Friday, January 27, 2023





This is an ancient Prakrit phrase now a part of Jain philosophy and way of life. It's Sanskrit equivalent is "Mithya me duskrtam" . It is said to convey, " If I have put you to any harm by thoughts ,deeds or words , I seek your forgiveness.."

Emphasis on forgiveness is one of the key aspects of Jaina philosophy and conduct. To arrive at a fair meaning of this phrase, we need to understand Kraman, Atikraman, Pratikraman concepts of Jaina scriptures .

Atikraman implies our aggression towards other living beings through thoughts, speech and action. Kraman implies our neutral actions; actions that do not have any good or bad implications. The Jaina philosophy believes in performing Pratikraman for the Atikraman that was done. Pratikraman is a ritual during which Jains perform prayaschit ( repentance ) for such acts ( committed knowingly or inadvertently during their daily life through thought, speech or action) as have hurt others. Samvatsari is the day which is celebrated by the Jain community people to seek forgiveness from all living beings for sins and faults they may have made, whether deliberately or unknowingly. They also forgive other people on this day who have done anything wrong to them.On the day of this festival, people give donation, do charity and distribute food to the needy people. They even feed the cows, dogs and other animals. They practice the compassion by doing all these things.
Jain people say 'Michhami Dukkadam' to their friends and family members on Samvatsari day.

 And non-violence is the foundation of Jaina way of life. In fact every Jaina ascetic is required to take five major vows and abide by them These vows are :-

Ahimsa (Non-violence)
Satya (Truth)
Asteya (Non-stealing)
Brahmacharya (Chastity)

And Lord Mahavira or Vardhamana said this :

"If you cannot tolerate infliction of pain on your body or mind by others' through their words or actions, what right have you to do the same to others through your words and deeds?Do unto others as you would like to be done to you . Injury or violence done by you to any life in any form, animal or human, is as harmful as it would be if caused to your own self."

(Avtar Mota)

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023




( Book review by Sri Ashok Ogra published in the Daily Excelsior on 18th February, 2023) 


( Published by Notion Press )

Paperback  Edition  ( Published in January 2023 )

Price ..

(a) India Rs 435/=(  Four  Hundred Thirty Five Only )

(b) USA, Europe and Canada US Dollars 15/=( Fifteen US Dollars Only )

Read to know something new  from these research based essays .The topics covered  in these essays are as under:-






















Through Pan India  Distributor  Rohit Pandita wef  28th January, 2023.

Available for Rs340/=with  Rohit Pandita  ,Pan  India  Distributor of the book .Please ring up 9596976373 ( 10 am to 10 pm ) any day for immediate courier delivery to any corner of the country   .

At  Kangan Spices , Udhaywala , Jammu wef  28th    January, 2023.

 Available only on cash payment of Rs300/. Contact Shri Ashok Kangan 9419130480

( Avtar Mota )

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023






BECHAIN LAMHE …( Afsanavi Majmua,  Urdu ) by Rajendra Patwari ‘Nashad ‘

Publisher …GNK Publications , Budgam , Kashmir

Price Rs250/=( Two Hundred  Fifty Rupees )

 Year of Publication… 2022( March )


Rajendra Patwari ( born 1943 ) is known as artist of J&K UT .Born in Sopore , the apple town of Kashmir , he was brought up in Srinagar city where he completed his college education. Having  graduated from J J School  of Art ,Mumbai .  He served in various senior positions  at  the Institute of Music And Fine Arts Jammu and Srinagar .He also served as officer on Special Duty  at the  Lalit Kala Akademi , New Delhi.  He considers  artist Mohan Raina as his first Guru in painting.  Apart from being an artist, he is also a well known Urdu writer who uses ‘Nashad ‘as his pseudonym.Since 1965, his Urdu short stories have been published in various magazines and journals of the country .He has also written plays and serials for Radio and Doordarshan  respectively . he has also written many radio features and some plays in Kashmiri for Doordarshan’s  Kasheer channel.His book, ‘Yaas o Hiraas’ ,a collection of Urdu Nazms and gazals was well received .

