Born in approximately 1330 AD in Kasmir, Lal Ded (Lalla Yogeshwari) was married at 12, experienced maltreatment and left her husband at 24 to become a naked wandering mystic. She did not give weight to gender difference and was comfortable among the sadhus. Though illiterate she constantly recited verses as she went, always devoted to Shiva. She is considered a saint and teacher among Kashmiri Shaivites. She particularly pointed out that Hindus and Muslims should not focus on their differences, but on the essential truth of Oneness. Her primary sadhana, or spiritual practice, was repetition of the sacred sound Aum.
Only one word ‘OM’
The same word ‘OM’
I reared in my heart,
The same ‘OM’ I learned
And smoothened on a stone:
A bit of grass I was, yet
I changed into gold
The mind-horse gallops over the skies,
Momently traverses a million miles.
Consciousness-bridle will hold it in check,
Control the wings of the airs that go up and down.
Shiva is the horse, Keshava the saddle,
And Brahma becomes the stirrup.
The yogi through his yoga will come to know,
Which God will dare to mount this horse.
The unimpaired sound, the void of the sky,
The One with no name nor family nor caste,
Just the Self-aware Sound and the Dot eternal
That God alone will mount this horse.
The mind-horse I reined in and put on course,
Holding him still with the ten air-channels.
The mystic moon melted and downwards flowed.
And the void was absorbed into the void!
I was passionate,
filled with longing,
far and wide.
But the day
that the Truthful One
I was at home.
Thou art the heaven, and Thou art the earth
Thou alone are day and night and air
Thou thyself art all things that have birth
Even the offerings of flowers fair
Idol is but a stone, so is a temple
Above and below it is joined in one mass
O ignorant Brahman! Whom would you offer worship to?
Bring about the communion of the mind and the vital Prana.
Kusa grass, flowers, sesame seeds, a candle and water are not essential
Adopting the guru’s word with all one’s heart
One who daily meditates on Siva voluntarily with genuine faith
Verily becomes actionless and is not born again.
I treaded on the expanse
of the Void within me:
I lost intellect, cognizance and
The sensations external:
A detective of self.
I became myself; Lo and behold: from which ear
My (Lalla’s ) lotus blossomed forth ?
OM SHANTI OM