that the tolerant Pandits lost their cool. Hassan says, “ the patience of the Pandits having reached the breaking point, they rose in a body and set fire to some mosques which were built with the material of the Hindu temples once demolished by Sikandar. The rising was quelled by the sword; many more Pandits were drowned in rivers; and, loot and plunder was practiced with unbridled licence.” Srivara also illustrates the cruel and inhuman treatment given to the mythical Kashmiri Saraswat Brahmans, “… many Pandits struggled and threw themselves in river Vitasta to be drowned there. The arms and noses of many people were cut off, even of those Brahmans who were king’s servants.” Ravage and arson of the sacred places continued during the indifferent rule of Hassan Khan (AD 1476-1487), when the real authority was with the gang of three persons- Shams Chak, Shringhar Raina and Musa Raina. The pressure exerted on the illustrious Kashmiri Pandits was so barbarous that, in order to save themselves from merciless brutality, some of them gave up their caste and screamed – “ I am not a Bhatta……… I am not a Bhatta” ( I am not a Hindu). They went in strict seclusion to avoid any argument or controversy.

Mir Shams-ud-Din Iraqi, who visited the Saffron Valley twice in AD 1477 and 1496, was the founder of Nurbakhshiya Order (Shia sect) in Kashmir. His mission was the vigorous propagation of his faith. So, not contented with peaceful preachings, violent methods were employed. In this adventure , Iraqi was helped by the most dreaded tyrant- Malik Musa Raina, a convertee, whose original name was Soma Chandra. Not only the poor vulnerable Brahmans, but the Sunni Muslims were also violently converted to Shia sect by murderous techniques. This dogmatic fanaticism even crippled the Sunni ruler of Kashmir, Fateh Shah (AD 1510-1517). A khanqah was built at Zadibal (Srinagar) by Iraqi, which became the nucleus of Shia concentration.

Kashmiri Pandits suffered ferociously under the instructions of Shams-ud-Din Iraqi and Musa Raina. About 24,000 of them were forcibly converted to Shia sect of Islam. Iraqi had even issued orders that everyday about 1500 to 2000 Brahmans be brought to his doorsteps, remove their sacred threads, administer Kalima to them, circumcise them and make them eat beef. These decrees were ferociously and brutally carried out. The Hindu religious scriptures from 7th century AD onwards and about 18 magnificent temples were destroyed, property confiscated and ladies abused. Thousands of Brahmans killed themselves to evade this horrific barbarism and thousands migrated to other places, resulting in their third tragic mass exodus from the Valley. Those who stayed behind were not only forced to pay jazia, but their noses and ears were chopped off. To escape the tremendous pain and agony, they cried. “I am not a Hindu.” After Kashmir , the next destination of Iraqi for war against so-called infidelity was Kargil. It is now a Shia –dominated area and there are frequent sectarian clashes between them and the Buddhists.

In AD 1519, about ten thousand Kashmiri Pandits died during pilgrimage to Harmukh Ganga, where they had gone to immerse the ashes of those eight hundred Hindus who had been massacred during Ashura a year before. Poet-historian Suka says about this cataclysm, “ Ganga was oppressed with hunger, as it was after a long time that she had devoured bones; she surely devoured the men also who carried the bones.” It was after a gap of many years that the people were allowed to go on a pilgrimage to Harmukh lake, which ended in the most devastating tragedy.

Qazi Chak, the founder of Chak rule in Kashmir (AD 1553-1586), carried on ferocious religious policy and made conversion of many Hindus to Shia sect of Islam. According to Suka, one thousand cows were used to be killed everyday without any opposition under the orders of the Chak rulers, who were Shias, just to injure the religious sentiments of the Kashmiri Pandits. These celebrated and highly educated Aryan Saraswat Brahmans were made the objects of laughter and reproach. They were publically taunted, abused and humiliated. The last Chak ruler, Yaqub Chak, had a bigoted zeal for the propagation of Shia sect and planned mass conversion of the Hindus. However, he could not administer his criminal designs because of the Mughal annexation.

Akbar was tremendously influenced by the amazing moral supremacy of the Kashmiri Pandits. Abul Fazl records in Ain-i-Akbari, “ the most respectable class in this country (Kashmir) is that of the Pandits, who, notwithstanding their need for freedom from the bonds of tradition and custom, are the true worshippers of God. They do not loosen their tongue of calumny against those not of their faith, nor beg, nor importune. They employ themselves in planting fruit trees and are generally a source of inspiration for others”. The great Mughal Emperor abolished jazia and other unjust taxes imposed upon the Hindus. He also evinced great interest in the rehabilitation of the Pandits. Suka says, “ The Emperor announced that he would without delay reward those who would respect the Brahmans in Kashmir and that he would instantly pull down the houses of those who would demand the annual tribute from them.” The greatness of Akbar lies in his magnificent and fascinating policy of religious tolerance. Jahangir and Shah Jahan were not so tolerant. But their religious enthusiasm cannot be termed as fanatic. During this period, the Brahmans could perform their religious ceremonies after paying some tribute. But the whole scenario changed with the accession of Aurangzeb to the throne. With his bigoted fanatic and dogmatic approach, the Kashmiri Pandits were once again made vulnerable. Iftkar Khan, the Mughal governor of Kashmir during the reign of Aurangzeb, brutally tyrannized over the Brahmans to such an extent that they approached Guru Teg Bhahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, at Anandpur in Punjab and solicited his personal intervention with the Emperor. This ultimately led to the Guru’s martyrdom and made Guru Gobid Singh to create the Khalsa to fight the oppressors . Muzaffer Khan, Nassar Khan and Ibrahim Khan were other governors of Aurangzeb who ferociously terrorized the Kashmiri Pandits. These celebrated scapegoats were once again forced to migrate from the land of their origin. It was the fourth disastrous mass exodus of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans from Kashmir.

