Table of Contents

   Index
   Abhinavagupta
   Bilhana - The Minstrel
   Ksemendra, People's Poet
   Kalhana - The Chronicler
   The Serpentine Vitasta
   Panchastavi - A Brief Study
   Concept of "Maya"
   Lalleshwari - An apostle
   Habba Khatoon
   Abdul Ahad "Azad"
   Roopa Bhawani 
   Pilgrim Spots of Kashmir
   Kashmir Monistic Shaivism
   Mankha & "Sri Kanthacaritam"
   Nilamatpuranam and Kashmir
   The Nilamata Purana
   Shaivism & Pratyabhijna
   Sanskrit Chronicles
   The Social Set-up 
   Tantricism in Kashmir
   Kashmir Tantrism
   Vedanta & Kashmir Shaivism
   Later Hindu Periods
   Sanskrit Kaavya of Kashmir

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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

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Symbol of Unity

 
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Glimpses of Kashmiri Culture

Culture maintains its uninterrupted flow dismantling the man-made barriers between past and present. Its sweet rhythm and ennobling dignity does not at all grow stale. Its self-assigned duty of guarding the eternal values does never become boring. It is a pleasure and an obligation at the same time.

Now the scene has undergone a veritable change - a natural phenomenon, to speak precisely. Sanskrit had become the language of the elite only, and Persian an administrative vehicle of the Sultans. Kashmiri culture had to seek a new medium for its expression, under these circumstances. Moreover, it elected to initiate a rapport with the general masses for which the home-spun idiom, enshrined in the Kashmiri language, offered the only choice for providing tongue to our cultural values. Hence, the form of expression did undergo a change from classical medium to modern vernacular, but the content remained the same. It was definitely a continuous projection of our tradition, built inch by inch by the denizens of this Valley, saturated by the prowess of their mind and spirit.

In the foregoing web pages, an attempt has been made to portray the universal truth that to-day is nothing but the rebirth of yesterday, with its heart-beats intact. Environs do change, irrepressible strains and stresses do haunt the body, yet the soul remains always unaffected and, consequently, unruffled.

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Acharya Abhinavagupta
Abhinavagupta was a great scholar and Shaiva teacher, who possessed knowledge in all matters relating to Kashmir Shaivism. The versatility of this genius was recognised in his own time. He was one of the best authorities on Shaiva philosophy and various branches of Sanskrit literature.
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Lal Ded
In Kashmir, some people consider her a poet, some consider her a holywoman and some consider her a sufi, a yogi, or a devotee of Shiva. Sume even consider her an avtar. But every Kashmiri considers her a wise woman. Every Kashmiri has some sayings of Lalla on the tip of his tongue. The Kashmiri language is full of her sayings.
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Bilhana - The Minstrel
Kashmir of yore has been the cradle of Sanskrit lore and learning. From 9th century A. D. to 12th century A. D. brightest luminaries in Sanskrit literature have shone on its firmament. These four hundred years, roughly speaking, form the crux and the culmination of what may be called the creative and original literary activity of Kashmiris in the realm of Sanskrit language and literature. >>>

Later Hindu Period of Kashmir History (1148 A.D. to 1339 A.D.)
The Doyen of Sanskrit chroniclers, Kashmirian Kalhana was destined to write about the Hindu period of Kashmir History only upto A.D. 1148. Therafter, being inspired by overwhelming talent of his illustrious predecessor, Jona Raja pieced together the reign of subsequent Hindu Kings up to 1339 A. C. when the Sultans appeared on the Kashmir-scene. >>>

Kalhana - The Chronicler
Chronicle-writing is not foreign to the imagination of the Kashmiri Brahmins. A host of histories Charitas and Mahatmyas amply testify to this assertion. However, the history as it is taken in the modern parlance, is absent in Sanskrit literature. History is not an account of rise and fall of kings but should embrace in its ambit the political, social and religious attainments and aspirations of the people at large. >>>

Ksemendra - The Peoples' Poet
Sankskrit poets and literary luminaries have been often accused of oriental hyperbole. It may be conceded that by and large such devotees of Muse did indulge in some kind of exaggeration which became naseating at times; such kind of poetic fancy becomes pronounced when they had to extol their patrons, heroes or even their beloveds. >>>  

 

Habba Khatoon
Habba at the very outset of her poetic career rebelled against the prevalent standards of poetry-writing. Textbook idealism is not found in the dictionary of her pulsating emotions. She did not also try to bridge the distance between the ideal and the real. Her substantial contribution in this domain is to interpret her life as it was and not what it should be.
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  Abdul Ahad "Azad" - The Poet of Tomorrow
'Azad' is inherently possessed of uncommon consciousness of head and heart. He has never elected to go into the shell like other Kashmiri Romanticists. Instead, he has tried to analyse Man in every sense of the word, bereft of any curves or blind alleys.
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Concept of "Maya"
At the very outset, it may be said without any fear of contradiction, that in philosophy unalloyed originality is a misnomer. It is actually the sum total of the thinking on a particular subject, collated, coordinated and brought uptodate by the stalwarts in this field. It would, therefore, be in the fitness of things to give a bird's eye-view of the philosophic content supposed to emanate from the word 'Maya', as discussed in the various schools of philosophy in India, which has rightly been taken as the raw material on which the Vedantins and Kashmiri shaivites built their lofty edifices later on.  >>>

Panchastavi - A Brief Study
The compound word 'Panchastavi' in ordinary parlance connotes a collection of devotional hymns divided into five cantos. The very first verse of the first canto remakes it abundantly clear that these panegyrics are essentially meant for the 'Rainbow-hued' Divine Energy comprising the 'speech' and 'resplendence of symbols'. Moreover the whole gamut of Alphabet from AA to Ksa is presided over by this Transcendental Energy; and to speak squarely, it is the progenitor of the sound and sense. At times it has been equated with super-knowledge, bliss and even this whole cosmic world.
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Sanskrit Chronicles and Sultans of Kashmir
The history of Muslim period in Kashmir is as intriguing as it is revealing. Though a sizeable number of chronicles, both indigenous and foreign, contemporary as well as remote, is available for this phase of Kashmir history, yet the conclusions arrived at and the facts enumerated are in no way immaculately objective. >>>

The Serpentine Vitasta
From times immemorial rivers in India have been treated as sacred. After the Aryan occupation of the North when towns and cities began to be built on the banks of rivers, their utility could not be over looked. Hence by way of gratitude the rivers were deified and varied mythological background was woven around these to justify their deification. >>>

 

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