The book under review comprises of 174 pages  covering 27 short stories .Some prominent  short stories in this compilation could be listed as Master Ji ,Thapad Ki Goonj, Woh Mere Apne ,Bechain Lamhe, Ghar Vaapsi, Ghode ke Daai Qadam, Vazeefa , Chashm-deed Gawaah,Noora, Saaneha Oss Ek Raat Ka ,Dard Apna Apna,Sadak Ke Doosri Aur, ,Pathron Ki Aad Mein, Khadsha,Fitrat,Vazeefa and Ek Masoom Sawaal etc. Most of these stories revolve around  Kashmirii Pandits , a community that faced the wrath of  Pakistan sponsored armed insurgency in Kashmir and had to leave their homes and hearths in 1990 to save their lives and honour. Some stories have been written with Mumbai as the background. This could be because the author spent many years in that city as well. Some stories give reflection of the author’s own life . Some stories also revolve around human nature and psychology apart from projecting contemporary social issues.


Coming to the stories in specific , the author has skillfully used his story Akas   to convey ill effects  of certain government  policies.  In the  story Akas ,  reservation  in employment hits a poor talented applicant from poor Brahmin family who is unable to  get a job in the game of quotas and reservation  percentages . Master Ji is  a story based  on migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley .A Hindu teacher  in Kashmir devotes his  post retirement life to free  teaching of  poor students. His students are  mostly from the Muslim community .This coaching helps the local  Sarpanch’s son to pass his final examination after many years of repeated failures. The Sarpanch and his son travel to  Jammu with a pure intention  to thank Master Ji . They succeed in tracing  Master Ji’s family  in a refugee camp and come to know that Master Ji is no more. Ghar Vaapsi is another story based on migration of Kashmiri Pandits from their motherland and the desire of a person to return to his homeland. As he returns to his home which is occupied by his friend and neighbour , he is confronted by a young boy who refuses his entry  or  presence. The young boy  appears to have been exposed to  religious radicalism  .

In the story Apna Apna Dard, the author traces the plight of  the  Kashmiri Pandits  when the armed militancy first arrived in the valley . The initial signals of  impending death and destruction  were turned down by  many elderly Pandits who brushed them aside as figments of imagination . These Pandits thought that their neighbours would always come to their protection in the event of any adverse situation. Never ever in their wild dreams could they  think about leaving their motherland to save their lives and honour.  In the story , this belief and trust is suddenly torn to pieces when a  young   Kashmiri Pandit boy is shot dead by armed terrorists and no neighbour comes to the rescue of his family. The story appears to be based on some true incident. Such incidents have been witnessed by many families .The story brings a painful reminder of what befell a peace loving community .

In another story titled, “Pyaase Honth”, the author raises the issue of painful deaths in the wake of Covid 19 epidemic wherein even  funeral rites could also not be performed in proper manner . In the story Vazeefa , the author raises question of  the  reservation policy and its implementation by the government whereby  benefits  don’t reach the real deserving  people . In the story Shanakht ( Identity ), the author  touches the issue of rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits and the cumbersome procedure for grant of  Domicile Certificates . The story “Message”deals with a complex issue of  grandchild and his grandfather during the Covid 19 pandemic . The child uses mobile phone to communicate with his grandfather who is under isolation in another room of the same building . The grandfather has forgotten to change the calendar page that the child changes after silently  slipping into his room when he is in his toilet  and the new jean of the grandfather  hanging on the door, turns useless due to countrywide lock out .

The Modern story does not strictly adhere to the traditional thumb rule of all the five ingredients like plot, character, setting, conflict, and theme. Even the greatest story tellers the world over have since dispensed with these strict norms .  Rajendra Patwari also uses modern technique and style to   convey  moving tales of human existence with  empathy, deep  observation and  truthfulness. In this compilation under review ,there are stories that raise contemporary issues , issues of loneliness,  unemployment , government policies, poverty , Covid19,apart from major issue of exile and migration of Kashmiri Pandits from their homes and hearths. These stories are meant for wider reading .The stories present the author as an accomplished writer,  who with his keen observation, gripping narration  and sensitive portrayal keeps the reader glued to the book . I wish the book had been translated into English or published in Devnagari for wider reading. I recommend this collection to all especially the younger generation who may also get a fair idea and glimpse of facts and events of our recent past along with a broader view of the issues facing the common man in general and the exiled community in particular .