During the rule of later Mughals, Kashmir witnessed the outbreak of the worst kind of religious intolerance. In AD 1720, Mullah Abdul Nabi, also called Muhat Khan, a non-resident Kashmiri Muslim, was appointed as Shaikhul Islam . In order to assert his religious authority, he asked the Deputy Governor, Mir Ahmed Khan , to start a campaign of persecution of the Kafirs (infidels) – as the Kashmiri Pandits were called. In order to satisfy his satanic ego, the Mulla issued six commandments:

No Hindu should ride a horse, nor should a Hindu wear a shoe;
That they should not wear Jama (Mughal costume);
That they should move bare arms;
That they should not visit any garden;
That they should not have tilak mark on their foreheads;
That their children should not receive any education.

But Ahmed Khan refused to execute the mischievous decree. The Mullah then excited his followers against the Kashmiri Pandits. He established his seat in a mosque, assumed the duties of the administrator under the title of Dindar Khan and let loose the reign of terror. The Hindus were wickedly tormented, their houses burnt and property looted. Hundreds of Brahmans were killed, prostrated, maimed and humiliated. They began to run away in large numbers and hide themselves in mountainous terrain. This was the fifth dreadful mass exodus of the legendary Kashmiri Pandits from their mystic motherland. Those who remained behind lived in the most horrific and terrible conditions generated by the Mullah and his gang. But soon he was assassinated by his rivals and his son, Sharif-ud-Din, become the new Shaikhul-Islam. The son improved upon the brutal methods of his father and inflicted most barbaric, cruel and inhuman tortures upon the vulnerable Brahmans. The plight of the Kashmiri Pandits during this period became tremendously miserable and tragic.

The Afghan rule in Kashmir (AD 1753-1819) was a period of cruelty, homicide and anarchy. W.R. Lawrence calls it the “reign of brutal tyranny.” The barbarous Afghans employed every wild, inhuman, primitive, ferocious, cruel and brutal method to suppress the Kashmiri Brahmans. A pitcher filled with ordure was placed on the head of a Pandit and stones were pelt on it, till it broke and the unfortunate Brahman become wet with filth. Their brutality and atrocity crossed the extreme limits when Hindus were tied up in grass sacks, two and two, and drowned in the Dal Lake. The victimized Hindu were forced to flee the country or were killed or converted to Islam. There was sixth horrible mass exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits, to far away places like Delhi, Allahabad, etc. Many covered the long distances on foot.

Hindu parents destroyed the beauty of their daughters by shaving their heads or cutting their noses and ears to save them from degradation. Any Muslim could jump on the back of a Pandit and take a ride. Mir Hazar – an Afghan governor, used leather bags instead of grass sacks for the drowning of Brahmans. Turbans and shoes were forbidden for them. The Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir were also forced to grow beards and tilak was interdicted. The Afghans are now only remembered for their barbarity, brutality, ferocity, tyranny and cruelty. They thought no more of cutting of heads than of plucking a flower.

The Shahmirs, Chaks, Mughals and homicidal Afghans tore the fabric of society in Kashmir and left deep scars on it. When the Afghan oppression became intolerable, the Pandits turned with hope to the rising power of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. But they were suspected. The Afghan governor, Azim Khan, confiscated their jagirs and imposed jazia on them. Eminent Pandits were brutally killed, humiliated and their authority was snatched. Nur Shah Diwani – a cruel Muslim official who was in charge of revenue collection, hatched a conspiracy in league with Azim Khan to eliminate the distinguished Kashmiri Brahmans. But this evil manoeuvre was exposed and a galaxy of Pandits saved. Pandit Sahajram, the Diwan, played a prominent role in the rescue operation.

Azim Khan had appointed Sukhram Safaya, Mirza Pandit and Birbal Dhar as revenue collectors. Birbal Dhar could not collect the required amount due to failure of crops. The atrocious Afghan governor browbeated Pandit Birbal to make the payment of one lac rupees. Rowdy and boisterous soldiers were send to threaten him and other Pandits. Sensing the Afghan tsunami, distinguished Kashmiri Pandits called a backstairs meeting in which it was resolved to invite Ranjit Singh for the conquest of Kashmir and salvation of the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans. Accordingly Birbal Dhar and his minor son, Raja Kak Dhar, secretly left for Lahore with a petition signed by the prominent Kashmiri Pandits through which an invitation was extended to Ranjit Singh to take over the Valley. When Azim Khan came to know about these developments, he sent his soldiers to nab Birbal Dhar and teach him a lesson. But when these bandits met with no success, the cruel governor turned his guns towards the wife and daughter-in-law of Birbal Dhar . Both the ladies had taken shelter in the house of a trustworthy Muslim, Qadus Gojwari. Azim Khan asked Pandit Basa Kak to hunt down the innocent ladies. Basa Kak knew about the retreat of ladies but did not disclose it even after monstrous tortures and oppressive penalties. At last his abdomen was ripped open in the most barbarous manner and the dead body discredited – the most unfortunate and brutal crime against humanity in the civilized world. The poor ladies were also captured . Birbal Dhar’s wife committed suicide by swallowing a piece of diamond. The younger lady was violently converted to Islam and handed over to an Afghan noble, who carried her to Kabul.

Nervous to the marrow of his bones and crazy with rage, Azim Khan tormented all those Kashmiri Brahmans whom he suspected to be in league with Birbal Dhar. Prominent Pandits were detained in a concentration camp at Nishat Garden and ferociously tortured. But on learning about the Sikh advances towards Kashmir, he lost all nerve and solicited instruction from Pandit Sahajram Dhar. The illustrious Pandit advised him to sent off his ladies folk to Kabul. It was the only way to save them from the ignominious treatment. Sahajram himself escorted the ladies to Kabul and saved them from disastrous shame. Azim Khan himself ran away from the Valley, leaving the administration into the hands of his brother, Jabbar Khan. However, atrocious Afghans were crushed and the Sikhs annexed Kashmir. Some extremist Sikhs, including Phul Singh, endeavoured to knock down the mosque of Shah Hamadan. But celebrated Birbal Dhar, at a considerable risk to his own life, made them desist from this action. According to GMD Sufi, “ It is to the lasting credit of Birbal Dhar that when a deputation of Muslims headed by Sayyid Hasan Shah Qadiri Khanyari approached him to dissuade the Sikhs from the destruction of the Khanqah, he moved in the matter, used his influence and saved this historical structure from vandalism.” It reveals the true personality and character of a distinguished Kashmiri Pandit.

