Kashmir (India/Pakistan) (14th Century) Timeline
Yoga / Hindu : Shaivite (Shiva)
Poems by Lalla
Little is known with certainty about her life, other than hints that come to us through her poetry and songs.
She was a young bride, married, tradition says, at the age of twelve. After moving into her husband's family home, she was abused by her mother-in-law and ignored by her husband.
A story is told about "Lalla's Lake" -- one day when returning from the well with a clay water jug on her head, her husband lost his temper over her delay and struck the jug in his anger. The clay vessel broke but, miraculously, the water held its shape above her head. This becomes an important symbol of the heavenly nectar that rains down from the crown.
Finally, Lalla could endure no more mistreatment and, in her early 20s, she left. She became a disciple of a respected saint in the Kashmir Shaivism tradition of yoga and she took up the life of a holy woman dedicated God in the form of Shiva. Lalla began wandering about, village to village, going naked or nearly naked, and singing songs of enlightenment.
Lalla's songs are short, using the simple, direct language of the common people, yet she touches on complex yogic techniques and the most elevated states of awareness.
The name Lalla can be translated as either "seeker" or "darling."
Lalla is deeply loved by both Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir today, even amidst the terrible fighting ravaging the land. There is a saying that in Kashmir only two words have any meaning: Allah and Lalla.
Poems by Lalla
- A thousand times I asked my guru
- At the end of a crazy-moon night
- Coursing in emptiness
- Dance, Lalla, with nothing on
- Day will be erased in night
- Don't flail about like a man wearing a blindfold
- Drifter, on your feet, get moving!
- Dying and giving birth go on
- Fool, you won't find your way out by praying from a book
- Forgetful one, get up!
- I hacked my way through six forests
- I made pilgrimages, looking for God
- I searched for my Self
- I trapped my breath in the bellows of my throat
- I traveled a long way seeking God
- I wore myself out, looking for myself
- I, Lalla, willingly entered through the garden-gate
- If you've melted your desires
- Intense cold makes water ice
- It's so much easier to study than act
- Just for a moment, flowers appear
- Learning the scriptures is easy
- Meditate within eternity
- Neither You nor I, neither object nor meditation
- New mind, new moon
- O infinite Consciousness
- One shrine to the next, the hermit can't stop for breath
- Playfully, you hid from me
- The soul, like the moon
- The way is difficult and very intricate
- There is neither you, nor I
- To learn the scriptures is easy
- Wear the robe of wisdom
- What is worship? Who are this man
- When my mind was cleansed of impurities
- When Siddhanath applied lotion to my eyes
- Word, Thought, Kula and Akula cease to be there!
- Your way of knowing is a private herb garden