Around the 14th century........Lalla pervaded the region of Kashmir, North India.
Married at the age of 12, Lalla was a victim, for close to 10 years of her mother-in-law and husband's physical and emotional abuse.
She left home in her mid 20s and breathed all the winds flowing in the region of Kashmir at that time.........winds which carried the scents of the Sufi, Shiva, Buddha, and Advaita.
And then being the very wind....
....she roamed around for maybe 4 decades ...physically naked...
... just singing....
....exemplifying the perfect union of Bhakti and Jnana, (Love and Apperception.)
"When will my shame fall away?
When will I accept being mocked and let my robe of dignity burn up?
When the wandering pony inside, comes calm to my hand. "
In that singing, Lalla alludes to the reactive mechanism which gives value both to the sense of shame as well as to the sense of dignity....... both bestowed by the words or actions of an other.
(Even oneself can be made into the other and reacted to)....that it is not what you are called/named/termed (either by oneself or by the other), but what you respond to.
Denuded is not the mere bereft of cloth but a nakedness which does not have even the fig leaf of an other, let alone other's views on oneself.
Another singing of Lalla...
" Don't be so quick to condemn my nakedness.
A man is one who trembles in the Presence.
Why not go naked?
The ram of experience must be fed and ripened for the sacrifice.
Then all these customs will disappear like clothes, leaving only that which-is ."
The region of Kashmir being referred to is not just what is right now......... but in the 14th century covered the whole of today's Pakistan and Afghanistan, Tibet, Samarkand, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and other CIS countries of today.
The winds of the mountains of Kashmir then/now ...........were/are ........exhilarating .
Many centuries before Lalla, the same winds had beckoned even Moses and Jesus and it is said that the cemeteries of both are in the valley of Kashmir.
Yet as usual, in the grounds of Kashmir, when Lalla was around......it was covered by competing rituals of the Hindu priests, the mullahs and the Buddhist theologians.
Lalla sang and blasted these rocks of theology and rituals and customs.
"Holy books will disappear, and then
only the mystic formula will remain.
When the mystic formula departed,
naught but mind was left.
When the mind disappeared naught
was left anywhere,
And a voice became merged within the
"Now I saw a stream flowing;
Now neither bank nor bridge was seen.
Now I saw a bush in bloom;
Now neither rose nor thorn was seen.
Now I saw the hearth ablaze,
Now I saw not fire nor smoke.
Now I saw the Pandava Mother,
Now she was but a potters' aunt"
"Ride on your breath;
Then there is no hunger, nothing is a disturbance"
"It covers your shame,
Saves you from cold,
Its food and drink-
Mere water and grass.
Who counselled you, O brahmin,
To slaughter a living sheep
as a sacrifice
Unto a lifeless stone ?"
"Thou art the earth, Thou art the sky,
Thou art the air, the day and the night;
The sacrificial corn Thou,
And unction of the sandal-paste.
Thou art the water, Thou art the flowers,
Thou art all these and everything.
What may I, in worship, bring to Thee ?"
"Searching the Self, I wearied myself;
For none by searching ever gained
The secret knowledge beyond the mind.
I stopped searching, and love led me
to the Tavern* door.
There I found wine jars aplenty,
But none desiring to drink from them"
"From without, the withdrawing
is the ceasing of the edge where within-without meet.
Lo behold, the roaming nakedness"
"Patience to endure lightning and thunder,
Patience to face darkness at noon,
Patience to go through a grinding-mill --
Be patient whatever befalls, doubting not
that He will surely come to you"
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