During the Sikh rule in Kashmir, AD 1819-1846, the celebrated Pandits reclaimed their past glory and magnificence. They claimed back the prominent places of trust and honour. Cow slaughter was banned, temples renovated and the earlier wrongs rectified. The legendary Kashmiri Pandits received a healing touch after centuries of barbarity, ferocity and tyranny. But by the time the Sikhs conquered Kashmir in AD 1819, about nine-tenths of the population had been converted to Islam. Out of the 10% Hindu population, a large number had migrated to the Punjab and other provinces. The Pandits in general belonged to the middle class while the upper and lower classes were dominated by the Muslims.

The Valley of Kashmir had been ceded by the Sikhs to the British in lieu of indemnity imposed on the Lahore Durbar. The British made it over to Maharaja Gulab Singh on March 16, 1846, for a sum of seventy-five lacs of rupees. In this way, the territory and people of Kashmir were virtually sold to Gulab Singh by the British. Thus began the Dogra rule in Kashmir. The present Jammu & Kashmir State was born.The creation of the Jammu and Kashmir State in 1846, through the Treaty of Amritsar, was a master-stroke of British diplomacy in Asia. No doubt, Kashmir never became a past of the British Indian domain, but the British allowed only minimum operational freedom to the Dogra rulers. In fact, the British created a buffer state of Jammu and Kashmir under the title of a “Sovereign State”, to keep Russia at a distance from British India and to counter the Czarist “menance” in Central Asia.In the middle of the 19th century, the growing menace of Russian expansion in Central Asia posed a direct threat to the security of British domain in India. So there was need to create a buffer between the two rivals in Asia. Kashmir, like Afghanistan, served the purpose. Installation of a British Commissioner in Ladakh in 1847-48 was a prelude to the forceful perpetuation of British imperialist policy in Kashmir. The British managed their Kashmir policy with extraordinary caution and subtle diplomacy.History of Kashmir in the second half of the 19th century should be studied in the backdrop of Anglo-Russian rivalry in Central Asia. Any move on the Central Asian chessboard had its direct impact on Kashmir. The policies of the British in Kashmir were designed to fit in the scheme of their “frontier policy” in Central Asia.In 1885, the first British Resident was appointed in Kashmir. With this statrted the active British intervention in Jammu and Kashmir State. Creation of Gilgit Agency, subjugation of Chitral, establishment of a Council and finally partial deposition of Maharaja Partap Singh in 1889 was the completion of British imperialist strange-hold over Kashmir. This was managed by the British through their successive Residents in Kashmir.

With the formation of Jammu and Kashmir State; and, establishment of the Dogra rule, Kashmiri Pandits were imperceptibly elbowed to the background. Administrators and officials were deputed from Jammu region. Though they enjoyed comprehensive.

This article has been written by Dr Satish Ganjoo

The Thirty Six Elements(Kashmir Shaivism)and 24 elements of Advaith vedanta

There are 36 elements according to Kashmir Shaivism unlike the 24 elements which the vedantis acknowledge.
1.Panch Maahaabutaas-five Gross elements
1.Prithvi(Earth)
2.Jaala(water)
3.Tejas/agni(fire)
4.Vaayu(air)
5.Akasha(ether)

2.Panch Tanmatras-Five Subtle elements
1.Gandha(smell)
2.Rasa(taste)
3.Roop(form)
4.sparsha(touch)
5.Shabda(sound)

3.Panch Karmendriyas-(five organs of action)
1.upastha(creation/reproduction)
2.paayu(excretion)
3.paada(foot)
4.pani(hand)
5.vaak(speech)

4.Panch jnanendriyas-(five organs of cognition)
1.Ghraana-(nose, organ of smelling)
2.Rasaana-(Tongue, organ of taste)
3.Chakshu-(eye, organ of seeing)
4.Tvak-(Skin, Organ of touching)
5.Srotra-(ear, organ of hearing)

5.Antahkarnas-(3+2 internal organs)
1.Manas-(mind)
2.Buddhi-(intellect)
3.Ahamkara-(ego connected with objectivity )
4.Prakriti-(nature/three Gunas i.e satvic,rajsic and tamsic)
5.Purusha-(ego connected with subjectivity-reacts to prakriti)

6.Sat Kancukas-(six coverings)
1.niyati-(limitation of place)
2.Kaala-(limitation of time)
3.raga-(limitation of attachment)
4.vidya-(limitation of knowledge)
5.Kala-(creativity)
6.maya-(illusion of individuality)

7.Suddha tatvas-(pure elements)
1.Suddha vidya-(iness in iness—–thisness in thisness)
2.isvara-(thisness in iness)
3.sadasiva-(iness in thisness)
4.shakti-(iness)
5.Shiva-(iness-being)

According to the Vedanta the 24 elements consists of
1.Five tanmatras(same as in Kashmir shaivism)
2.five jnanendriyas(same as in Kashmir shaivism)
3.five karmindreyas(same as in Kashmir shaivism)
4.the five pranas or vital forces (not included in Kashmir Shaivism)
5.fourfold Antahkarn, namely-manas(mind), budhi(intellect), chitta(memory or sub consciousness) and ahamkara(egoism)

The five vital breaths are:
1.Pran Vayu
2.Apaan vayu
3.Saman vayu
4.vyan vayu
5.udaan vayu.
There are also five subsdiary divisions known as upapranas or upvayus namely:
1.naga
2.kurma
3.kekara
4.devdatta
5.dhanamjaya

Pran vayu
Breathing in and out; regulation of breath in mouth and nose; segregating and digestion of food and fluids ;Converting the waste-material of food and fluids into stool, urine and sweat, and converting vital fluids into semen is executed by the “Pran vayu”. It resides in the heart and moves up to the upper part of nose. Regulates the sense organs from heart and above.

