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Swami Jeewan Shah

"Agar Humki Khuda Naist - Ba Hukam Jeewan Shah"

Swami Jeewan Shah
Swami Jeewan Shah

Color Picture Courtesy: Anjali Kaul, Austin

Jeewan Shah, an outstanding Saint of the 18th Century was born in Motiyar Mohalla of Rainawari Srinagar (Kashmir). A highly evolved Saint with tremendous spiritual power, his miracles are legion. His father Raj Kak Pandit was a man of means. Raj Kak's wife used to go to "Khirbhavani Shrine" at Tulamula once every month literally in sack cloth and ashes and pray before the Divine Mother "Shri Rajna Bhagawati" for the boon of a child. Visiting the shrine for a prolonged period, she earned Devi's grace one day and fell into a trance and beheld the Goddess giving her two boughs, one of pomegranate tree and the other of grape vine. The Divine Mother also told her she would get two sons, one of them would belong to them i.e. the worldly parents and the second son would be Her incarnation. The first child was given the name of Hari Ram and the second called Jeewan Shah. Jeewan Shah blossomed into a young boy exhuding "Ojus and Tej". He received his early education in a local school. He was well versed in Persian which was the Court language during that period.

He was married in his teens much against his will. Early marriages in those days were common and what was worse was that the bride and the bride- groom had little say in the matter. Jeewan Shah soon after his marriage, however, renounced the world confining himself for about 60 years to a room with a bare rectangular wooden plank as its furniture. He carried on his Sadhana, sitting there in "Kag Asan" (Crow posture). This plank stands as a living testimony to his austere life. During his life time in the whole of Rainwari whoever solemnized a marriage, first Thali of the marriage feast (cooked rice, vegetables etc.) would be offered to Jeewan Shah. He would accept the offering, invariably place the Thali on a windows sill and distribute the contents by bits even when it was stale. It is common knowledge that those who received Jeewan Shah's blessings in this manner benefitted immensely.

Some of Jeewan Shah's miracles which are indelibly impressed on people's memory are narrated below :

(1) During the year 1783 AD, the valley was governed by a cruel Pathan Governor Azad-Khan. He tyranized Hindus greatly. On one occasion a group of Pathan soldiers while marching through Misha Mohalla (Rainawari), abducted a Hindu girl, forced her into their boat and rowed away. Since her parents and their sympathisers could not fight the Pathan Governor and his soldiers, they appealed to Jeewan Shah for help. He was visibly moved and within the hearing of all those present, summed up his sentiments in a Persian couplet thus -

AGAR HUKMI KHUDA NAIST,
BA HUKAM JEEWAN SHAH!
KISHTI GARKI AAB KHUD,
HINDVA AZAAB BALA SHUD!!
"If it is not the God's command, by my (Jeewan Shah's) own command then the boat should capsize drowning all except the Hindu girl".

The boat capsized and the Pathan soldiers got drowned, only the Hindu girl landed ashore safely.

(2) During the life-time of Swami Ji, a very severe drought affected the valley. Cattle and other animals were dying of starvation, people suffered from disease and death. The Gujjars approached Swami Ji in humble supplication to redeem their lot. Swami Ji uttered a Persian couplet and a few minutes afterwards, there was a heavy downpour, changing the dry parched lands into luxuriant green pastures.

(3) Dila Ram Pandit, a very poor man barely literate, was a devotee of Swami Ji. One day he approached Swami Ji for granting him some means of sustenance. Swami Ji told him to eat the stale cooked rice lying in a brick Taku (plate). Dila Ram managed to swallow a few morsels, with great difficulty as it was stinking. Swami Ji egged him on to take more of it mixed with curd. He could barely take a few more morsels but could not finish it. Swami Ji next told him "You unlucky man, tell me whether you would like to be Governor or his brother-in-law." Dila Ram was cut to the quick as he could not aspire to any of the positions, as he was barely literate and he had no sister to marry to qualify to be any one's brother-in-law. Swami Ji had thought differently. He meant whether he would like to be an administrator or serve the latter as his Dewan. Swami Ji, however, directed him to get going and take his 'Qalamdan' (Ink and pen stand) and paper to Gata Kadal (Dul Gate) where the Governor was camping. As soon as Dila Ram reached the place, the Governor noticed him and called him in. At that time his Dewan, Tarq Ali Khan was reading a missive from Shahan Shah Delhi castigating the Governor for his lapses and commanding him (Govemor) to become a Dog (Sag Shavi). The Governor was annoyed and directed Dila Ram to re-read the latter. Dila Ram read the letter. Dila Ram read "Sag Shavam (I become a dog) for "Sag Shavi". The Governor enquired of him as to why he read the word like that. Dila Ram replied that he could not tolerate such an insult to the Governor. The Governor was apparently pleased at his reply. He dismissed Dewan Tarq Ali Khan, who was also his brother-in-law and appointed Dila Ram as his Dewan.

After some time the Governor got angry with Dila Ram and ordered that he should be thrown into the river. He went to Swami Ji to bid him farewell. Swami Ji told him not to worry. Dila Ram was thrown into the river but managed to reach the other bank safely. When this came to Governor's notice, he reinstated Dila Ram and asked to be ushered into the presence of Swami Ji. As soon as the Governor reached Swami Ji's room in his Ashram, he was frightened out of his wits to see a lion there. He barely mustered courage to salute Swami Ji from a distance and bolted away. Swami Ji commented on this episode thus - "what business have such- cruel Governors, to come here". This experience had a sobering effect on the Governor who became more humane and considerate to his people thereafter.

(4) One Krishna Koul Kotwal was a devotee of Swami Ji. He was asked to eat the stale cooked rice. He obeyed and took a few morsels with great difficulty. Soon afterwards he was appointed a Police Officer. A culprit accused of murder escaped from his custody and the Governor ordered that Krishna Koul should be thrown into a "Siya Chah" (a deep dark pond). He narrated his woeful tale to Swami Ji who advised him to arrange a "Band Jeshan" (a musical concert). The culprit, he told him, would also come there and if he could recognize him he should apprehend him. Exactly the same thing happened. Swami Ji's ashram is visited by large throngs of people daily.

Source: Koshur Samachar

 

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