( Avtar Mota )


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Friday, January 20, 2023








NAZKI – The Poet From Kashmir

( A Tribute to Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki )

 Edited by Vinita Agrawal

Compiled by Ayaz Rasool Nazki

ISBN 9789390143733

 Published by:   INK LINKS PUBLISHING HOUSE  (Mob..9906252796)

Price Rs500/= US Dollars 20/=

Pages 165 ( Paperback )


“May you be one for whom his mother is a Deva. May you be one for whom his father is a Deva. May you be one for whom his  guest is a Deva. May you be one for whom his teacher is a Deva.”…… Taittiriya Upanishad

I am lover of Upanishads and the pearls of wisdom  contained therein. This Sloka comes to my mind when I find children devoting time and  doing selfless labour for their parents despite  various pressing compulsion and urgent priorities . When I received the above book from Ayaz Rasool Nazki , I was again reminded of the above quoted Sloka from Taittrya Upanishad . I have known the  selfless labour and the  efforts Ayaz Rasool Nazki has been putting in to keep alive the memory of his illustrious father, Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki . I had the privilege of reading his previous book ‘Echo Translation of A Selection of Kashmiri Rubaiyat E Nazki ’. These Kashmiri  quatrains of his father Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki ,were translated into English by Ayaz Rasool Nazki. His efforts in setting up “Nazki Foundation” and involving entire Nazki family and reputed writers or translators in compiling the book under review are equally praiseworthy . The love and affection of the Nazkis towards their illustrious father or grandfather is heartening to observe and worthy of  emulation .

Before coming to the book under review, I would like the readers know that Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki (1910-1998) was a  Kashmiri/ Urdu  poet, writer, broadcaster, and teacher. He was the leading broadcaster amongst  the group that started Radio Kashmir, Srinagar. In fact  Mahinder Kaul, Prem Nath Pardesi , Pran Kishore , Mohan Lal Aima , Bashir Butt and many more  were closely associated with him during the formative years of the station. The Urdu  poetic talent of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki has been appreciated by stalwarts like film lyricist/poet  Gulzar ,Tajwar Najeebabadi and Josh Malihabadi. Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki’s Kashmiri Poetic collection " Awaz-e- Dost” won him the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 1987. He was the convener of Cultural Wing of Jashn e Kashmir started by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad. A devout Muslim, humanism remained his concern all along his life. This humanism brought him close to the Shaivite philosophy . He became an admirer of  Ramakrishna ( Belur Math) , Swami Lakshman Joo and Lal Ded. He loved music and cricket. His children have also done well in their respective professions .I mean Farooq Nazki (eminent poet and broadcaster), Ayaz Rasool Nazki ( poet , author and scientist), Justice Bilal Nazki (  former Chief Justice Odisha High Court ) , Prof Iqbal Nazki (  Sahitya Akademi awardee writer and former Controller of Examinations , Kashmir University ), Viqar Nazki ( banker , retired as Vice President J&K Bank ) late Riyaz ul Islam Nazki ( Joint Director Agriculture Department ) and late Dr Tariq Nazki ( physician in UK ) . The Nazkis are from Madar , a beautiful village close to Bandipore town and Wular Lake .

The book under review has 165 pages  in white sparkling art paper . The front cover of the book has impressive sketches of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki in three different moods done by film maker Muzaffar Ali. The  back cover  of the book  bears a grand tribute to his  father by poet- broadcaster Farooq Nazki.  The book begins with a brief and crisply worded dedication by film lyricist and poet Gulzar followed by  a befitting tribute, ‘ Granddaughter remembers” by Aliya Nazki who works for BBC World Service.  Thereafter, we are introduced to Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki by Ayaz Rasool Nazki who informs us about his father’s life, works and legacy .What follows later is something like a treat ; a beautiful write-up titled ,” Nazki in the light of his Kashmiri Poetry “ by  young scholar Dr Muhammad Maroof Shah . I have read some essays of Dr Shah on Kashmir Shaiv Darshana . He belongs to a different breed of writers who need to be noticed and read .

The book contains a nostalgic and highly informative essay by Padam-shri Pran Kishore Kaul titled ,” My Friend , Guide and Mentor-Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki”. As usual , Pran Ji provides a wealth of information about men and matters that shaped what came to be known as ‘Radio Kashmir,Srinagar‘. Pran Ji has been closely associated with the journey of Radio Kashmir, Srinagar from its birth till his  superannuation. There are some  anecdotes involving men like Abdul Haq Burq , Prem Nath Pardesi , Mohan Lal Aima  , Bashir Butt, Kanwal Nain Checker , Qaiser Qalandhar , Ali Mohammad Lone , Mahinder Kaul, K S Malik , Pushkar Bhan and Peer Nizam ud Din. Pran Ji also talks about some popular programmes of Radio Kashmir, Srinagar  and the related characters .

