Guest Speaker Satish Vimal

“Lal Ded challenged the social divisions, the parochial mindset, the Brahminical ideology which was ritualistic at that time” says Dr Satish Vimal, well known poet, art historian & cultural crusader from Jammu & Kashmir while speaking of the 14th century mystic Lal Ded. Dr Vimal was a guest speaker in my class Bhakti & Music: Oral Tradition, Radical Change at Ahmedabad University.

He shared his insights about different traditions that have shaped the cultural history of Kashmir over the centuries and highlighted how there was a blending of various faiths in Kashmir, beginning with traditions of the ancient Nagas and Pisachas with their roots in Hinduism and later Buddhism and Islam. The poetry of Bhakti mystic Lal Ded (Lalla, Lalleshwari) and Sufi mystic Nund Rishi (Sheikh-Ul-Alam) he said are living proof of how the syncretism of different philosophers continue to impact the valley to the present day.

For those interested to learn more about Lal Ded this article might be useful.

#bhakti #poetry #Kashmir

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