View Full Version : Swami Lakshmanjoo's Ashram in Kashmir

17 April 2009, 01:18 AM
Paul Reps gives an intoxicating description of Swami Lakshmanjoo's ashram in his Zen Flesh, Zen Bones book. Here it is:

Wandering in the ineffable beauty of Kashmir, above Srinagar I come upon the hermitage of Lakshmanjoo.

It overlooks green rice fields, the garden of Shalimar and Nishat Bagh, lakes fringed with lotus. Water streams down from a mountaintop.

Here Lakshmanjoo - tall, full bodied, shining - welcomes me. He shares with me this ancient teaching from the Vigyan Bhairava and Sochanda Tantra, both written about four thousand years ago, and from Malini Vijaya Tantra, probably another thousand years older yet. It is an ancient teaching, copied and recopied countless times, and from it Lakshmanjoo has made the beginning of an English version. I transcribe it eleven more times to get it into the form given here.

Shiva first chanted it to his consort Devi in a language of love we have yet to learn. It is about the Immanent experience. It presents 112 ways to open the invisible door of consciousness. I see Lakshmanjoo gives his life to its practicing.

Some of the ways may appear redundant, yet each differs from any other. Some may seem simple, yet any one requires constant dedication even to test it.

I've found pictures of the area - Dal Lake, the Shalimar Gardens, etc., but don't really have a good feel for the area.

Does anyone have any amateur photographs of that immediate area in Kashmir where Swami Lakshmanjoo spent most of his life? I'm very attuned to the area where I live in America - the woods and lakes are very much a part of me. Every man is part of his environment whether he is aware of it or not. I'd like to see the area Lakshmanjoo lived in.

On Google maps it seems there is a large mountain range very close to Dal Lake and where Lakshmanjoo's Ashram was stationed. Is it close or do I just read maps badly? Either way, it looks like a beautiful, secluded area of earth.

17 April 2009, 01:30 AM
by the way, there's a few clips on YouTube of Swami Lakshmanjoo speaking. I wish they'd put more up but it's just to bait us into buying his (and Abhinavagupta's) commentary on the Bhagavad Gita in light of Kashmir Shaivism.