The book has some poems of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki translated into English by Avtar Mota ( A Blind Girl’s Desire ) and Nisar  Azam ( a poem written in 1985 that had prophetic message about the mad violence that Kashmir saw later ) . There is a Persian poem of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki as well . This Persian poem was included in the anthology of contemporary Persian Poetry published by ‘ Bengahi  Nashariyate Progress’ , Moscow. After this , the reader is introduced to Part II of the book that has poems recited as tribute to Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki and his memory . The poets in this section include  Aadil Ashraf ,Ahmed Rameez,Akash Naik ( Gujrati poet ),Ali Shaida, Amanita Sen,Aminur Rehman ( from Bangla Desh ), Angelo Rizzi ( Italian poet),Barnali Ray Shukla,Barqi Azmi ( Persian poet ), Biplab Maji ( Bangla ),Faiyaz Dilbar,Faizeh Zehra Mirza,Fiona Bolger, Gopal Lahiri,Imran Yusuf,Indu Kilam ,Jahidul Haq,Khalid Bashir Ahmed,Lina Krishnan ,Maitreyee B Chowdhury,Maharaj Krishan Santoshi ,Mubashir Nazki,Muniam Alfakar,Muneebur Rehman,Mushtaq B Burq,Naseem Shifaie,Nazir Azad,Nighat Sahiba,Nisar Azam,Padmaja Ayyangar Paddy,Parmita Mukherjee Mullick,Pervaiz Ali, Premi Romani, Queen Sarkar, Ranjit Hoskote, Raqim Hyder, Rae’d Qureishi ,Rolf Doppenberg, Sampath Kumar , Santosh Bakaya, Shbnam Ashai, Shabir Ahmed Mir ,Sudeep Sen, Shahnaz Rasheed, Swapna Behera, Vinita Agrawal,Zahid Mukhtar and Zulfiqar Naqvi. The poems are refreshing , modern and delightful for readers . The book includes  a rich B/W collection of photographs showing many facets of personal and professional life of Mir Ghulam Rasool  Nazki. You can see entire Nazki family apart from various photographs of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki with stalwarts like Swami Lakshman Joo, Jigar Moradabadi, Ahad Zargar ,Dina Nath Nadim, Amin Kamil, P N Pushp, Prof. Kashi Nath Pandit, Prem Nath Bazaz and many more .

This book is a  great effort and grand initiative by Ayaz Rasool Nazki to document tributes to his illustrious father and present a poetic  panorama to  the readers .I recommend the book to all. I conclude this brief review  with a quatrain of Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki.


“Me kyaah ka’rrie Yun Gatchhun Sontu’k Ta Hardu’k

Bahaar Aassein Harud Aasein Dapuss Gutchh

Chillus Chhuss Byooth’mut Pananiess Dillus Munz

Panun Aassein Parud Aassein Dapuss Gutchh”


( Indifferent I remain now ,

To the arrival and departure of seasons.

Convey this to the spring ,

Tell this much to the autumn as well,

Tell the seasons to be away .

Having moved within to my heart’s cavern :

To any person,

Who visits me ,

A kinsman,

A stranger ,

Tell him this much,

Tell him to be away .)


( Avtar Mota )

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                                                    ( At Hudson River Front , Jersey City) 


I wrote this poem yesterday ," Doston Ke Sujhaav"......

(Doston ke Sujhaav)

" Har ek yaar yehi kehta hai
Baat ghuma kar hi bolo
Kyon qatil ki baat kare ho
Oss se bacha kar hi bolo
Sneh ,ritu, duniya ya mazhab
Kitne aur vishay hain yaar,
Apni vyatha ko rehne hi do 
Oss ko chhupa kar hi bolo"

( Avtar Mota)

My English rendering is as under:-

( Suggestions of my friends)

(Every friend advises me this:-
"Twist your words , don't say what is true.
Why talk about killers?
Talk anything except their deeds .
Love, seasons. world affairs or religion,
Aren't such issues worth discussion? 
Keep aside the story of suffering ,
Talk anything except your saga of pain .)