Apana Vayu
Responsible for the excretion of faeces, urine and semen .Its movement is from the navel to downwards( reproductive organ and Anus).It resides in guhadesh(Reproductive organ and Anus).

Saman vayu
It resides in the navel .Its movement is from the navel to the heart.It stokes the gastric fires, aiding digestion, and maintaining the harmonious functioning of the abdominal organs. It integrates the whole of the human gross body.

Vyan Vayu
It mostly resides above the reproductive organ.It pervades the entire body, distributing the energy derived from food and breath through the arteries, veins and nerves.

Udaan vayu
Working through the throat(the pharynx and the larynx), controls the vocal cords and the intake of air and food. It is because of the Udaan vayu that the subtle body detaches from the gross body at the time of death.

Naga
It relieves pressure on the abdomen by belching.

Kurma
It controls the movement of the eye-lids to prevent foreign matter entering the eyes; it also controls the size of the iris,thereby regulating the intensity of light for sight.

Krkara
It prevents substances passing up the nasal passage and down the throat by making one sneeze or cough.

Devdatta
It cause yawnings and induce sleep.

Dhanamjaya
It produces phlegm, nourishes and remains in the body even after death and sometimes inflates a corpse.

refrences:Kashmir Shaivism-the secret supreme(swami laxmanjoo)shivsutras(explained by swami laxmanjoo)Patanjalyogpradeep and Light on pranayama by BKS Iyengar

Anugraha(Grace)/Shaktipata-Kashmir Shaivism

According to Kashmir Shaivism Anugraha(grace and Shaktipata takes place in nine ways:

1.tivrativra Shaktipata(Super Supreme Grace)
One attains the true self, real and true nature completely. The Grace is too strong for the body to resist; one has to give up one’s body(Death).He becomes a Master and elevates the hearts of the deserving disciples invisibly. He uplifts the mankind secretly. Once he is satisfied with his work, he submerges with Shiva according to his will .One who attains this form of Grace becomes super supreme Master.

2Tivramadyha Shaktipatha( Supreme medium Grace)
One attains the true and real self; but one does not leave body in this type of grace. One is said to be “Pratiba Guru”-master who is not made by master, but by his self(shiva),by one’s own grace. These masters live in their physical form to uplift the humanity. They are self-initiated masters.
One who is bestowed with this grace enters completely in the trance of Shiva-Shakti(Energy of Shiva).There are five signs in him, that are observed by people;
1.intense love for lord shiva.
2.Whenever he recites any mantra; the devta of the mantra appears before him at once; The fruits of the mantra are realized promptly.
3.control over the five elements.
4.His works are without any defects.
5.He masters all Shastras.

3.Tivramandha Shaktipatha(Supreme low grace)
By this types of Grace one’s mind desires to be at the feet of master. He gets a master who is all-knowing and perfect. There is no difference between his master and lord shiva. The master does not initiate him; but merely put his hand on his head or by just by the mere gaze of his master;. He becomes perfect and enters into transcendental meditation effortlessly at once. He becomes enlightened by the mere touch or look of his master.

4.Madhya tivra Shaktipatha(medium supreme grace)
By this grace one reaches at the feet of Master who is absolutely a perfect master.The disciple is initiated by the master unlike the above cases. The master gives him mantra and the way to tread. One gets enlightened partially; the disciple is not satisfied completely in his physical body. He gets his complete satisfaction after he leaves his body and becomes one with shiva at the time of his death.

5.Madhya Madhya Shaktipata(medium middle grace)
When lord shiva bestows this grace; an intense desire of achieving lord shiva rises in the mind of the disciple. One wants Lord shiva as well as the worldly pleasures and enjoyments of the world. He is initiated by an able master.Though the intensity of his desire is more on attaining the state of shiva,he attains bliss, but he cannot completely overcome his worldy desires . After the death of such a disciple; he enters the kingdom of paradise and enjoys the pleasures to his satisfaction. He does not come back to this mortal world; but is again initiated by the master there and he becomes enlightened and realizes the shiva and merges in him.

6.Madhya mandha Shaktipata(medium low grace)
There is an intense desire for attaining lord shiva as well as the pleasures of the world. He does not attain self-realization completely.After his death he enters the kingdom of paradise and enjoys to his satisfaction. After that he is born again in this mortal world and lives a short life(15-30 yrs).He focuses on lord shiva and devotes his short life to shiva and becomes complete with Shiva.

7.Mandha tivra Shaktipata(inferior supreme grace)
8.Mandha Madya Shaktipata(inferioir medium grace)
9.Mandha Mandha shaktipata(inferior low grace)
For 7,8 and 9 types of grace,one has to take many births, before one attains the state of shiva……

Shivoham..shivoham…(advaith philosophy)

Here is an English translation of one of the most famous Hymns composed by Adi Shankarachariyaji….{in our Janthries(Koshur Calender) you will find this hymn marked “Shivoham Shivoham”}.This is a very profound announcement made by Great Shankarachariya about our Real Nature as well:those who commit this hymn to memory & recite it are really the Blessed ones. Shiva in the hymn has to be understood as Brahman of Vedant doctrine or Param Shiv of Kashmir Shaivism :

Om, I am neither the mind, intelligence, ego, nor ‘chitta,’
Nor the senses of smell and sight, neither ether, nor air,
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

I am neither the ‘prana,’ nor the five vital breaths,
Neither the seven elements of the body, nor its five sheaths,
Nor hands, nor feet, nor tongue, nor other organs of action.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

Neither fear, greed, nor delusion, loathing, nor liking have I,
Nothing of pride, of ego, of ‘dharma’ or Liberation,
Neither desire of the mind, nor objects for its desiring.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

Nothing of pleasure and pain, of virtue and vice, do I know,
Of mantra, of sacred place, of Vedas or Sacrifice,
Neither I am the eater, the food or the act of eating.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

Death or fear, I have none, nor any distinction of ‘caste,’
Neither father, nor mother, nor even a birth, have I,
Neither friend, nor comrade, neither disciple, nor guru.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!

