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Sed Bab

A Biographical Sketch

Sidh Bab


Swami Sidh Bab
Picture Courtesy: Anjali Kaul, Austin

Birth, early life and marriage

The original name of SEDBUB was SHRI VEDLAL BHAT and he belonged to village HANJIVEIRA, TEHSIL PATTAN, KASHMIR, where he was born to his parents SH. VESHN BHAT and SMT. YEMBERZAL on an auspicious day JESHTHA SHUKLA PAKHSH NAUMI around year 1902. 

Very little is known about his early life but he had some schooling at a local school and got conversant with some essential scriptures at a local Hindi PATHSHALLA.  He had a good knowledge of Urdu and Persian along with Hindi and Sanskrit. He had a nice handwriting and would write nice brief letters and converse freely in Urdu language whenever need be so. He was married to SMT GUNWATI at an early age who proved to be the most dedicated housewife who shouldered household responsibilities including the bringing up and education of their three sons and two daughters. In spite of being a highly awakened saint SEDBUB didnít entirely ignore the household responsibilities but attended each detail though his heart was centered to a much higher purpose for which he had taken birth. This higher standard of life together as a householder and a highly awakened saint is the wont of very few and has as such been greatly admired. He had a brief stint as an Assistant in government revenue department which he gave up sooner than he had got it.

Obviously no traces of sainthood were observed during his early life and youth being a householder who managed a large family along with tending of household lands, cattle and all other occupations of an ordinary Kashmir farmer but as time passed his detachment towards worldly affairs manifested more clearly and he started displaying an aura of sacred countenance which was observed firstly by his family members and later by others who came into his contact. The condition is very rare and is looked upon as an exclusive uplift of soul usually a result of some holy connection with an exalted position in ones past life. Thus subsequently he began visiting various reputed saints and savants of that time and went to important temples and places without notice obviously to seek guidance and inspiration. He stayed with them or at places for several days thus leaving his esteemed wife with all the responsibility at home. It was thus immediately obvious to all concerned that he followed a much higher responsibility and as such nobody had the courage to question him in the context.  

Swami Sed Bub

Swami Sed Bub

SEDBAB as an established saint

SEDBAB was soon recognized as an established saint and the visits of devotees commenced at his residence and places where he moved. His visits to MAA RAGINYA at TULMUL also increased where he used to stay for a couple of days and sometimes a full fortnight. He would invariably be present there on SHUKLA PAKHSH ASHTAMI when lots of PANDITS visited there to pay obeisance and participate in the evening AARTI which proved a great boon to various devotees who submitted before him and sought his blessings. He had some favourite followers who used to accompany him to places and persons. He had soon developed a deep attraction for saints and visited many of them and sat in their company for long hours and sometimes for days. Among saints that he visited frequently SWAMI NAND LAL JI of BOMAI (SOPORE) and later TIKKAR (KUPWARA) had the greatest influence on him. He is reported to be constantly in his company for long hours and days besides accompanying him to various places and people. The fact is not fully established whether Swami Ji was his GURU but the association was certainly something special as both of them were seen together frequently in almost all Ashrams of Swami Ji and other places. They definitely shared something special and subsequently Swami Ji was so much attached to him that he called him SEDMOL for his simple extraordinary saintly qualities, the beautiful name which he retained all his life though he was later fondly called SEDBAB by his devotees. SEDMOL was the GURU of Lalleshuri (LALDED) the most famous poet-saint and YOGINI of Kashmir. Swami Ji was a great admirer of LALDED and often quoted her LALLA WAKH to establish some of his argument on YOGA. 

