Biography of Lalleshwari
Lalleshwari (लल्लेश्वरी) (1320–1392), also known as Lalla, Lal Ded or "Lal Arifa".She was a mystic of the Kashmiri Shaivite sect, and at the same time, a Sufi saint. She is a creator of the mystic poetry called vatsun or Vakhs, literally 'speech'. Known as Lal Vakhs, her verses are the earliest compositions in the Kashmiri language and are an important part in history of Kashmiri literature.
Lal Ded and her mystic musings continue to have a deep impact on the psyche of Kashmiri common man, and the 2000 National Seminar on her held at New Delhi led to the release of the book Remembering Lal Ded in Modern Times. A solo play in English, Hindi and Kashmiri titled 'Lal Ded' (based on her life), has been performed by actress Mita Vashisht all over India since 2004.
Lalleshwari was born in Pandrethan (ancient Puranadhisthana) some four and a half miles to the southeast of Srinagar in a Kashmiri Pandit family. She married at age twelve, but her marriage was unhappy and she left home at twenty-four to take sanyas (renunciation) and become a disciple of the Shaivite guru Siddha Srikantha (Sed Bayu). She continued the mystic tradition of Shaivism in Kashmir, which was known as Trika before 1900.
There are various stories about Lal Ded's encounters with the founding fathers of Kashmiri Sufism. One story recounts how, when Sheikh Nooruddin Noorani (Nund Rishi) was born, he wouldn’t feed from his mother. After three days, Lal Ded arrived and fed him herself. She said to the baby that, since he hadn’t been ashamed to be born, why should he be ashamed to drink from his mother’s breast?
Her poems (called vakhs) have been translated into English by Richard Temple, Jaylal Kaul, Coleman Barks, Jaishree Odin, and Ranjit Hoskote.
Lala Vakh, literally mean sayings of Lala or Lala Ded...
Lal Vakh in Kashmiri:
"yi yi karu'm suy artsun
yi rasini vichoarum thi mantar
yihay lagamo dhahas partsun
suy Parasivun tanthar"
"Whatever work I did became worship of the Lord;
Whatever word I uttered became a prayer;
Whatever this body of mine experienced became
the sadhana of Saiva Tantra
illumining my path to Parmasiva." -138
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The Soul, Like The Moon
The soul, like the moon, is now, and always new again. And I have seen the ocean continuously creating.
The Joys Of Palate And Fine Apparel
The joys of palate and fine apparel bring man no lasting peace. They who give up false hopes and don't put trust in the things of the world,
Day Will Be Erased In Night
Day will be erased in night. The ground's surface will extend outward. The new moon will be swallowed in eclipse, and the mind in meditation
If You'Ve Melted Your Desires
If you've melted your desires in the river of time, choose to be a recluse, or choose a family, the village job.
Though You Are Wise, Be As A Fool
Though you are wise, be as a fool; Though you can see, be as one blind; Though you can hear, be as one deaf; Patiently bear with all you meet,
To Learn The Scriptures Is Easy
To learn the scriptures is easy, to live them, hard. The search for the Real is no simple matter.
What Is Worship? Who Are This Man
What is worship? Who are this man and this woman bringing flowers? What kinds of flowers should be brought, and what streamwater poured over the images?
The Way Is Difficult And Very Intricate
The way is difficult and very intricate. Lalla discarded her books that told about it, and through meditation
The Steed Of Mind Speedeth Over The Sky
The steed of mind speedeth over the sky, And, in the twinkling of the eye, A hundred thousand leagues traverseth he. Yet a man of discrimination can control
The Mind's The Garden Of Flowers
The mind's the garden of flowers, and Faith, the florist: Adorn HIM with the garlands of devotion: Shower Him with thy inner moonlight Through a 'Nauri Kalash', in puja
What Is Bitter At First Is Sweet In The ...
What is bitter at first is sweet in the end, What is sweet at first is poison in the end. (To everyone is given the choice) It all depends on the effort put in, and the unflagging determined will;
They May Abuse Me Or Jeer At Me
They may abuse me or jeer at me, They may say what pleases them, They may with flowers worship me.
Five Sayings Of Lal Ded
I By a way I came, but I went not by the way. While I was yet on the midst of the embankment with its crazy bridges, the day failed for me. I looked within my poke, and not a cowry came to hand
There Is A Yawning Pit Underneath You
There is a yawning pit underneath you, and you are dancing overhead. Pray, Sir, how can you bring yourself to dance? See, the riches you are amassing here,
O Infinite Consciousness
O infinite Consciousness,
brimming with elixir,
You live within my body,
and I worship only You.
I do not care
if I die, take birth,
or pass into some other state.
These things are so ordinary now.
[Taken from Lalleshwari: Spiritual Poems by a Great Siddha Yogini, Translated by Swami Muktananda]