I have no form or fancy, the All Pervading am I,
Everywhere I exist, and yet I am beyond the senses,
Neither salvation am I, nor anything to be known.
I am Eternal Bliss and Awareness. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!
…………..Adi Shankaracharya
source:Mr.pushker n bhat

the dark side of religions…

Religions-The other perspective

 

Light can not be without darkness, Happiness can not be without sorrow, Good can not be without Bad…Everything has  a different side, which we often try to oversee and neglect…God and religions is also one such thing.

All the religions have their base on social injustice and violence. Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross…which by any standard is an violent act as Jesus led a social struggle….and It was not Jesus who made Christianity….His followers made this religion..

In Hinduism…every avatar transformed the society at their time; whether it was Lord Ram or Lord Krishna…It was during the Mahabharata war that Krishna revealed Bhagwat Gita to Arjuna, amidst thousands of dead bodies.

In Islam Prophet Mohammed pointed out at social issues and fought many wars, which obviously took several lives, and eventually transformed society at that time.

 

I have serious doubts about all the religions. I firmly believe that it is the man who made this concept of religions, with his own imagination and for his own benefit…and all religions have been made by men and not women…

Why is it that not a single religion has laid any guidelines for other living beings like animals and insects!!!! What is a religion of a dog or pig or cow?

 

The primary difference between the religions of east and west is idol worship and non-idol worship. But religions which advocate non-idol worship are contradicting their own theory. The main contradiction lies in the attributes attached to almighty. The holy books of those religions which emphasizes on formless god are in fact full of attributes attached to Almighty and  thus it is impossible not to make a picture of almighty…It is again imagining and imagination contradicts the basic theory…After all imagination is  pictures made by mind!!!

In eastern religions especially in Hinduism. There is a devta or a Devi for almost everything .Gods and Goddesses is a wrong interpretation of devis and devtas as it changes the whole concept and meaning. It was a British propaganda.Devis and Devtas can be best equated with angels….Divine messengers.

Kamdev is the devta of sex; Kuber is the treasurer, Yamraj for death. Indra is the king of Devtas…Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh represents creator, sustainer and destroyer and they are above the devtas. And the entity which created Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh  has no name, and can not be given any name or attribute as name and attribute will limit the basic concept

One more question is why should we pray to God??? Why does god who has made this whole universe want us to pray to him???Why does god want us to make religions? our earth will look like a dust particle if we compare it with universe, why will God put so much importance to that dust particle!!! Or is it out of fear which compels us to pray to god…After all isn’t it that all prayers are centered around man and man’s fear and needs…

 

The concept of peace is equally disputable, first thing for peace is unrest, aggression or violence.

Our immune system is a classical example which contradicts this theory. To remain healthy, our immune system should be strong so that it can kill germs and bacteria are which are harmful to our body and killing is again an act of violence.

Does the Idea of God really liberate us or make us slaves? I think it has made more slaves, more followers and more fanatics because it shows us only one side of coin, all good things are made by God and all bad things are made by Satan!! Does this mean that Satan is as powerful as god? And why did God made Satan at the first place…..simple good can not be without bad…Same principle applies for all religions. Without Ravana there would have been no Ram. Ravana represents bad and Ram represents good…Almighty, King of Kings….etc…are all names created by man out of fear of something which is out of control of ordinary human beings.Does’nt the concept of God look like an organizational structure of any modern organization with God as Managing Director!

Division starts by birth, Name is the first step of Division, Then comes the time tested killer which has a name-Religion. Identifying with any particular religion creates an instant Submission——submission of freedom, faith, and thinking and above all submission of discrimination. The number of people killed on the name of religions will easily cross tens of millions of people across globe….But isn’t killing anyone on the name of religion and country the biggest virtue!!! This is how heroes and great men in history have been made…but is that justified!!!!!

All the religions of the world have basically limited the role of women. The number of women as Avatars or prophets is not even 5% compared to men. Does this mean that women are made inferior by creator or is it an indication that religions have been made by males and for the convenience of males? That is why a man can have two or four wives at a time and if women even dares to think something like that, it will be the greatest sin and that women should be stoned to death..!

 

I am not against God, Allah or Ishwar, after all these are names to address the creator of universe including me. But I have serious doubts about some religious concepts and terminologies…those concepts which creates divisions in societies on the name of religions, which kills us intellectually and confuses us spiritually….and above all which has given some people to license to kill on the name of faith and religions…..

 

 

 

 

 

suicide by a patriotic….and his last poem(amarnath issue)

JAMMU, July 23: A youth taking part in the chain hunger strike against cancellation of forest land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) today sacrificed his life after consuming poison in protest against the remarks of National Conference chief, Omar Abdullah in Parliament yesterday that the land to Amarnath shrine Board will be returned only over dead bodies of the Kashmiris.

Following death of the youth, the activists of Sangarsh Samiti and other organisations went on a rampage in the City pelting stones on moving vehicles and enforcing a bandh in some City areas. The mob also ransacked mortuary of Government Medical College, Jammu and twice lifted body of the martyr to shift it to the venue of dharna. The Samiti has given a call for Jammu bandh tomorrow. The Bar Association Jammu has also called for a bandh tomorrow.

