Published by The Asian Age, India, on November 24, 2014
The spiritual world has known so many wonderful mystics and most of them have been men. There have been many mystic women also, but the world did not pay equal attention to them and thus they remained unknown or little known. Among the women mystics the most famous is Meera. About two centuries before Meera, in the early 14th century, in Kashmir, there lived another beautiful woman mystic named Lalla, who went through all the struggles in her unfriendly family and the world, same as Meera did. Meera’s path was only one dimensional of love and devotion to Lord Krishna while Lalla’s path was multidimensional. She was a yogin, an advaita (seer) and a devotee of Lord Shiva, who renounced her husband and his family to meditate and wander everywhere for her sadhana. Though her journey was very arduous, she did all kinds of sadhanas with total sincerity, authenticity and love.
Lalla was as beautiful as the land she belonged to. With the inner radiance and fragrance of her meditation, she looked otherworldly and celestial. She was always in ecstasy, moving and dancing in samadhi. This exalted state of consciousness is attained when one transcends the mind. Mystics like Gorakh Nath and Kabir describe it as unmani avastha – transcending the mind and getting drunk on the divine. She lived so naturally that she did not bother to wear clothes to cover herself. It is really surprising that she had the a courage to live naked in those days. It is not possible even today, as the civilised society today would take such a woman to some mental hospital or imprison her.
Lalla’s poetic expressions are as mystical as of saint Kabir. Kabir sang songs of samadhi: Bahari khoj janam gavaya, unmani dhyan dhan bheetar paya (There’s no need to waste your life in the world outside as all the wealth of meditation, self-realisation can be found within.)
Just as Jesus would declare: The kingdom of god is within. Kabir sings: Kasturi kundal base, mrig dhoondhe ban mahi (The musk deer wanders through the forest trying to search for the source of musk fragrance, knowing not that it is in its own navel.)
Similarly, Lalla brings the same flavour in her songs:
Some, who have closed their eyes, are wide awake
Some, who look out at the world, are fast asleep
Some who bathe in sacred pools remain dirty
Some are at home in the world but keep their hands clean
Talking about her in the Books I Have Loved, Osho tells us: “Lalla was one of the most beautiful women… She remained naked, disowned everything, renounced everything still no one came to her to say that her behaviour was obscene. On the contrary, in Kashmir they have a proverb: ‘We know only two words which are meaningful; one is Allah, and another is Lalla.’”
Lalla did not believe in the superficial divisions of Hindu, Muslim, Jain or Christian. She laid emphasis on cleansing the mind of such impurities that imprison the soul. A person of self illumination declares aham brahmasmi, or annal haq (I am the Truth).
Lalla had the same realisation: Makaris zan mal tsolum manas ada me labam zanas zan sun yali dyuthum nishi panas soruy suy ta boh no kenh (When my mind was cleansed of impurities like a mirror of its dust and dirt I recognised the Self in me: When I saw dwelling in me, I realised that He was the everything and I was nothing.)
Swami Chaitanya Keerti, editor of Osho World, is the author of Osho Fragrance
Excerpt from the discourse by Osho, The Razor’s Edge, Ch 16, Q 2 – Illustration Osho News