( Avtar Mota)

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Tuesday, January 10, 2023




Prof Rahman Rahi,  Jnanpith awardee Kashmiri poet is no more . He was the last surviving pillar  amongst the progressives of the previous century. After Nadim, he was the  second tall poet who brought  modern sensibilities while retaining the basic rootedness of Kashmiri poetry. He was well educated, well informed and an excellent  communicator . His education and general awareness helped him   to bring new imagery, new metaphor and a variety of  subjects  into Kashmiri poetry.  Apart from romance,  existential dilemma   , loneliness,   Intense communication remained his  poetic skill and  style. His poetry found immediate connect with a  common Kashmiri .

I saw him quite often in Mushairas. He would be seen in the  college and at many places in Srinagar. I met him twice , once  in Srinagar and thereafter when came to Jammu  for  public viewing of the film  on his life and work  by M K Raina . It was an excellent job done by M K Raina for  Sahitya Akademi.  In his address at Abhinav Theatre , Jammu, he said this:-

" This bad time created two halves of the Kashmiri soul. One half lives in the valley and the other half in the heat and dust of the  plains of our country  ."

 After the  function was over, I met him and  touched the issue of halving of the Kashmiri  soul . In his reply ,he added this:-

" There is a greater tragedy. We have acute scarcity of men who shall stand up and fix these halves." 

The turmoil of Kashmir got reflected in his work more as helplessness of the common man trapped in something like  'Catch 22' situation and also as loss of culture and  ethological changes brought in by widespread violence  .

"Hochha-mietch kolli phaett luuk vanav Kass
Bochhi bochhi tsop assi gaar vanav kyaah"

( We  drowned in a river that had since dried up,
Should we tell that we ate grass to satiate  our  hunger.)

There will be none like Rahi . His metaphor, his style and his vocabulary will be missed in Kashmiri poetry. I love his songs especially ,' Su Gulaab royi deuthum, Bael titi -chha meti mokh haavakh, Kaethi myaani maashoqa mataa Dita dol ,  Rang tseti an myaan jawaani, Shroin yeli kor taem roni damaanas,Zinda rozaana baapat chhi maraan luuk ,Dil chhu praanein kathan sanaan bazay  and some more.  He wrote  ( Hee Maej Kasheeri )the official anthem of Kashmir University, called the KU Tarana.
The  painful sight of crumbling and ghost like vacant houses belonging to Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to leave Kashmir valley  can't be better described except through Rahman Rahi's poetic lines. I quote him :-

" Na chhu daa'ri   alaa'n  pardh'a   na chhu braandh'a   dazaan Tso'ng,
Vaavus  Chhu dapaan kaaw  tse  moloom karakh na....."

(Neither is there any movement in the window curtain,
Nor does any lamp burn in the courtyard.
Puzzled, the crow requests the wind to move in and enquire..)

He received Sahitya Akademi Award in 1961 for his poetry collection" Nawroz-i-Saba"  and got the Padma-Shri in 2000.He received the  Jnanpith award -- in 2007 for his collection ‘Siyah Rood Jaeren Manz’ (In  the Black Drizzle).

Peace be to your soul Rahi Sahib. Your admirers in the length and breadth of the country will miss you. 

( Avtar Mota )

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Sunday, January 8, 2023



                             ( A portrait of Dara Shikoh held by British Museum , London )       


                                                 ( French translation of Yogavasishtha )

“When pots , etc. are broken , the space within them becomes unlimited. So also when bodies cease to exist, the self remains eternal and unattached .” .....Yogavasishtha

Vasishtha Yog Samhita or Yogavasishtha is named after sage Vasishtha who is mentioned and revered in the seventh book of the Rigveda, and who was called  the first sage of the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy by Adi Shankara.


Yogavasishtha  is traditionally attributed to Maharishi Valmiki, the author of Ramayana. However, this vast work was summarised some centuries ago by Gauda Abhinanda ( also known as Abhinanda Pandita ), a Kashmiri scholar, into 6,000 couplets, which go by the name of "Laghu Yogavasishtha".Abhinanda Pandita was the illustrious son of Jayanta Bhatta.Abhinanda, gave details of his family tree in  the  introduction to his Sanskrit book , "Kadambari-katha-sara" . It is a versified abridgement of Bāṇabhaṭṭa’s prose-romance called the Kādambarī .In eight cantos , this work belongs to the class of poetical works composed in the age of decadence. Abhinanda’s work is quoted by Abhinavagupta, Kṣemendra and Bhoja . He was also known as Abhinanda Bhatta.

