Dr Chaman Lal Raina
The spiritual and poetic heights of Pandit Krishan Joo Razdan do not seems to have been fully explored. Shaktivad is the prominent way of life in maintaining the grand heritage of Kashmir Shaivism. The primary source of the poetic thought of Krishan Joo Razdan is based on the Puranas, and the applied religious thought of Kashmir Shaivism, read with the Agama Shastras of Kashmir. No doubt, he was a Saint-poet par-excellence; a Yogic in spirit and ritualistic in pattern in his Sadhana. He was singing the songs of immortality within the idiom of Bhakti. His words were chiseled, and fermented with the Kashmiri environment, which suggests that he was very close to the Prakriti aspect of the Divine. His poetry speaks of the beauty of the Divine within the Vedic Ritam, to become the recipient of the Divine grace. It is an aspiration of Pandit Krishna Joo Razdan, to see “Satyam -Shivam-Sundaram” within the orbit of Shiva and Shakti read with Purusha and Prakriti.
I would love to listen to the Kashmiri Pandits both men and women singing :”byal tai maadal vyana gulab pamposhu dastai; Poozaayi laagay parama Shivas Shiva Nathas Tai.” In Sarva Shaktimaan Chakh Maha Ragnya, he says:
raizeeshvari raazan hunz Chakh ba’ida Sarkaar
phir dayu lonuya sonuya chonuya ro’t darbar
sathaa Chi chaini Tseyi nish Ayi a’si vomedwaar
athaa tyuth dituya yuth a’si karahaiv boDha wopkaar.
The beauty of Krishan Joo Razdan lies in the fact that he prays Shiva and Shakti considering the Absolute both in the Purusha and Prakriti. He sees an integral approach in paying his obeisance to the Divine.
Katha kari Kari gava lokachaar
aar yiyatanai shamboo”
a.an~ya aashaa na.a`nya tu naadaara
kari he kama kama kaara
nachuwunya chasa nanya tarawaara
aara yiyatanaya shambhuu
Further he says:
paramu\’ shaktii svasta bhuula bhaalai
naa.alya Chai Chunitha kala maalaya
mastaanu\’ be para waaye
anugraha chu chona jaayi jaaye
These were the popular Bhakti poems sung by the Kashmiri Pandits around fifties and so on, on the occasions of: vyuuga Trawun, ma’inzi Raath, kanyadaan etc. I happened to listen to these Bhajans in Satsangs/devotional congregations at Tullamulla shrine .”Bel Tai madal ” Bhajan was in the air from the Radio Kashmir, Srinagar, as well. These Bhajans had a strong effect on me, in understanding what the genius of Pandit Krishan Joo Razdan would have been, to depict spirituality through his Bhakti Poems, in Kashmiri diction, phrase and idiom.
He was a Mahatma. I should call him a Rishi, because Rishi is always a Kavi, but a Kavi (poet) is not always a Rishi. Mahatma Krishan Joo Razdan’s poetry is integrated with the spiritual ethos, welded with the strong metaphysical approach to find Lord Shiva in Saguna form. But Saguna Shiva is always with Shakti, hence we have the beautiful Shiva Parinaya – a transcreation of the Shiva Puranam, in his native language Kashmiri.
When we go through the Shakti/ Devi Sahsranamas, we read “Shiva -Shakti Eka Roopinyai Namah” Verily, it suggests that Shiva and Shakti are identical in Samvit/pure consciousness and Svabhaava/ nature.Mahatma Krishna joo Razdan speaks of the Shuddha Vidya aspect of the Trika Darshana/Kashmir Shaivism. A devotional poet always pays obeisance to Shri Ganesha. So did Mahatma Krishna Joo Razdan, in the traditional manner. In his devotion to the Adi Deva Astuti in Kashmiri, he refers to Adi-Shakti, and sings in ecstasy:
“Adi shakti hundey Adi Kaaro
Eika Danta Veeda Vyastaaryo.”
