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Kashmir was established by Rishi Kashyapa on Margashirsha Krishna Paksha Pratipada which falls on the 1st of December this year

By Brahmananda

In Nilamata Purana it is written that “कश्मीरमण्डलं चैव प्रधानं जगति स्थितम् ” meaning that Kashmir occupies an important place in the world. This statement is relevant even today. South Asian diplomacy directly or indirectly revolves around Kashmir. It is so important that this place is named again and again in the United Nations. There is a lot of propaganda happening around it at the moment though. Various theories are surrounding the origins of Kashmir. Some say Kashmir has no Hindu history while some others claim that Kashmir is named after Khash tribe of Himalayas, still others relate it to migrating tribes from west.

However, literary-historical evidence says otherwise.

According to Nilamata Purana Rishi Kashyapa established Kashmir on the first day after passing of full moon day of Kartika (कार्त्तिक्यां समतीतायां सम्प्राप्ते प्रथमेऽहनि कश्मीरा निर्माता पूर्वं कश्पेन महात्मना-465)

Nov 30th, 2020 is Kartika Shukla Paksha, Purnima and the Next Day is Margashirsha Krishna Paksha Pratipada (1st day) ie 1st December 2020.

Kashmir was established by Rishi Kashyapa on this Margashirsha Krishna Paksha Pratipada which falls on the 1st of December this year.

It also tells how Kashmir was named, it says-

“Prajapati is called Ka, Kasyapa is Prajapati hence country established by him will be called Kashmira”

“Water called Ka was removed from here by Balrāma”  hence this land is Kashmir’s” (226,227)
Nilamata Puran mentions these two reasons why the land was named thus. But some people may question the historical authenticity of this Purana. Historians date it to 6 AD. Let’s first establish its historical authenticity.

Nilamata Purana Mentions kings of Kashmir during the time of Mahabharata. It narrates the events with the perspective of Kashmiris.

The king Gonanda-1, who was a friend of Jarasandha, went to help him attack the City of Mathura which was defended by Krishna and Balraam. Kashmiri Army helped the Magadhan Army. This establishes that Magadha and Kashmir were allies at the time. This event also finds a mention in Harivamsha Purana and Mahabharata. Gonanda-1 fell while fighting in this siege, which lasted 27 days. His son, King Damodar wanted to take revenge for his father’s death and so he took his army to attack Krishna, who was in Gandhar, attending a Swayamvar. Damodar was killed in this battle with Krishna.

His wife, queen of Kashmir was crowned by Krishna as the ruler of the land on behalf of his unborn son Gonanda-2. Being still a child at the time of the Mahabharat war, Gonanda-2 was not called by either of the sides to ally with them.
Now, there is no mention of the King of Kashmir fighting in the Mahabharat war but no reason for the same is given in the Mahabharat either. We get the reason from Nilamata Puran. It is in perfect sync with Mahabharat. One cannot explain the events of Mahabharat without the Nilamata Puran.

Hence we cannot ignore it as a historical literary evidence. Those refusing to accept it as such are certainly prejudiced. Nilamata Purana sketches a beautiful picture of early Kashmir. Reading it makes one realize what we have lost.

All the Sacred places were here. There were hermitages all along the river Vitasta(Jhelum) and beyond that. The most important word used in Nilamata for Kashmira is “अनातङ्क” devoid of terror. The biggest irony is that the place which was once devoid of terror is the most affected by terror now.
“Always full of twanging of Bows and, Vedic recitals,
Happy people living all around, Full of beautiful gardens and trees laden with fruits, full of sacred places”

Abhinavgupta the great philosopher(Kashmir Shaivism) praises Kashmir like this

“Where everybody is a learned person, where even a warrior is capable of worthy discourses, where women of the cities are remarkable with luster of the moon and charming gait, where the band of yoginis (female adepts in tantric practice) , just like the clear sky, are remarkable, having got the sun and the moon ( prana and apana or ida and pingala symbolized) eclipsed, with their opening of the infinite path of susumna blazing like the burning charcoal. Where, here and there the sages make their dwelling, where in every place resides Siva himself, except such a place as Kashmir, I feel, for the fulfilment of all wishes and for the achievement of the perfect spiritual realization, there is no other place in the world”

Such a beautiful description almost sounds like a Utopia. Nilamata mentions many sacred places in Kashmir. A place named Bhooteshwar is mentioned. It is said that Nandi resides there. The description of that place matches with present-day Pahalgam.

It also mentions an idol of Agnidev established by Angira. This is historically significant as it relates this place to Vedic times and also lets us know about the original practices of Kashmir. From Brahma to Skanda and from Vishnu go Yama and from Kuvera to Indra there were sacred places dedicated to all of them, Kashmir was an important place for Devi worship, in fact devi uma is same as devi Kashmira. Although presently lost, we have a possibility to revive them, only if we can locate them and then rebuild them.

But that’s something for the future. At present, it is our moral duty to make people aware of the glorious past of this land. It is a surprise that we have forgotten on what day Kashmir was established by our ancestor Rishi Kashyap. Let every man, woman and child living on this land know what their glorious past was. Let them know what a blessed place this land was. This is not singing praises of the lost glory. This is drawing inspiration from the past and projecting it to the future.

It is the moral duty of every citizen to help bring back the lost glory of Kashmir and restore Ma Kshmira to her former glory!

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