Abhinanda Bhatta( Pandita) 's father, Jayanta Bhatta was a poet , logician, philosopher, playwright and critic from Kashmir who lived during the rule of King Shankeravarman ( 883-902 AD) of the Utpala dynasty. Jayanta was also a scholar who had mastered Shastra and Agma . His great-grandfather, Shaktiswamin Bhatta was a minister of King Lalitaditya Muktapida. Jayanta was a prolific writer whose maximum work has been lost . Many Western scholars consider Jayanta as a master-scholar of Indian logic. About Jayanta  Bhatta , the well-known scholar , R D Hegde writes this :-

“ Jayanta Bhatta’s contribution to Indian philosophy is no less . He composed two Nyaya works ; Nyayakalika and Nyayamanjari . He also composed an allegorical drama Agamadambara apart from a commentary on Paninian Grammar . Except the Panini’s grammar , all other works have been located, edited and translated into English. “

Laghu Yogavasishtha of Abhinanda Bhatta gained worldwide popularity and was subjected to regular  translations. Abhinanda Bhatta ( Pandita)  also retained  the six chapters of the original text but did pruning and summarization.In this abridged text, almost all the words of the bigger one are reproduced verbatim but the author has extracted the quintessence after clipping the expansive descriptions etc. The text also has a commentary called  Vasistha-chandrika by Atmasukha.

Yogavasishtha  has been translated into Persian, English , Russian , German , Polish, French, Portuguese , Latvian, Tamil , Telugu ,Bangla, Gujarati, Marathi and many other languages.This  philosophical treatise is  divided into six chapters  known as:-

(1) Vairaagya Prakarana( The State of Dispassion )
(2)  Mumuksu Vyavahara Prakarana in (Exposition of the Behavior of the Seeker), (3) Utapatti Prakarana Exposition of the arising and birth)
(4) Sthiti Prakarana (Exposition of the existence and settling),
(5)  Upasama Prakarana  (Exposition of the Patience and Tranquility)
(6) Nirvana Prakarana  ( Exposition of the Liberation )

Thus , Yogavasishtha consists of six books and about 32000 verses. Within these six books are stories told by sage Vasishtha in the form of a dialogue with Sri Rama. When Sri Rama realises the futility of existence and the misery it brings with itself, he is struck with sorrow. When he seeks refuge in Rishi Vasishtha, the enlightened Rishi takes him to the pinnacle of truth through a dialogue between the two that later was captured in the scripture, Yogavasishtha. The timeless dialogue interspersed with deep philosophical stories brings out astounding truths about existence to destroy Sri Rama’s sorrow. In  Ramayana, we don't come across what Rishi Vashishtha taught to Sri Rama. Neither the teachings of Rishi  Vashishtha nor the circumstances that led to the dialogue between Sri Rama and Rishi  Vashishtha are  elaborated upon anywhere. For this, one needs to read Yogavasishtha to know both . It recounts a discourse of the sage Vasishtha to the young Prince  Sri Rama.

The six books  of the Yogavasishtha unfold the major Yogic and Hindu philosophical and religious themes. According to Yogavasishtha, happiness visits a human being should he sincerely work for it. His action or effort must always be in four components. These components of effort are, Samo (quietude of mind), Vichara ( spirit of Enquiry), Santosha ( contentment ) and Satsang (the company of the realized ones). The philosophy of Yogavasishtha says that true happiness resides in our nature. And our true nature is beyond pain and pleasure. Pain and pleasure are reactions that arise from our cravings and bind our consciousness. These verses have a philosophical foundation similar to those found in Advaita Vedanta. It is a treatise on the universe, the human mind, Maya, Brahman and the principles of non-duality.I am of a firm belief that Yogavasishtha is the highest form  of knowledge on subjects that have tormented human minds since ancient times. I mean issues like : the Nature of Self , Nature of Mind, Nature of Non-doer , Nature of attachment ,aversion acceptance and Rejection,Nature of Liberation, Nature of Maya or Illusion, Nature of Universe, Nature of Brahaman, Nature of Atman, Relative  Nature of Time, Life Outside  Earth, Nature of Divine Dispensation or Fate , Practice of Yoga, Causes is Human Suffering,  Purpose of Existence and Creation, Self Correction Through Neti Neti, Theories of Existence and Free Will  , Role of Meditation  and many many  similar issues .

