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All about Lalleshwari from Kashmir | Life events of Lalleshwari/Lal Ded from Jammu and Kashmir


Lalleshwari, also known as Lal Ded (1320 - 1392), was a Kashmiri mystic of the Kashmir Shaivism school of Hindu philosophy. She was the creator of the style of mystic poetry called Vatsun or Vakhs, literally "speech" (from Sanskrit Vaak). Known as Lal Vakhs, her verses are the earliest compositions in the Kashmiri language and are an important part of the history of modern Kashmiri literature.

Lal Ded (Mother Lal or Mother Lalla) is also known by various other names, including Lal Dyad (Dyad means Grandmother).

A great deal of the records of Lal Ded's life is contained in oral tradition, and consequently, there is considerable variance in the details of her life and beliefs. 

Most modern scholars place Lal Ded's birth between 1301 and 1320 C.E., near Sempore or Pandrenthan. She is estimated to have died in 1373, and a grave near Bijbehara is commonly attributed to her, although there is no confirmation. Lal Ded was born Brahmin family and was married at the age of twelve by the local customs. 

Following her marriage, she was renamed, as is custom, to Padmavati, but continued to be known as Lalla or Lal Ded. Some reports suggest her marriage was unhappy, and that she left home, between the ages of twenty-four and twenty-six, to become a disciple of a spiritual leader, Siddha Srikanth or Sed Boyu, who was a Shaivite. As part of her religious education, she traveled alone on foot, surviving on alms, before becoming a teacher and spiritual leader herself.

Literary Works
Lal Ded's poems represent some of the earliest known works of Kashmiri literature and were written as Kashmiri began to emerge as a distinct language from Apabhramsa-Prakrit, which was spoken in North India. A total of 285 poems, known as vakhs, are attributed to Lal Ded.

Lal Ded's vakhs are drawn from influences and languages that made contact with the Indian sub-continent in her life, drawing from Sanskrit, Islamic, Sufi, and Sikh cultures. She continued the mystic tradition of Shaivism in Kashmir, which was known as Trika before 1900.

Example of Lal Vakh
Ami pana so'dras nAvi ches lamAn
Kati bozi Day myon meyti diyi tAr
Ameyn tAkeyn poniy zan shemAn
Zuv chum bramAn gara gatshaha.


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