Mother was an illiterate but went on become a Kashmiri whose words, sayings and riddles are on the lips of every Kashmiri. Reading some of her works, one wonders if Mother is indeed a Paramahamsa. She seems to have spoken deeply about everything from life, yoga, and God to dharma and atma.
Mother was a religious minded child. She was wise for her young age but married at twelve years of age to a family in Pampur. The new family gave her new name, Padmavati. There suffered cruelty at the hands of a mother-in-law. She suffered not just lack of peace but also food. Despite some solace by the father-in-law, her life was miserable. This becoming intolerable, Lalla renounced family life and walked out of the house when she was twenty-six.
She wandered the quiet, honey suckled midows of Kashmir. Like Akka Mahadevi, Lalla walked around naked, her unclad form almost transparent against the treeless peaks she frequented. She became a mad devotee of Shiva but came to be recognized as Shaiva mystic of the highest order. Mother became a disciple of Sidh Srikanth. She cared not for gender difference and kept the company of sadhus. Mother composed poetry of such philosophical pith and eloquence many call her the maker of modern Kashmiri language and literature. It is said that Mother’s ‘God is in all’ teachings gave birth a long string of rishis in the Kashmiri valleys.
There is very little information on her death. Some claim that she died in Bijbehara. All said, Mother lives in the hearts through her writings and philosophy.”My guru gave me one precept; from without, withdraw your gaze within on inmost Self. With only this, naked I began to roam” Mother said. Some two hundred works are attributed to Mother Lalla.
“Man's preoccupation with acquiring and adding to his material comforts has assumed such proportions that his belief in God and his native divinity are dismissed as primitive, irrational and unscientific sentiments. He marches through life deeply committed to his material well-being and as deeply indifferent to and ignorant of his spiritual needs. Through its continual contact with the phenomenal world the mind, thus, keeps our consciousness tethered to the physical plane, identifying the material world outside, instead of the Self within, as the main focus of attention.
We identify ourselves as mortal bodies with great gusto and, unfortunately, ignore the immortal Life-Force, which brings this otherwise corpse of a body alive and gives it meaning, with extreme neglect. In spite of being the repositories of the priceless gem, we masquerade as beggars, unable to keep pace with our desires, associating ourselves with death rather than life and seeking tinsel and trash in the ever changing material world which is never likely to give us anything better than decay and death. This is typical of life in the current Kali age which is characterised by the decline in morality, prevalence of falsehood and upsurge of selfishness, greed and hatred” - Prof P.K. Paul. (Tribute to Lallah Yogeshwari)
SUNYA: Her guru, Sidda Srikanth was a Shaiva acharya who initiated Shaiva thoughts in Lalla. She was put on the path of higher ascension and had to achieve Sivahood through the Shaiva-yoga. As a Shaiva practitioner she experienced such states where she felt that she neither belonged to the world of objects nor had the spiritual flashes that would have satiated her yearnings of attaining identity with Shiva. She termed these conditions as ‘Sunya’. It was a state she had to experience before achieving the state of self-recognition.
Her Guru prescribed the Shaiva Yoga path in which a situation emerged when the external world appeared to get absorbed in her own self and the imbalance between subject and object appeared to disappear and all got merged into sunya or void.
It is a stage in her spiritual evolution and not the situation in which she finally attained Sivahood. She even ascended the state of sunya when she had felt that the world of name and form had risen to absorption. What was left was the state of anamaya which in Shaiva parlance means the condition of supremacy of the luminosity of consciousness.
AUM: In her poems Mother Lalla reveals herself through the bija mantra ‘Aum’. She was initiated into this by her guru who was a Shaivite to the core. To her, the manifesting word of Shiva or Brahman is Pranava Aum, Lord of living beings. Repeating Aum is the processes of concentrating her mind as a first step to march ahead on the spiritual journey that she had assiduously embarked upon.
Mother Lalla was a seeker, an instinctive seeker who meditated upon Aum. She reflected upon it as the most sacred syllable of the three Vedas, Rig, Sama and Yajur and immersed herself in the Shaiva-Yoga praxis to cognize her pristine nature of Shiva. She recognized Aum as a great spiritual and vedic symbol. In her vakhs, Lalla clearly says that she had read only one word Aum as the essence of Vedas and then placed it in her mind through its regular recitation with one-pointed mind. There was no necessity for any other mantra. Aum had the spiritual charm beyond which she felt no necessity to seek for other means.
Hara Hara Mahadeva
Yogi Ananda Sarswathi