Identified as Kuldeep Kumar Dogra of Talab Tillo, the youth who joined the hunger strike launched by the Sangarsh Samiti in front of Brahman Sabha this afternoon fell unconscious while delivering a speech in protest against Omar Abdullah’s statement this afternoon.

Commenting on Omar’s remarks, the youth said that NC chief had stated in Lok Sabha yesterday that Kashmiris will die instead of transferring the land to SASB and “I would show Mr Abdullah how the people of Jammu too can sacrifice their lives to get back the land”.

Soon after his remarks, the youth fell unconscious and was taken to GMC hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. As the news of youth’s sacrifice spread, a large number of people took to streets in the city and its outskirts and resorted to road blockades. The shopkeepers in many areas including Talab Tillo and Bohri downed their shutters.

The protesting youth with banners in their hands also shouted slogans against Mr Abdullah and held him responsible for the incident.

They demonstrated in Parade Ground near the venue of hunger strike and hundreds of youth reached the GMC hospital from where they forcibly shifted the dead body to Parade Ground where it was kept for paying tributes by the people. The protesting youths also ransacked the mortuary in GMC, tore its records and also broke window panes of newly constructed emergency building in hospital.

However, the body was later shifted by police to the GMC for post-mortem which was conducted by the Board of Doctors constituted by Dr Romesh Gupta, Medical Superintendent, GMC Jammu. The prominent doctors in the Board include Dr Kuldeep Dogra, Dr Ratnakar and Dr Brahm Dutt.

However the protesting youth again took the body to Parade Ground and did not allow its cremation.

After the sacrifice of life by Kuldeep Kumar Dogra, youths fanned out in different parts of the City especially Parade Ground, Jewel Chowk, Talab Tillo and other areas and subjected matadors and other vehicles to heavy stone pelting. Transport in several areas went off the road while shopkeepers downed their shutters voluntarily.

Most parts of the City observed a spontaneous bandh.

Youth also assembled at Bohri, Talab Tillo, Gandhi Nagar, Muthi and Barnai and staged protest and blocked roads. The vehicular traffic also came to a grinding halt on Jammu, Akhnoor road after the activists of Sangarsh Samiti erected barricades on the road.

Sangarsh Samiti chairman Leela Karan Sharma said a suicide note has also been recovered from pocket of the youth which is lying with Bakshi Nagar Police. In this note, the youth was reported to have said that he was making sacrifice for a supreme cause and tributes be paid to him only after the goal of getting land back for the SASB is achieved, he added.

Mr Sharma said all business establishments and transporters will observe a complete bandh tomorrow in protest against callousness of the Government.

In response to a question regarding indefinite bandh, Mr Sharma said he can’t alone take a decision in this regard as it has to be decided by Samiti which is a conglomerate of over 35 organizations.

He said Samiti has the support of all Jammu organizations including some political parties. Even the activists of Congress and NC have also been supporting our struggle, he added.

Mr Sharma said the people have been giving an overwhelming support to the Sangarsh Samiti in its struggle and nine days bandh call. But he didn’t want to add to the problems of those people by giving an indefinite bandh call who didn’t have even ration in their houses, he added.

He said the Samiti has given a call asking the Jammuites to join the present struggle irrespective of their caste, creed and religion.

Leela Karan, while lambasting Omar Abdullah for his remarks on SASB land, said that in case the Kashmiris posses such a feeling towards the Hindu shrines then Jammuites will be forced to evacuate them from Bhatandi and other places in Jammu where they have constructed the posh Kohtis.

Meanwhile, today was the fourth day of the chain hunger strike launched by the Samiti. A conglomeration of 35 political, social and religious organizations, the Samiti had coordinated the nine-day Jammu bandh from June 30 during the agitation’s first phase.

Meanwhile, the chain hunger strike of Sangarsh Samiti in other district and tehsil headquarters of Jammu also continued today.

.Dogra Liberation Front chief, Ram Paul has claimed that the martyr Kuldeep Kumar was its staunch activist.

Hindu Shiv Sena (HSS) has announced Rs 15,000 for the bereaved family. Sena president Krishan Manhas has also appealed the Sangarsh Samiti and other social organizations to make generous donations for the bereaved family.

Some paras of poem recited by Kuldeep Kumar few minutes before his death at Parade are as follow.

“Bigul Baj Raha Hain Andolan Ka Gagan Goonjta Hain Naroon Sai.”

“Mila Rahi Hain Aaj Jammu Ki Miti Nazar Sitaroon Sai.”

“Ek Baat Kehni Hain Laikin Aaj Desh Key Piaroon Sai.”

“Janta Sai, Loogoon Sai, Foojiyoon Ki Khadi Kataroon Sai.”

“Sambal Kai Rehna Apnay Ghar Main Chupay Huyay Gadaroon Sai.”

“Jhank Rahai Hain Apnay Dushman Apnay Hi Devaroon Sai.”

“Sanbal Kai Rehna Apnay Ghar Mian Chupay Huyay Gadaroon Sai.”

“Jago Tumko Dogron Ki Jagir Ki Raksha Karni Hain.”

“Jago Tumko Lakhoon Ki Takdir Ki Raksha Karni Hain.”

