Dr Daleep Pandita
Shakti Swaroop of Mata Sharika of Hari Parbat in Kashmir is commonly referred as Mata Roopa Bhawani according to Kashmiri Hindu ethos. Roopa Bhawani literally means form of the Primordial Mother Bhawani. Roopa means ‘Form’ and Bhawani means ‘Mother Creatrix’.It is believed that pleased with his great devotion, Mata Sharika in form of a little girl appeared before her staunch Kashmiri Pandit devotee Madhav Joo during auspicious occasion of Brahma Muhurta and asked him, “Speak out your wish.” Prostrated at Mata’s feet, he submitted, “I wish you are born as my daughter.” Mata Sharika granted the boon and a girl child was born to his wife in early morning of Maag Jyaistha Paurnamasi 1621 AD at Safakadal locality in Srinagar city of Kashmir, which chronicled as the birth of Mata Roopa Bhawani.Mata Roopa Bhawani, the renowned Yogini and a reputed spiritual poetess, occupies an iconic grandstanding in religio-spiritual tradition of Kashmir. Mata is one of the most revered scholar and saint, who is known for her masterful spiritual wisdom of the mystic occurrences, transcendental perceptions and social assertions. Her soul staring sayings and sermons in Kashmiri most commonly known as Vakhs, enormously popular among her devotees, are full of metaphysical truths, incorporeal perfections, Yogic realizations and true to mundane life discernments.At that time, the birth of a girl child in a Kashmiri Pandit family was believed to be the form of Mata Raganya or Mata Durga or Mata Lakshmi, hence she was named as ‘Alakshyeshwari’, meaning one who is unnoticeable. It is also referred to Goddess in unnoticeable forms of life. It is said that since her birth, the baby girl had spiritual powers and filled in with divine touch. Maintaining his family traditions, her father, as her Guru, continued to preach teachings of Vedas and Upnishads at a tender age. Mata grew up in the profound religiously righteous and spiritual ambience of her home under guidance of her father. He was her first Shikska and Deeksha guru in time-honoured Guru-Shishya tradition as per our Vedic culture.From her early childhood days, Mata started to reshape prevailing Kashmiri household culture into divine sanity and encouraged spiritual devotion that helped in reduction of difference of opinion and resolution of various socio religious conflicts. Delicately Mata also started cultivating tolerance that generated love for each other and started becoming a social-reformer.For want of a solitary location for continuing her spiritual Sadhana, Mata went to Manigam, then to Vaskura followed by Cheshma-Sahib, all serine village hamlets in central Kashmir, away from the materialistic world. She preferred to remain in company of saints, learned people and devotees all over to follow the path of spirituality. The great old Chinar tree on the banks of river Sindh in Manigam, culmination of a half-burnt branch planted by Mata, is still standing there as a mute but living witness to her spirituality. A blind man who sincerely served Mata with his full devotion, got back his vision and to address water woes of locals, Mata dug a well at Vaskura, whose water is considered to be pure and pious still, are some of the miracles Mata did for her devotees. Mata’s brother, also her devotee, requested her to bless his illiterate son. Mata gave him a pen and paper and asked him to write and he got transformed into an educated person. Mata preached much needed awareness among innocent women for development of their divine feeling of self respect and nurtured their sentiments for the eternal peace for the peace of the society, which under present times is seen as ‘women empowerment’. Mata was a Goddess born on earth with a religio-spiritual purpose and her legendary life and Vakhs shall continue to enrich us to move forward on the right path of life.
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