Swami Sed Bub

An embodiment of divine grace and simplicity

SEDBAB was very simple, affectionate and calm by nature. He was known for his simplicity and smiling nature. His frequent smile was his trademark as he responded everyone with a smile. To a casual visitor he hardly showed any signs of sainthood. He wore the aspect of a common Kashmiri Pandit of those days, a large turban with a shining face conspicuous with a huge TILAK on his forehead. His long PHERAN, with long narrow sleeves folded outside at their end fell up to his ankles. The large pocket below right side of his PHERAN kept always bulging as it was always filled with something. He probably didnít wear a shirt or pajamas but wore a shawl or a woolen CHADDER over his PHERAN depending on the climatic conditions. He had always a big towel hanging on his shoulders or around his neck for its legitimate use. The SADHNA of SEDBUB was a routine of very early rising and after a routine bath in fresh preferably flowing water he went into long bouts of meditation till almost midday and repeated the same in the evening before nightfall. He used to talk very less and was mostly absorbed in his deep thought. He was a regular reader of the SHALOKAS of BHAGWADGITA and recited the famous STOTRAS like BHAWANI SHASTRANAM, PANCHASTAVI and MAHIMNAPAR and incited his devotees to follow him.    

Since he was a regular visitor to various saints and places of repute so he used to be away from home frequently sometimes for months together. Wherever he was seen people flocked to seek his blessings. Some times he accidentally visited some of his devotee at his house and suddenly it turned into a high jubilation for the inmates and the news spread like wild fire and immediately scores of people came to see BAB and tried to be near him all the time he was there. Nobody had the courage to ask him about his plans or programme. Whenever he sat for meals or tea along with some of his devotees at a place he would take a bit and give away the rest to someone present. It was a great pleasure for the devotees around to have a bit of it as PRASAD. He observed no hard and fast routine in eating as he ate very less and seemed to relish whatever was offered to him. He was a strict vegetarian and avoided onion, garlic, tomatoes and some leafy vegetables. He was also a regular observer of frequent fasts on occasions like ASHTAMI, EKADASHI, AMAWASI, PURNIMASHI and many other auspicious days. Simple food, rice and vegetable curry and occasional KEHWA, a preferred Kashmiri beverage without milk was his preference. He took very little and gave away the rest to his devotees present there as a PRASAD. A great caution had to be observed as whatever was to be served was cooked fresh after washing afresh all the wares in fresh water with brown clay. Only brown clay was used for all cleaning purposes as soap was usually considered impure in those days. SEDBUB didnít use any kind of soap on his body and hence no soap was used in washing the cook wares used in his cooking. For all sacred devotional jobs only brown clay and no soap is preferred for all cleaning purposes in all KP homes even now.

A true KARAMYOGI

KARAMYOGA is the way of life where an aspirant is actively involved in all worldly affairs but his heart is perpetually fixed with the Lord. It is considered the simplest way of devotion and the shortest possible way towards enlightenment. A KARAMYOGI is instinctively able to differentiate between the good and the evil, between DHARMA and ADHARMA, and hence neither anything wrong is committed nor does a single thought which is detrimental to the sublime ways of the supreme visit the clean slate of his mind. SEDBAB was necessarily a SANYASI though he didnít shirk the legitimate responsibility of a householder, a KARMYOGI who performed honestly the duties of a large family and a saint who had attained the highest enlightenment and all the SIDDIES without any obvious hectic KRIYA. To a common man he was a simple householder performing his legitimate duties but there was something special which made him look different rather taller than the rest. His strange spiritual aura attracted people towards him though he tried to avoid them and not look conspicuous.  The uniqueness of SEDBAB as a saint lies in performing his worldly affairs efficiently on one side and on the other being absorbed in the task of achievement of his higher goal. As a GRAHASTHI (householder) his status in the realm of sainthood is highly commendable though not unique as there have been a good number of such highly awakened saints in Kashmir who were evidently normal persons engaged in all worldly affairs. An event of his household life can sufficiently establish the unprecedented detachment of SEDBUB. His second son Late OMKAR NATH was employed in the Indian Army and was very unfortunately martyred in action during Indo-China war in 1962. When the news was delivered formally by an official of the Army at their residence BUB was incidentally at home. Everyone was dumbstruck and immediately a gloom of death spread in the house. Since BUB was preparing on a routine sojourn and it is said he didnít shed even a single tear and without any slightest waver of mind proceeded on his scheduled visit. Such a gesture of determination is the act of a supreme KARMYOGI not an ordinary mortal. 