Abi Jo Bani Hai Us Tasveer Ki Raksha Karni Hain.’’

source:daily excelsior

Amarnathji yatra facts

The present dispute over the amarnath shrine land at baltal has once
again exposed the medieval mentality of those who once imposed the Zazia & restrictions
over the rituals performed by the Kashmir Hindus (known as pundits) .it was during the
dark Muslim period of kashmir that the hindus were barred from entering the
temples ,were imposed taxes on marriages & last rites ,were stopped from visiting places of
pilgrimages. we think the present controversy is but the extension of same mentality
.Because these places (hindu religious) are being visited by the large number of hindu
devotees which poses a direct threat to the pakistan based terrorists and their slaves in the
kashmir who want the total islamisation of kashmir .so , make the holy places inaccessible
for hindus by different indirect methods.this is the time to put together the information regarding the Amarnath ji.
· The actual/original name of Amarnath ji is Amereswar (Amreshe narah snantava goshatasya fhalam labeth).
· the origin of Ameresher is as old as Kashmir valley .This has been vividly described in the Brigesh Samhita and is being referred in the Nilmat purana and Rajatarngni which is enough proof to prove that the Amarnath shrine
was known to all even before the advent of islam in kashmir.so, their is no reson to believe that the muslims
explored the shrine · According to Bhrngish Samhita the Mahakala approached the “Devtas”and told them that
they would have to die. The devtas were troubled at this threat and proceeded to the abode
of Swami Surji (Lord Shiva) and entreated his protection. Shiva appeared to them with bright countenance, showered upon them great favour and enquired about the cause of their distress. The devtas explained that Mahakala
was about to destroy them and they dreaded his Power upon which Shiva with his
great mercy and kindness bestowed upon them the water of immortality by which the
“devtas” were freed from the persecution of Mahakala. After the devtas left, Shiva resumed
his devotional abstractions and when he was again sought by the devtas they could not
see him. They were, therefore, in great distress and lifted their hands in prayer
and entreated him to show Himself. Shiva appeared in the form of ice linga and hence began
the pilgrimage and prayers at Amreshvara. · The other view pertaining to the formation of
Ice Linga is that Shiva’s consort Parvati was eager to learn the secrets of life and
immortality. She prayed to her lord to reveal the same to her. While moving with the Parvati over the
Himalayas, Shiva rested in a cave and revealed the secrets of life to Parvati and got
himself transformed into the Ice Linga. A pair of snow pigeons over-heard Shiva’s
discourse and became immortal. According to Bhrngish Samhita a person who bathes in the
waters of Amur Veth (Amuravati) and rubs himself with the ashes gets Moksha. A person
who performs Amarnath Ji Yatra after observing ablutions along the traditional
approach route gets the same boons as one gets from Ashvamedha Yagya. A pilgrim who performs
ablutions at the sangam of Amur Veth and Panjtarnagini in Kalyug, gets pardon for
crores of sins. Pilgrimage to Amarnath Ji is considered several times more auspicious than the
pilgrimage to Kashi or Triveni · The mountain ranges in the area include Great
Himalaya trending North West-South East isolating Sindu (Indus) basin (represented by Suru
river) from that of Vitasta or Jhelum (represented by Sind and Lidar rivers), and
Chandarbaga or Chenab basin (represented by Batkol-Marwah rivers). Saraibal a south westerly
spur of great Himalaya isolates Jhelum from Chenab basin. Another spur called
Sachhkach (Sasakat) of the Himalayas, bifurcating near Mushran, forms a water-parting
between Sind and Lidar rivers. The Sachkach also follows a south-westerly trend and a
Drun Nar or Hangsatu immediately below Sonamarg is traversed by the Sind river
forming a narrow gorge beyond which it is known as Sogput or North Kashmir range
isolating Kishenganga from the Kashmir Valley. The triangular mass of mountains is bounded
on the north by Sind Valley, on the east and south by Lidar Valley and on the west by
main valley of Kashmir with peaks of Kolahi or Gashbrar, Mahadev and Suresvari. The
latter, over looking Dal Lake with lakes of Tarsar, Marsar and Hodsar has no modern
name but was known in ancient times as Dudavana.· It was during the dark muslim period that the
taxes and other impediments were imposed upon the Hindus in visiting the shrine, which resulted in
the very less pilgrims to the shrine. in the course of time the shrinre remained
unaccesable and thus lost the touch of outer world .but after few hundred years a shepherd
happen to locate this shrine by chance ,which was exploited in such a way as if Amernath
shrine was never there. · All these claims are contradictory and can not
be accepted as factual. As indicated pilgrimage was going on during the Sikh rule long before
Gulab Singh appeared on the scene.· 1840-41, during the rule of Maharaja Sher Singh
son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab attempted to visit Amarnath Ji cave along the
traditional route via Sheshnag in late season, but was forced to return from Vowjan pass due
to bad weather.He has given a beautiful description of the pilgrimage, gathered from
others, which indicates that pilgrimage was in good vogue before 1840-41. we can
easily conclude that pilgrims from the plains, outside Kashmir, visited Amarnath in great numbers.
· All the places around the shrine find mention in the ancient scriptures .
The Phalgham (parishulvahan),Mahagunus( mahaganesh)· The sudha lingam is not touching the ground, I
personally have seen this by inserting the stick at the base.· the area of Baltal falls within the close
proximity to Mushko Valley where pakistan had pushed his forces during the Kargil conflict.
.There had been always a huge rush and even tempory sheds had been erected at baltal many decades
earlier .One fails to under stand why this opposition now.· It is said that the Pichacas and Rakshasas were
harrasing the yatries in performing the pilgrimage .So, lord Shankara gave a Scepter (Dand) to
Rishi Bringish .on the left & right side of this Dand resides Lord Brahma & Lord
Vishnu ji..In the course of time this dand got passed on to Shankaracharyas ,so, it is
prime duty of all the religious heads to make sure the success of this Yatra.
Baltal stands at a height of 2,743m and during the
Amarnath pilgrimage there are tents set up here. It is possible to walk to the Amarnath
cave, more usually approached from Pahalgam, in one day. melting snow and ice make the route very
dangerous. so ,it was very important to built some permanent sheds for the pilgrim It is high time that the state govt. may be asked to furnish the details as what is going to do for safe guarding the places of Hindu identity in kashmir

