The Sage of Manigaam


The Sage of Manigaam

*-Gopinath Raina

"All found solace and comfort in his presence"
Bub (father), take pity on me please; be kind and heal my arm. This is the harvesting season, and down and out as I am, my family will die of starvation if I am not alright”. The compassionate sage touched the fractured arm and, lo’ and behold, it was restored to normal health. The Gujjar sped away in joy.

One elderly Muslim, who too witnessed the healing drama was not at all happy. He made bold to ask Kashkak, "Why on earth should you have been so kind to a person who is known for his cunning?" Pat came the saint’s reply: "You won’t understand all this. We are here to help and serve those in trouble; we are here to simplify and not complicate matters. If the Gujjar’s arm was not cured immediately, his family, his innocent children, would have suffered for no fault of theirs. If, indeed, as you say, the Gujjar is a bad person, he cannot escape the fruit of his moral lapses. He will have to go through the hell after the harvesting season". As I learnt later, the Gujjar had to go through normal medical process long after the harvesting season.

In summer of 1942, my revered father asked Kashkak as to when would my mother’s maternal cousin who accompanied us to the saint on that occasion was going to get married. Kashkak replied, " Yora Gachhith ta Tora Yith", meaning "He will marry when he comes back after he goes from here”. The subtler meaning was that he would not get married in this life but only in his next birth. The said gentleman from downtown, Srinagar, remained unmarried till his death in the 84th year in 1997.

During our visit to the sage in August 1953, we prayed for his blessings to our first child, who was just one and a half year old but was sickly and could hardly digest food. He told us: “Do not worry about the child’s eating. He has had his full in his past life when he was in Vilayat (England). Once he goes back there, he will start eating again. We could not by any stretch of imagination think at that time that exactly 40 years later, the boy would be settling in the US.

On another occasion, while sitting in his presence under the shade of a huge banyan tree, a short distance from his house, two ladies were heard screaming at each other very loudly. A little later we learnt that it was the usual verbal fight between Kashkak’s two daughters-in-law. While the elder one was of a virtuous disposition, the younger one was shrewish in nature. After the screaming and shouting was over, the younger daughter-in-law passed by with an empty pitcher on her head on her way to the nearby Sindh river to fetch water. The silent unperturbed sage sighed and murmured to himself Have you finished the quarrel? How many more days of it now?”

One could not immediately gauge the significance of these remarks. During my next visit, however, I learnt that the lady had died within four months of that ugly incident.

Beyond the Starry Influence
In 1960, my nephew had been to the sage to seek his blessings for his daughter’s marriage. At that time, Kashkak had just advised him to follow what I had told him earlier in this regard after examining the astrological chart of the girl.

On learning from my nephew that Kashkak knew about my interest in astrological sciences, a thought crossed my mind that I should try to procure the horoscope of the sage and examine its planetary combinations, if only to satisfy my research instinct. During the very next visit to Manigaam, I made bold to whisper into the ears of the great mystic my request for his horoscope.

Without showing any displeasure, the seer retorted, “Why do you want my astrological chart? What are your planets going to do to me?” For a moment, I was speechless. But before I could summon the courage to repeat my request, I thought to myself: “Well, Kashkak is right perhaps. Good or bad accruing from the favorable or unfavorable position of planets may affect small minds like me, but not men of Olympic spiritual heights like him.”

Uncanny Prophecies
Kashkak's uncanny prophecies were often shrouded in ambiguity. Possessed with a far-sighted vision, Kashkak knew the past, present and future of mankind.

In the summer of 1938, one of my relations and a devotee of Kashkak went to Manigaam to seek his blessings for a male progeny. Kashkak in his usual cryptic manner said: The significance of the Kashmiri proverb was clear and the gentleman was blessed with yet another daughter soon after.

Yet another relation of mine visited Kashkak in 1946 to pray for the recovery of his arthritis in his knees. He was 27 at that time. Without mincing words, the sage said: “You will have to live with the disease till your end”. And the gentleman suffered the ailment till his death in his 82nd year.

Continues to Bless Devotees
Like all spiritual maestros, Kashkak, in his astral form, is as potent now as he was during his lifetime in answering the calls of his devotees.

One of my cousins, a teacher by profession and a woman of great faith and devotion, faced great hardship soon after she and her family had been forced out of their homeland in the wake of widespread terrorist menace in 1990. Living in Ajmer as a refugee, she was not able to draw her salary like other refugees in exile, because her official records had not been sent to Delhi, caught as they were in red tape. Though she had not seen Kashkak in person during her life time, she had heard a lot about his healing powers, In utter desperation, she posted a letter in Ajmer for Manigaam praying to Kashkak for divine help. Believe it or not, her prayer was answered within two to three weeks of the posting of the said letter to the great saint, almost 30 years after he had passed into the Beyond..

Kashkak attained Mahasamadhi on the 5th Tithi of the bright half of the lunar month of Sravana on August 17, 1961, Saptarshi Samvat 5037 and Vikrami Samvat 2018


*G.N. Raina retired from Indian Information Service (I.I.S.) in 1983 after completing 35 years as a distinguished editor, correspondent, commentator and administrator; All India Radio; Editor, AICC Journal, Varnika, (Jan.'84-Dec.'90); Editor-in-Chief, Koshur Samachar (March'91-Oct.-'95; Editor-in-Chief, Sanatana Sandesh, an official publication of South Florida Hindu Temple, Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1997-2005); Editor-in-Chief of KASHEER, magazine (2003-2004), He presently lives in Miami, and spends his time writing personal memoirs.
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