Wednesday, April 18, 2018


                                                    ( The Listeners )
                                                               ( The Gathering )

                                       ( Dr K L Pandita  ( Right )with M L Saraf )
                                             ( Dr K N Pandita ( Left ) With Prof R L Shant )



( Rumi )

(Like Green Turf  , we keep coming Again and Again )

When some Jammu based   Social / Cultural Organizations decided to Honour Dr K N Pandita on 15.04.2018 , Sh Ramesh Hangloo from Radio Sharda, Shri I B Zutshi Convener PAAN-NYAAR and Shri Narinder Safaya Convener Dialogue also joined . My thanks to all the organizations for inviting me .

Dr K N Pandita Former Director Department of Central Asian studies , university of Kashmir needs no Introduction. He is a post graduate in Persian from Punjab university and Ph.D. in Iranian / Central Asian Studies from Teheran university . He is Author of many books and innumerable papers . Awarded Padamshri recently for his academic attainments , Dr. Pandita is a widely travelled man.
He has closely worked with so many scholars from Central Asia more specifically from Tajikistan.
His travelogue titled "My Tajik Friends" earned him the coveted Soviet land Nehru Award 1987.He has also been awarded Padamshgri by Govt of  India for his academics attainments .

Some prominent works of Dr. Pandita are:

1. Baharistan-i-Shahi, A Chronicle of Mediaeval Kashmir (translated from Farsi)
2. Avicenna – An Introduction
3. Iran and Central Asia
4. Ladakh, life and culture (edited)
5. Hafiz of Shiraz (Urdu)
6. Tohfatul Ahbab, ( English translation of a 17th century history of Kashmir .)

His conceptual clarity and Knowledge of Persian, Tajik and some other foreign languages is amazing. It was a treat to listen to so many things including troubled history of kashmir from him. He was erudite , scholarly and brilliant when he spoke .

While giving a detailed account of his travels in Central Asia, Dr Pandita presented some beautiful anecdotes relating to his stay in Iran, Brussels , Germany , Geneva , Uzbekistan , Tajkistan and other member Republics of erstwhile USSR .

Speaking about the Sun worship culture In ancient Iran and Central Asia , He said ;

“ In Tajik and Persian , Mithra means Sun. Tajik and Persian are closely connected languages and so is Pahalvi . Mithra is ancient Indo -Iranian God of the sun or Light . From India and Iran, this sun worship cult spread to ancient Rome and Spain in west. In Pahalvi, Mehr means sun. That is why the Shah of Iran would be called as Arya- Mehr or sun of the Aryans . You have so many remains of ancient Sun worship Places in Central Asia and some parts of Iran.”

At The end of his speech , I put him a straight question:

“ I have read that you were a favourite student of Renowned Iranian scholar Prof. Zabihollah Safa . Can you please elaborate something on this issue ?"

My question brought a smile on his face and he said:

“ When I went to Teheran for my doctorate , I was Lucky that Shri T N Kaul was our ambassador in Iran at that point of time. I met Shri kaul and that simplified so many things for me .I was entrusted to Prof. Safa . I had heard his name . Never in my wild dreams could I imagine him to be my Teacher for more than two years . He was highly respected scholar world over at that time. The VC of Teheran university opened the door of his car as a mark of respect. He was very serious , talked very less and a man of one word : But when he spoke , he was like cool , attractive and delightful flowing Niagara fall . When I met him,
He asked me to do my doctorate in “ Islamic Tassavuf and poet Bedil “. Surprised at being awarded such a tough subject , I said ,
“ Sir , This is difficult . I Have Not studied “Bedil” fully and tassvuf means very tough assignment . “
He felt angry and said in a louder tone ,
“ What do you mean ? If you Indians will not do it then who shall do it ? You must know that the contribution of Indians in development of Persian Literature is more than the Persians . You have to do it. "

There was no choice left. I knew Bedil was an ocean with no banks .There is absolute unanimity in Iran and central Asia that there has been no greater poet in Persian than Bedil.
I had to do the impossible . As time passed , Prof.Safa turned out to be the most Humane and helpful person. He arranged every help for me . He even extended my scholarship Tenure . He treated me like his own child. He was liberal in real sense of the term. He was an outstanding scholar of Iranian literature ,Islamic History and culture . Prof. Safa was a dispassionate critic of so many subjects. His usual audience at Teheran University included ambassadors of Arab countries apart from European scholars. . He had written a series of Books ( 5 volumes ) on Iranian Culture and civilization . This series was treated as reference book by many Farsi scholars . Rumi was his favourite . He would write one line from Farsi couplet on Board and then discuss it for full day. He would break the line into words and then discuss etymology of each word and then trace the origin of the word in latin , German and Greek . Amazing Scholarship .Whatever I am , it is all due to Dr Safa .


                               (Dr Safa )
 I owe him everything. My Guru , My Teacher and my Guide in Life , learning and so many other fields. After the fall of Shah and the Islamic Revolution , he left Iran and moved to Germany . I always wanted to see him . Some years back, I was in Germany and went to see him and I got a shock of my life. He was bed ridden and had memory loss due to Alzheimer disease . So painful for me. The debt remained unpaid. What could be done .I have dedicated My Book Tahfatul Ahbab ( Translation from Persian to English) to him. "

( Autar Mota )

Mirza Abdul Qadir Bedil had Uzbek ancestry .His ancestors came to India and settled over here. He was a renowned Persian poet from Indian Subcontinent..He lies buried in Delhi.
Prof. Zabihollah Safa (1911 -1999 ) was a scholar and professor Emeritus of Iranian Studies at the University of Tehran.He was a man of clear thinking and profound scholarship. He wrote countless articles and authored several books apart from translating many books into Persian. His contribution to the field of Iranian studies and his seminal and comprehensive works on the history of Persian literature remains unmatched to this day. He was also a regular contributor to the Encyclopaedia Iranica. He was a master of several languages including french. He died as an Exile in Germany.
Avicenna was a Persian polymath who is held in high respect in Iran and Central Asia. He was one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, mathematicians, thinkers and writers from Islamic world. He was influenced by Greek philosophy , medicine and logic .He has influenced many scholars and medicine practitioners of Arab world that include Ibn Batuta and Al Biruni.He died in early 11th century.

CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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