Lalleshvari

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In literature of India, Lalleshvari or Lalleshwari (लल्लेश्वरी) (1320-1390) is also known as Lalla, and was a Hindu poet of the Shaivaite sect. Her verses are the earliest compositions in the Kashmiri language that have come down to us.

She was born in Pandrenthan (ancient Puranadhisthana) some four and a half miles to the south-east of Srinagar. She was married at an early age, but her marriage was unhappy and she left home at twenty-six to become a disciple of the Shaivite guru Siddha Srikantha.

Lalleshvari has been very influential in shaping Kashmiri culture and attitudes to life and religion. She came along after the Islamic conquest of Kashmir that disrupted its high tradition in philosophy and the arts and her sayings constituted a memory of the Kashmiri classical age in the popular consciousness. Her poems (called vakhs) have been translated into English by Richard Temple, Jia Lal Kilam, and Jaishree Odin.

Where have I come from?
What road have I traveled?
Which way am I going?
I do not know the way,
Yet here I stand,
With courage and determination,
Hoping to grasp
The knowledge of the truth

External Links

ks:लल्‍लेश्‍वरी sa:लल्लेश्वरी

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