controversy behind Amarnath yatra

Controversy behind amaranth yatra
Amarnath yatra is considered to be one of the holiest places for Hindus. It is here where a natural and magnificent ice shiv linga is formed. Traditionally the yatra used to last for one month as the basic infrastructure and amenities were lacking. However Mr. S.K. sinha the ex-governor of J&K improved the quality of the yatra by providing various facilities and thereby, It was possible to extend this yatra for two months. SASB (shri amarnathji shrine board) was formed and, the purpose of this board is to provide quality facilities to pilgrims coming from different parts of India.
It was the ruling coalition of congress and PDP, first proposing cabinet decision (No. 94/7 of 2008) for diversion of 39.88 ha land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board. But elections round the corner in next 3-4 months in J&k, Mufti and his party have politicized the issue of allotting 800 canals (100 acres) of land to SASB.
Senior leader of PDP Muzaffar beig, alleged that it was their helplessness, that they passed this resolution as congress threatened that they will stop the construction of mougal road, which will join Kashmir with their “Muslim brethren” in poonch.The separatist faction of Hurriyat, headed by moulvi umar farooq and syed geelani, who are swore enemies of each other forgot their differences and joined hands together to protest this land deal. The reasons PDP cited were, that hundred of tress will be cut for constructions at baltal. Hurriyat factions alleged that SASB members are non State-subjects and hence aggressors and attackers. National conference was also not far behind with Omar Abdullah saying that this protest is a proof of Kashmir nationalism or patriotism. This mass uprising of Muslims in valley is not a sudden love for environment, but by protesting this land deal they are indirectly protesting Hindus and India. This mass uprising has been termed as an equivalent of 1990 when thousands of kashmiri Hindus were massacred on the name of religion and jihad.
The fact is that in 1998 Dr. Faroq Abdullah acquired 623 canals of forest land at sidra for construction of Muslim migrant colony. Another issue being exploited by the NC-PDP and others is the land in question was forest land (SASB Land) and that could not be transferred….. But what about the Mughal Road? 10,000 trees were cut, 30,000 wild lives were destroyed to construct Mughal Road. Who cleared the cabinet order in this regard? It was Mufti Mohammad Sayeed who as a chief Minister with the support of his Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Mangat Ram Sharma issued the cabinet order and destroyed forest land and wild life.
So called Indian secularist need to re-think as to what “secular” really means in India?
They also need to think who really are seculars….”Muslims” or “Hindus”. How is allotment of forest land to SASB different from allotment of forest land at sidra and mougal road? who is politicizing religion in J&K? Hindus or Muslims!!!!!!!!!!!!The double standards of Muslim politicians of j&k have once again been clearly exposed by this incident……..

Amarnath Yatra(Kashmir)

Amarnath yatra
Amarnath is yet another name of lord Shiva. I had the pleasure of going to Amarnath twice. You can go to Amarnathji via The beautiful town of pehalgoan(pehalgam).This route will take you around 2-3 days to reach Amarnathji depending on your pace. This particular route have some of the best vistas one can see and enjoy. The typical route is pehalgam-16kms-Chandanwari- 12kms-Pissu top&sheshnagh-(12kms)-Mahagunus top&
Panchtarni -6kms-Holy cave.(total 46 kms from pehalgam)
There is a shorter route also available which has its base at Baltal. Nowadays it is mandatory to get yourself registered which you can do from Delhi, Jammu And Srinagar.From Jammu one can go directly to pehalgam.This beautiful town is situated at
The height of 7200 feet above sea level. Pehalgam is a part of lidder valley and one can easily get lost in the natural beauty
of this area. This town is surrounded by thick deodar tress and the smell of these trees is blissfully intoxicating. The beautiful lidder river flows right through the town.Chandanwari
is around 16 kms from pehalgam and is situated at around
9500feet above sea level. One can walk through the distance or even drive up to chandanwari. Actual ascend starts from Chandanwari and the stretch between chandanwari to pissu top is indeed very steep and thus makes it really
difficult for the pilgrims.Pissu top is situated at the height of around 11500feet above sea level.From pissu top till amaranth cave one can hardly find trees. From pissu top till sheshnag(12000feet) It is relatively easy walk.Sheshnag lake is one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen. It’s crystal clear
blue waters are very soothing to eyes. According to Rajtarangni, there is another lake just above shashnag which is known as zamturnag(son-in-law of Sheshnag).The route from sheshnag to panctarni(12500feet) is easily the most difficult stretch
as one has to pass through Mahagunus top. Mahagunus means the great snake in kashmiri.This is the highest point of this yatra
and the height at Mahagunus top is 14800 feet above sea level. One finds exhausted at this height due to lack of oxygen.
The name of this top has been changed by India army to Mahaganesh top as they were not aware of the local history & culture and they could not understand kashmiri.From Mahagunus top till panctarni, the route is descending .Panchtarni is the last stop before amarnath cave.From panchtarni there is again ascend, but not as steep as pissu top or Mahagunus top. One has to pass through a glacier which is approximately half kilometer long, before one reaches the holy cave(13500 feet). Before having the darshan, one has to take a bath in Amravati river which flows right in front of the cave.Inside holy cave, there is a natural Ice linga of lord Shiva. According to local kashmiri legend which we have heard from our elders, It was here in this holy cave, lord shiva had narrated the story of secret of creation which makes one amar(immortal).Legend also says that there was a pair of pigeons(unlike some news channels which claimed that there were eggs of pigeons who heard the story?) who overheard this story and hence they also became”amar”. One more thing which I would like to share with you is that there has been occasions in the past when shiva linga was not formed(last year also same thing happened and again due to lack of local Kashmir history regarding this yatra the present governor Mr. Sinha had ordered an artificial linga which created controversy.Mr sinha is an able man & has done a lot for development of SASB-Sri amaranth shrine board ).One can go back through pehalgam or through a shorter route from baltal, which was earlier 14kms and now this distance is reduced to 12kms.From baltal one can go to srinagar.One should carry woolens for this yatra as the weather is really unpredictable. have a great journey……….