According to Yogavasishtha , the world is as real as a mirage. In other words, it does not exist! Modern physics seems to agree. A 2017 CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research) study observes a complete symmetry between matter and anti-matter in the universe. So, all the anti-matter in the universe should have cancelled the matter in the universe, which further suggests that the universe should not exist in the first place. Rishi Vasishtha explains this mind-boggling truth when Sri Rama asks him where  the world goes during dissolution. To this query , Rishi Vasishtha says this :- 

“Water in the mirage does not come into being and go out of existence; even so, this world does not come out of the absolute nor does it go anywhere. The creation of the world has no cause, and therefore it has no beginning. It does not exist even now; how can it reach destruction?”


Apart from Hindus and many Western writers and philosophers , many Muslims have also been lovers of Yogavasishtha .Dara Shikoh was not only a lover of Upanishads but more profoundly a lover of Yogavasishtha .The message and fame of Yogavasishtha reached the Safavids of Iran. In the late sixteenth century , Nizam-ud-Din Panipati translated Yogavasishtha into Persian and the translation came to be known as Jug-Basisht. He did so at the specific request of Jalaluddin Akbar and dedicated his translation to Prince Salim ( later Jahangir ). Akbar had heard about Yogavasishtha from many Brahmins whom he met. Akbar also became an admirer and lover of Yogavasishtha . The Safavid-era mystic Mir Findiriski (d. 1641) also got a translated copy of Jug- Basisht and commented upon its various passages. Mirza Abdul Qadir Bedil (1642-1720), a Sufi poet of the Indian School known as ‘Sabk e Hindi’ was a lover of Yogavasishtha.It may not be out of place to mention that Sultan Zain ul Abdin of Kashmir, fondly known as Budshah was also a lover of Yogavasishtha. It was Sanskrit scholar and his court historian Srivara who read passages from ‘Yogavasishtha ‘ and explained these to the liberal Sultan. Dr Zabiollah Safa ( former Professor Emeritus, University of Tehran )  ,the renowned Persian scholar was also a lover of Yogavasishtha .Dr Gopi Chand Narang, the well-known scholar and authority on Ghalib writes this :-

“ Ghalib was highly influenced by the Persian poetry of Mirza Abdul Qadir Bedil ( 1642-1720 ). Bedil was a lover of Upanishads and had with him a Persian translation of “Yogavasishtha” that he read and that influenced his thought."

Amongst Western scholars, David Gordon ( Professor University of  California) , Christopher Chapple( American scholar and Indologist ) , Eleonora Meier( renowned Vedic scholar and author) Inese Kausa(  Indologist from Belgium ) , Peter Thomi( German Indologist ) ,Francois Chenet( French scholar and Indologist )  , Walter Slaje( Austrian Indologist )  ,Dr. Peter F Freund( American Scholar and Indologist )and many more have done extensive work on Yogavasishtha .There is hardly any university in Europe and the US that has not encouraged work on ancient Indian scriptures including  Yogavasishtha .

Guru Gobind Singh ,Swami Vivekananda, Vinobha Bhave,Gurudev Tagore, Sri Aurobindo , Swami Ram Tirath ,  Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan are some names amongst many many lovers of Yogavasishtha in India. Indian freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar has praised Yogavasishtha. I Quote from his Autobiography "My Transportation For Life" 

"All of a sudden I fell upon the Yogavashistha, and I found it of such absorbing interest that I have come to regard it ever since as the best work on the Vedanta Philosophy. The propositions were so logical, the verse is so beautiful, and the exposition is so thorough and penetrating that the soul loses itself in raptures over it. Such a fine combination of philosophy and poetry is a gift reserved only for Sanskrit poets"

I end with some quotes from Yogavasishtha :-

(1) When pots, etc. are broken the space within them becomes unlimited. So also when bodies cease to exist,  the Self remains eternal and unattached.

(2) Whatever is seen does not truly exist. It is like the mythical city of Gandharvas or a mirage. That which is not seen, though within us, is called the eternal and indestructible Self.

(3) The world is full of misery to an ignorant man and full of bliss to a wise man. The world is dark to a blind man and bright to one who has eyes.