Swami Sed Bub

SEDBUB was beloved of numerous devotees who wanted to seek his blessings but he was always on move from place to place without any fixed schedule so he usually eluded them. His devotees included a good number of Muslims too who had a great reverence for him and sought his blessings whenever in trouble. It is said that SEDBUB was very hard to grant a favour to a devotee but some are of the opinion that everything was granted instantly provided the need was genuine and sincere.

Who was his GURU?

There is sufficient evidence to substantiate that SWAMI NAND LAL JI and none else was SEDBUBíS preceptor (Guru) but still there is enough difference of opinion on the issue as many of his devotees do not conform to this view. They say as is said in such a situation, he was himself his Guru or he was born with enough awakening which he carried through along with him from his past life and that there was no need of any further initiation. Still there is nobody denying that SEDBUB used to be in the association of Swami Ji for long hours and sometimes many days wherever Swami Ji stayed and he always enjoyed the highest position in all his devotees and disciples. There always seemed something special between the two great souls that they relished in the company of each other. As such it is not easily digested that SWAMI NAND LAL JI was not his Guru but since SEDBUB was in the habit of keeping all his activities low-keyed and avoided being ostentatious though he always displayed a high spiritual aura, as such, he must not have been formally initiated into sainthood by Swami Ji though the association was surely above comprehension of ordinary people.

Mahasamadhi

The last days of SEDBUB have been quite uneventful. Nothing substantial can be recorded except that on October 31, 1985 (KARTIK KRISHNA PAKSHA DOEY) SEDBUB was at his residence HAJIVERA (PATTAN) when he went into eternal SAMADHI. The news soon spread like wild fire and besides Pandits from the neighboring villages devotees from farther areas began pouring in large numbers. So the subsequent day the mortal remains of SEDBUB were cremated in the local SHAMSHAN BHUMI with great fanfare among chanting of sacred hymns in the presence of a large number of people especially Pandits. The administration had to arrange for a sizable security arrangement to manage the crowd. For twelve days the customary mourning like that of a householder was observed and devotees in large numbers visited his house to pay homage to the departed soul between continuous chanting of sacred SHALOKAS of BHAGVADGITA and other MANTRAS. Thus the sojourn of this great soul on this planet ended leaving deep traces of his holy life.

The failed Memorial

Then what followed will be interesting to the readers. Sometime after the MAHASAMADHI of SEDBUB his devotees planned to construct a memorial in memory of SEDBUB at his SAMADHI, the SHAMSHAN BHUMI, at HANJIVERA  the land legally earmarked for the purpose in revenue records in all Hindu populated areas in Kashmir, and so in HANJIVERA (PATTAN). After the construction reached a certain stage strangely without any provocation the Muslims of the area objected to the construction severely so much so what ensued was a large scale feud and communal tension. The administration intervened and after a lot of tension the construction was stayed by a court order. The basic reason for the episode was the growing Muslim fundamentalist attitude among the youth especially whose plan was to discourage all religious expansion programmes by Pandits in the valley. Thus the much publicized memorial in the name of SEDBUB could not be raised as was desired by lots of his devotees. Actually what was not wished by SEDBUB in his lifetime could not be achieved after his celestial flight.

Now after mass displacement of Pandits from the valley in 1990 and with their sizable concentration in Jammu the devotees of SEDBUB have recently raised a magnificent Ashram at PALOURA, JAMMU with all facilities where devotees come in large numbers to submit before a large STATUE of SEDBUB installed in a room. The Ashram has no doubt become a pilgrimage spot for the numerous devotees of SEDBUB who regularly visit there and get rid of their worldly troubles besides their soulís consolation and peace.

JAWAHAR LAL BHAT

B-3, ASHIANA Apartments,

SECTOR-46, FARIDABAD, HARYANA

CONTACT NO: 0129-4096114

 

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