Namaste Shaarade Devi
Tvaam-Aham Praarthaye Nityam
Vidyaa-Daanam ca dEhi mE
Meaning:- Salutations to Devi Sharada, who abide in the abode of Kashmiira, O Devi, I always pray you for knowledge; Please bestow on me the gift of that knowledge, which illumines everything within.
Mukhe may thamboolam
nayana yugale kajjala kala,
vilasathi gale moukthilatha,
Sphuarath kanchee satee
Prathu kati thate hataka mayee,
Bhajami sthwam gowreem nagapathee kisorimavrutham
Meaning:- Adi Shankaracharya, in Ananda Lahari, exalts Goddess Gowri, “O Mother, I salute and sing about you always, With redness of Thamboola in your mouth, With black coloured eyes due to black collyrium,
With forehead shining due to the red dot from the Kashmir, With sparkling chain in your neck and adorned with shining silk from Kanchi,which is tied by the golden belt on to your waist.”
Did you know the Kashmiri Pandits were chased out of their own home seven times? This article describes the first exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits which dates back to the 1300’s. “Kashmir” comes from “Kashyapa Mira” (Kashyapa’s Lake) because Kashmir was formerly a lake. Kashyapa Rishi was a Vedic sage who is believed to have drained water encompassing this place, which led to valleys and mountains and settling people (Brahmins). The Nilamata Purana (source of ancient history for Kashmir) describes the valley’s origin from the waters, a lake called Sati-saras. The Purana describes the beauty of Kasmira along with the sacred places and the Kashmiri way of living. Kashmir is a beautiful place where the people devoted their lives to God and carried on traditions. Hinduism and Buddhism were believed to be predominant religions in Kashmir where Shaivism and Advaita Vedanta were present. King Gananda and Emperor Ashoka were known to help Hinduism and Buddhism flourish in this place. Kashmir is also known for being a place to learn and obtain knowledge. Many Sages are known to have blessed the place with Hindu Philosophy. Adi Shankaracharya visited Kashmir in 520 BCE where he went to the Shankaracharya Hill and visited the Shiva temple that resides there. He composed Shivananda Lahari and travelled to the Sharada Peetam and composed the Saundarya Lahari.
Unfortunately, Kashmir was disturbed by outsiders who wanted to destabilize the way of life. Syid Mir Ali Hamdani and Sikandar are widely responsible for disrupting peace in Kashmir (1389-1413). Shah Mir is the founder of the Muslim rule in Kashmir and tried to ruin Hindu traditions, where he encouraging inter-marriages between Muslims and Hindus. Syid Mir Ali Hamdani, along with 700 Sayyids, moved to Kashmir and drove a wide gap between the majority Hindus and minority Muslims. Hamdani tortured Kashmiri Pandits and forced them to either die, leave, or convert to Islam. Besides, Hamdani is known for demolishing Hindu temples such as Kalishree temple near Fatah Kadal in Srinagar and built a mosque known as Khanqah-i-Mulla. With his repressive and precautionary measures backed by state terrorism, he achieved the conversion of 37,000 Hindus to Islam. Besides, it was state policy to harass Kashmiri Pandits. The Sayyids headed by Mir Ali Hamdani openly preached extermination of Hindu religion and Hindu politics from Kashmir in order for Islam to flourish.
Sikandar is widely known for his atrocious acts against Kashmiri Pandits, where he would murder them and destroy temples for fun. Sikandar also stepped on Hindu Deity idols, decapitated Kashmiri Hindus, and burned their religious books. Seven mounds of the sacred threads and books were thrown into the Dal Lake. Due to the atrocious and unbearable torture, Kashmiri Hindus had to leave to the neighboring regions of Kishtwar and Bhadarwah through the smithan pass and to various provinces of India via Batote (Bhatta wath, the path of the Bhattas or Kashmiri Pandits).
The Kashmiri Pandits numbering over thousands were drowned in the Lake. They were charred to death at a spot in the neighborhoods of Rainawari in Srinagar City, known as Bhatta Mazar (The graveyard of the Bhattas, the K.P.s) beyond Jogilanker. Only some Kashmiri Pandit families stayed back in Kashmir to save Hindu traditions, and some chose to migrate to other places in fear of retaliation.
Many Kashmiri Hindus were left to die on the streets due to hunger and sickness. Some Kashmiri Hindus disguised themselves as Muslims for survival and to search for their missing families. The Sultan claimed victory on how he demolished Hinduism in Kashmir and performed atrocities against Kashmiri Hindus. Overall, Kashmiri Pandits were chased from their land from outsiders like Syid Mir and Sikandar, who destroyed Hindu traditions and made Islam dominant. We can never forget the brutal torture experienced by the Kashmiri Pandits’ despite the Liberal media’s vested propagandas. With historical knowledge of Kashmiri Pandits’ presence in the valley dating back to as early as the 13th century, which was way before the Mughal invasion underlines the fact that Kashmir was, is, and will always remain an integral part of India.