Friday, November 27, 2009


Swami Ram(1854-1915) was a great saint of kashmir .He carried forward Trika shaivism a deep rooted Shaiva philosophy of kashmir propounded by Abhinavgupta .I shall not say much about him since everything on him is available on net or in books sold everywhere . Yes some things i would like to add ;-

-Swami ji had a detached outlook to life and did not marry after the death of his wife. Swami ji's wife died when he was just 17 years old.
_ Swami Mahtab Kak (the celebrated guru of Swami Lakshman Joo), Swami Vidyadhar and Swami Govind Kaul were his personal devotees who received inspiration and afffection from swami Ram.
_Hindus , Muslims , men, women and children, including the then ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Pratap Singh, visited his Ashram for blessings. Swami ji had told Maharaja Partap singh that he would never have a child.
-Before leaving for Chicago to attend the parliament of world religions in 1893 , Swami Vivekananda visited swami Ram ji and sat with him for three hours.
-Once a Muslim lady visited swami ji with a basket of Potatoes . Swami Ji smiled and said " I know why have you come daughter . Can you handle this basket full?" He took three potatoes and gave it to the woman. The rest he kept in his Ashram. The woman bore three sons later .
( As  told to me by late Anupam Kaul son of late pandit janki nath Kaul Kamal .Anupam ji died young . He was a friend and a colleague )
-Pandit Narayan Dass Raina a merchant and builder of first House Boat in kashmir , became his devotee and offerred swami Ji his own small house at Fateh kadal. Swami ji Moved in and this house continues to be the Ashram of swami Ji .Narayan Dass was later known as Nav Naraan in Kashmir.He was incidentally father of Swami Lakshman Joo , the celeberated Shaiva scholar of Kashmir .

I visited the Ashram in September 2009. It is on main Fateh Kadal road just 50 metres from Old Fateh kadal bridge or about 300 metres from the Shrine of Shahe Hamdaan . It was locked . The shopkeepr nearby informed that one Mr Roshan lal has the keys . Roshan lal lives nearby . Once Roshan lal came , we went inside and entered the room where swami ji would sit . It is a small three storeyed house . A newly built kitchen and toilets were opened for us in the ground floor , Swami Ji's room with photographs and his Wooden Sandal ( KHRAAV ) is well preserved in a room on first floor . The third floor has sitting space . We could not meet Prof T N Ganju who has done excellent work in maintenance of this Ashram. Ganju Sahib still lives in kashmir and on that specific date he had reportedly gone out of valley on some private visit .I sought permission to photograph and had Prasad from roshan lal ji .
My father had not seen swami ji . But still he would relate many stories connected with this great saint. I was informed by him that Swami ji would meditate for days together .He ate very litttle and had controlled his desires. Lalla Ded calls these desires as NAFAS. So does Sheikh Nur Ud din or Nund Reshi . Maulana  Rumi the thirteenth centuary Sufi saint and poet too comments on  NAFAS.  Arabs call these desires as NAFAS -AL- AMMARA.
Nafas Myonuy Chhuyah Hostuy,
Ami Hassey Monganam Gari Gari Bal.
lachhi Manz Saas Manz Akhaa lostuy,
Naati Heutinum Saari Tull.
( Lalla Ded )
This greedy mind of mine is like an elephant
This elephant is always demanding .
This elephants has trampled hundreds under its feet
except a few who dared and challenged it .

"O son, if you want to know the form of NAFAS,
read the description of seven gates to hell! "
( Maulana Jala Ud Din Rumi page 88 The Essence of Rumi by John Baldock)