(4) Just as the cloth, when investigated, is seen to be nothing but thread, so also this world, when enquired into, is (seen to be) merely the Self.

(5) He who realizes that the whole universe is  nothing but consciousness and remains quite calm is protected by the armour of Brahman; he is happy.

(6) Just as a crystal is not stained by what is reflected in it, so also a knower of truth is not  affected by the result of his acts.

(7) He who neither likes nor dislikes the objects seen by him and who acts (in the world) like one asleep, is said to be a liberated person.

(8) O Rama, the mind has, by its activity, bound itself; when it is calm it is free.

(9) The mind is bound by the latent impressions (Vasanas). When there are no impressions it is free. Therefore, O Rama, bring about quickly, through discrimination, the state in which there are no impressions.

(10) O Raghava ! You are bound firmly on all sides by the idea, I am the body’. Cut that bond by the sword of knowledge ‘I am Consciousness’ and be happy.

( Avtar Mota)


(1)…This author is  beholden to many Sanskrit scholars and translators from South India who made it possible for us  to know Kashmiri poets , scholars, critics, historians, aestheticians, logicians, chemists, musicians, rhetoricians, philosophers, grammarians,translators, playwrights and artists right up to the rule of Lohara Kings. Some of these great men from Kashmir who rose to eminence the world over for their original contributions are, Rishi Vasugupta , Abhinavgupta , Khemraja , Kshemendra , Bilhana, Kalhana,  Somadeva , Sharangadeva,Bhatta Narayana  , Jayanta Bhatta,Rajanka Bhatta ,Ratnakara ,Sivaswamin,Srivara ,Bhallaṭa,Vamana,Jonaraja,Anandavardhana, Udbhata, Kuntala , Mahima Bhatta,Silhana,Abhinanda Bhatta, Panini, Charaka, Bhamaha, Gopendra, Namisadhu, Rudrata, Kuntaka, Mammaṭa, Vallavadeva,Dandin, Varahamihira, Utpala, Visakhila, Vamanagupta, Manoratha, Padmagupta, Ratnakara, Mukula Bhatta, Kumarila Bhatta, Poetess Vijjika, Sabaraswami, Bhatta Nayaka, Bhatta Tauta, Hemachandra, Vidyadhara,Rajashekhara,Narendra, Ruyyaka, Sri Shankuka, Sambhunatha , Sumatinatha  , Lollata ,Somendra, Cakrapala, Muktakana, Bhogendra, Prakasendra and many more . In the rich history of Sanskrit literature, Kashmir stands out for its remarkable contribution. This author is also beholden to ‘The Adyar Library and Research Centre’, Chennai for preserving these translations for posterity and also for the scholars the world over. This author’s also  gratitude goes to ‘The Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute’, Pune for preserving some rare books and Sharada and Sanskrit manuscripts from Kashmir. The contribution of the Kashmiris to the Sanskrit literature of India remains unparalleled. Even the Chitrasutra part of Vishnudharmotrapuran is believed to have been written by a Kashmiri Pandit. The best commentators on Rasa and Dhvani theory of Natyashastra have been Kashmiris. And Bilhana remains a distinguished poet from Kashmir in this contribution.

(2)…Rishi Vasishtha is a sage in Hindu religion. He is one of the seven seers or Saptarishi in the first Manvantara, and is considered one of the mind-born sons of the god Brahma. He is also the author of many hymns in the Rigveda and is considered one of the most respected Rishis in Hindu tradition. He is also known for being the teacher of Sri Rama. According to Ellison Findly – a professor of Religion, Vasishtha hymns in the Rigveda are among the most intriguing in many ways and influential. Vasishtha emphasizes means to be as important as ends during one's life encouraging truthfulness, devotion, optimism, family life, sharing one's prosperity with other members of society, among other cultural values. Rishi Vasistha is considered to be one of the most powerful sages in Hindu mythology for his immense knowledge, wisdom, and  power to control the elements of nature. His teachings and wisdom have been immortalized in various Hindu scriptures and are still relevant today.

(3)…Swami Tejomayananda , a disciple of Swami  Chinmayananda has done a wonderful work by  bringing out the essence of 32000 verses of  Yogavasishtha in only 86 verses that have been beautifully  translated into English with lucid commentary . These 86 verses are spread over 151 pages  of his  book titled, 'A Glimpse Into Yogavasishtha '  available for just 135 rupees.


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