JAMMU, Dec 29: Two-day international convention on ‘Kashmir Shaiva Drishti-Connecting GeNext’ began here today with an objective to proclaim the civilizational and strategic import of the Shaiva philosophy and its vision.
Padamshree, Prof Navjeevan Rastogi, the doyen of Kashmir Shaiva world-view, formally inaugurated the Convention, which is a project of PRAKASH and is being organized by Samooh Theatre.
On this occasion, the prestigious `Sharda Samman’ was bestowed upon Prof Navjeevan Rastogi, Prof. Mohan Krishan Teng (a political thinker and a Constitutional expert on Jammu & Kashmir), Dr Shashishekhar Toshkhani (Poet, linguist, anthropologist, and Indologist) and Rajinder Tickoo (an internationally acclaimed sculptor and Padmashree awardee).
Santoor Maestro, Pt Bhajan Sopori enthralled the audience through an adept and masterly rendition of Raga Lalleshwari, which is the creation of Sopori, himself. He was assisted in this presentation by the great Sufiana musicians from Kashmir, G N Bulbul and Gulzar Ghanai, along with a score of accompanists on Rabab, Sarangi, Nott and other instruments.
In his keynote address, Prof Navjeevan Rastogi spoke of the greatest contributions of Kashmir to the growth and evolution of Indian civilization in the fields of philosophy, literature, linguistics, grammar, poetry, prosody, aesthetics, music, logic, history, Budhism, Shaivism, Vaishan-avism and an entire streak of Bhakti. He stressed that with diaspora and exile of the Hindus from Kashmir, the place Kashmir is on a decline, both intellectually and experientially. At the same time the great tradition of the Pandits of Kashmir itself is facing a threat of extinction, he added and applauded the efforts of the organizers to connect the young generation to this tradition.
Dr Agnishekhar, a prominent poet, social activist and Convener of Panun Kashmir exhorted the youth and the teenagers to understand the intrinsic strengths of the Shaiva Sidhant and how it permeates the entire Himalayan ecology.
During the Convention, Abdul Ahed Dar, the caretaker of the Abhinav Cave at Beerwah and Anisha Safaya of India International, were also felicitated.
Those who spoke on the subject on the first day, included Prof Varun Tripathi, HOD (Philosophy) SMVDU and Prof M L Pandit, a world known authority on Shaivism.
Dr Sudhir Mahajan presented very well choreoographed presentations on original Sanskrit texts from Bhairava Stotra of Acharya Abhinavgupta. Kuldeep Saproo and Akash Dogra’s Bellet performances on Shaiva Stotras were very well received and applauded by the audience. Iqbal Kaul enthralled the audience with his Kashmiri Stutis and Vandanas rendered in traditional Shaivite tradition.
Shailendra Aima is coordinator of the programme while Dr Dileep Kumar Kaul anchored the proceedings.