A great significance has been attached to Adya Shakti in the Agamas of Kashmir. The Adi Shakti is the Primordial energy, who is the Iccha -Shakti of Shiva. Shakti is revered with the Sanskrit
E’ Bija Mantra, which is the fourth phoneme of the Varna-Mala, revered as the Turiya Avastha/ transcendental state of mind. It has the supreme significance in the Chakreshvara Puja, and in the Matrika Pujan, very special to the Kashmiri Pandit religious ethos. Mahatma Krishan joo Razdan Ji further says:
“Pama Shakti Hundi seevaa karo,
Yechha Putra Vyavharo”
The word Parma Shakti is Absolute Energy, which is independent, is Svachhanda. Therefore, Parvati could create Ganesha through her innate Iccha Shakti (will power). It is the Svachhanda Bhiravi Roopa of Parvati. Iccha Shakti is the Moola Rekha (base of the Moola Trikona of the Chakreshvara at Hari Parbat). He has referred to Vallabha, in the same Stuti/euolgy, as being the consort of Maha Ganesha. Vallabha is the Shakti of Ganesha, Vallabha means attachment, drawing together, closeness as jivatma is to Parmatman, so is Vallavha ti Ganesha. Therefore, the Kashmiri Prepyuna/ Naivedya Mantra invokes the Divine and says: Vallabha Sahitayai Shri Ganeshai.
Ridhi and Sidhi are often used with the symbolic Ganesha in India in the form of Swastika . But Vallabha is within the recesses of heart of Ganesha, which again lays emphasis on the Shakti concept within religious symbols as given by Pandit Krishan Joo Razdan. He has again used the word ‘Avidya’, which according to the Devi Atharva Shirsha is to destroy ignorance, and evil in the form of Mahishasura and other mighty Rakshasas like chanda-munda ,rakta bija, Shumbha, nishumbha, dhumralochana by Shri Durga. The Vedic mantra is: “Saa Vidya Cha-Avidya Cha”. Devi is both mighty and witty. She kills Mahishasura , for being the very personification of evil and ignorance. Says he in the scene of “Posh Pooza of Shiva and Parvati”: “Lakhmi Meethiya Chhas Diwaan Daamaanas”.
According to the Markandeya Purana, Lakshmi is the incarnation of Maha Lakshmi, She is none else but the Ashta dash Bhuja Sharika. Laksmi is Artha / riches and wealth, and is the second Purushartha, in the Vedic ethos. Developing his poetic construction on the Posha Pooza, very dear to the Kashmiri pandits during the Kanya Daan ceremony at the Lagna time of bride and bridegroom, he receives the inspiration from the Shiva purana, where ‘ Maina’–the Mother of Uma or Parvati prays to Maha vidya, which is the first attribute of the Shri Ragnya, revered as Shri Bhavani. She also addresses to Mahamaya, which is the elixir of life in human understanding of the concept of Jaganmata , the Mother hood aspect the Divine, to grace the couple of Shiva and Parvati.What a wonderful message is given by our saint-poet in the Shiva Parinaya.
He sees the Divinity in Radha, the Shakti aspect of Shri Krishna, who along with the Gopis in their ecstasies, as they see the Gopla Krishna everywhere. Thus Krishan Joo Razdan refers to the Motherhood aspect of Divinity, both in the Vaishnavite and the Shaivite faith. Kashmiri Pandit culture sees no difference in the various incarnations of the Divine. It believes in the
Sarva Saundarya Svaroopa of the Ishvara in the Ice-lingam of Shri Amarnath and Sarveshvari Shri Ragnya. Mahatma Krishan joo Razdan Ji is all praise for Vakh and says “Chhai Tasunz Va’ini Suyi G’yani Chhuyi”. It means that he who recites the Bhavani Sahsranama is verily, a Gyani, an embodied soul with Pragnya – intutive faculty.
Dr Chaman Lal Raina