The Philosophy of Humanism and Harmony

Santosh Bakaya
The philosophy of Sufism poured out by leading lights of the sages like Lalla and Sheikh Noor-ud- din Noorani (Nund Reshi) has lit flickering blaze of compassion, love and peace .Everybody, of course Gujars also, who are ever eager to uphold the high moral values of humanity, could derive solace and enlighten from the philosophy.
The philosophy of Humanism, love, peace and harmony given out from time to time by sages and saints who made Kashmir the abode from time immemorial, is becoming more and more relevant in todays strife torn world
“The lover is He who burns with love
Whose self doth shine like gold
When the Man`s heart lights
Up with the flame of love;
Then shall he reach the infinite ”
Sheikh Noor-ud-Din
There are several old works in the Kashmiri language, which are very important from theological as well as philosophical point of view. The fact is that Kashmiri language is as old as are the Indian vernaculars .But Kashmiri thinkers never reduced their thoughts to writing for centuries. Both Hindus and Mohammadans have made substantial contribution to the philosophical thought of Kashmiri which flowes in two channels i.e. Shaivism and Sufism.
At that time regional languages were not popular.Sanskrit was the one language in which the great thinkers wrote,spoke and recorded their thoughts and Kashmiri literati also used the same.The first man who did not use Sanskrit, was Shipi Kanta. He wrote his book Mahanaya Prakasha in typical Kashmiri language.It was a treatise or the Philosophy of Kashmir Shaivism.
Thereafter in the 14th century the great poetess Lalla,the first Kashmiri saint -poetess. sang philosophy in her memorable Vakhas.The Vakhas were published ,along with English Translation by Dr. Grievson. These were 60 verses in Sharda collected by Raja Naka, Bhaskrananda. Sir Richard Temple wrote a book on the basis of sayings namely “The Word of Lalla’.
The Age of the Medieval Reform and Role of Lalla
The 14th and 15th centuries were very important times in the history of Kashmir culturally as well as politically .
Lalla was the first exponent and apostle of Humanistic philosophy in Kashmir.She was born in the first quarter of the 14th century at Simpore near Pandrenthan in a Kashmir Brahamin family.Her father was a follower of Shaivism .Initiated by her father and Guru Siddha Bayu, she assimilated the basic teachings of Shaivism and other prevailing systems of Philosophies. Both Hindus and Muslims acclaimed her as the spiritual perceptor, friend, philosopher and as the prophet of the new movement. Hindu`s reverentially call her Lalleshwari.
The Muslim remember her by the name of Lalla Ded.Lalla preached her doctrine in the language of the masses and sang the positive philosophy of Kashmir Shaivisim in the same language of the Kashmiris.Her sayings are so objective and complete that they have become almost canonical and are stamped on the memory of the people, who use them in their every day life as current coins of quotations.
Lalla opened an era of human brotherhood in Kashmir in which differences of caste and creed, birth and position would be meaningless. She was advanced spiritually. She stressed the need for practising Yoga .She merged herself into the Lord, sought oneness with God, truth and became one with the truth.
After Lalla, another great philosopher Sheikh Noor-ud-Din played a key role:
After Lalla as already referred earlier, Nund Rishi(Sheikh Noor u-Din) played a great role. While Lalla was still alive, another master of humanistic movement Sheikh Nur-ud-Din flourished in Kashmir.He was already familiar with Shaivism because of his association with Lalla .
The Sufis professed the doctrine of divine love (Mohabbat) and ecstasy ,emphasised Divine Unity (Tauhid),and formulated the theory of existentialism monism, according to which the existence of created beings is nothing but the very essence of the existence of the creator. This is the main doctrine that the Upanishads teach. There is much in the Sufi teachings which is in fact almost Hindu Upnashadic thought .
Sheikh Noor-ud-Din’s sayings in Kashmiri are collected in what is called “Nurnama” He is mystic who thinks in the heart of “Lalla”as he was her disciple. When Nund Rishi entered this world, he was not taking milk from his mother. Lalla said to him “You are not ashamed to have birth why you are ashamed of taking milk.” It is said that soon after Nund Rishi took feed from his mother.
After these two saints, a big gap ensured. A century later Persian replaced Sanskrit as the official language and by and by Hindus adopted the same.
In 18th centuary ,however , one Praksh Ram wrote his Ramavatar in Kashmiri Verse which abounds in philosophical allusions to the vedantic thought. In 19th century the devotional and mystic poet Parmanand wrote Shiva Linga,Sudama Charita and other religious poems in Kashmiri.Krishen Razdan in 19-20 century wrote Sudama Charita ,Radha Sayamvera.
In the later times the Muslim mystics like Aziz Darvesha,Wahab Khar,Shamas faqir, Mukbool Shah Karalawari and others also sang and wrote Kashmiri Verse pregnant with Sofi thought. Here are many other notable mystic poets who wrote from time to time philosophy in Kashmiri such as Rupa Bhwani ,Autar Pandit, Dhurana Kak ,Sata Kak, Lakshman Bhat, Nagam ,Master Zind Kaul, and Khwaja Habib, Gh. Hassan Ganai, Rassa Javidani,Gh.Hassan Beigh Arif.
It was not only from 12th century ,but philosophy developed in Kashmir from the dawn of history as Shaivism flourished from time to time. Buddhism a historic movement was welcomed by Kashmiris long before the Christian era and Kashmir became its stronghold since the time of Ashoka.
Shaivism commenced to be taught in the Kashmiri language in the 12th century by Shitikantha in his Mahanya Prakasha which depicts the Shaiva thought.
After these two saints , there was a famous woman named Ropa Bhawani. Rupa Bhawani taught in Kashmir verse the doctrine of non-dualistic Shaiva School .Her 96 Kashmiri verses are published under the title of “Shri Rupa Bhawani Rahasyo Padeshab”.She was a mystic of a high order and follower of Yoga school of Kashmir Shaivism.
After Rupa Bhawani, Paramanand gave a philosophical touch to poems. English poems were translated by master Zinda Kaul called Master Ji under the title `Parmananda Sukti-Sar.
After Master Zind Koul ,we have a poet like Wahab Khar,Aziz Darvesh Darvesh, Khwaja Habib, Abdul Qadus, Rasa-Javidani,Krishen Razdan , Lakshman Bhat Nagam, Shams Faqir others .Their philosophical idea was to merge the individual soul into the absolute All-spirit. From the above survey of the philosophical thought in Kashmiri language by different thinkers, it is evident that Kashmirian philosophers have stressed the Advaita thought of Indian philosophy. This doctrine has been a levelling force in Kashmir with a passion for quality amidst the differences of caste and creed.
It is the time when we need philosophers and Sofism to be revived at this critical juncture.