The Kashmirian brAhmaNa jonarAja wrote a rAjataraMgiNi describing the rule of various Moslem tyrants in Kashmira after the end of Hindu rule. He is rather laudatory in his description of the Sultan Zayn al Abidin (reign 1418-1470 CE), who is described as being rather pro-Hindu and non-iconoclastic. However, this did not mean that mayhem did not occur in his reign. The incident we present below from jonarAja’s memoir has reverberations in the incidents that have happened even in the last 25 years even as the marUnmatta assault is aided and abetted by the mlechCha-s and chIna-s.
makka-deshAgato jAtu pustakADambaraM vahan |
saidAla-nAmA yavano rAjendraM tam upAgatam ||
A Mohammedan named alI the Sayyid who came from the Mecca country, carrying ever-empty verbose texts (i.e. the rAkShasa-pustaka and the recollections of the Adyunmatta) approached the sulTAn (Zayn al Abidin).
guNAn vikatthamAnaM taM guNirAgI nareshvaraH |
upAgachChat pratidinaM darshanAyetaro yathA ||
As he proudly declared his ancestry (i.e. from the Adyunmatta), the sulTAn, attracted by endowed men, went to see him every day as if he was the Sayyid, and the Sayyid was the ruler.
sa tasya paTahasyeva rAjApashyat kramAd asau |
antaH sAravihInatvaM parIkShAyAM vichakShaNaH ||
In due course the discerning sulTAn realized by examining [the Sayyid] that the Sayyid was bereft of substance as an empty kettle-drum (That is he was all talk with little substance).
mlechCha-maskariNi kShoNiprANesho nirguNe .api saH |
premANaM nAmuchat putre piteva karuNArNavaH ||
Even though the Mohammedan godman was without merits, the ruler of the land, an ocean of compassion, did not take away his kindness to him like a father from his son.
pradoShasyeva tamasAM durghanasyeva vidyutAm |
doShANAM bahutA tasya prajAH samudavejayat ||
His many vices the bothered the people, as the darkness of the evening hour or the lighting flashes from a dark cloud.
tasminn avasare kashchid yogirAjo jitendriyaH |
nyavikShatonnate stambhe yogAbhyAsasya siddhaye ||
At that time a certain, master of yoga who had controlled his senses sat down on a tall pillar to perfect his yoga practice.
stambhopari navAhAni nirAhAram apashyataH |
tasyAshiShaiva mahiShI rAj~naH putram ajIjanat ||
He [performed yoga] atop the pillar for nine days not bothered by his abstinence from food. Indeed by his blessings the bIbI gave birth to a son.
tapasyatas tathA tasya tatra tan navamaM dinam |
rAj~nas tv anavamaM putra-janma-kAla-mahotsavaiH ||
This ninth day of the yogin’s tapasya there [ atop the post] was indeed however, a day of great celebration for the sulTAn on the occasion of his son’s birth.
hemantAnte patati tuhinaM phAlguNe valgu valgad |
dIpasyApi sphurati sutarAM shAntikAle .atidAhaH ||
At the end of the cold season in the phAlguNa month the snowflakes dance beautifully,
a lovely dance. Just before a lamp dies out it flares up greatly.
shaityodreko vahati vahati grIShmakAle tuShAraM
vastu prAyaH prathayati nijaM dharmam AyAti nAshe ||
The coming of a cold wave during summer brings snow. When destruction is coming, things commonly display their innate intuition [for catastrophe].
tapaH kavacham aspR^iShTvA tam adho mArgaNair gatam |
prahartur iva nirdeShTuM bhaviShyantIM tathA gatim ||
Avoiding contact with the yogin, whose armor was his tapasya, he [the Sayyid] went below, and stationed himself aiming to assail [the yogin].
rAjamAnyaM tam Alokya kupyantaM shAnta-mAnasaH |
nirNayAd achalad varNI nayAn na tu bhayodayAt ||
[The yogin] of controlled mind saw the frenzied Sayyid who was honored by the sulTAn. Then out of prudence the yogin acted; but certainly not from fear [of the Mohammadan].
sa stambhAn na mahAdhairyAd avArohan mahAmanAH |
naivArohaj jagad dR^iShTiM sadyo dyAm api yogavit ||
This high-minded yogin did not descend from the pillar due to his great courage. Nor did he ascend to heaven, from where he could see the world.
atithiM yogapathikaM mA vadhIr mAm iti bruvan |
mlechChamaskariNA varNI khaDga-ghAtair achUrNyata ||
“I am a guest traveling on the yoga path, do not kill me!” he said. But the Mohammedan godman hacked him into pieces with strikes of his sword.
aty artha-darshana-dveShAn madirA-mada-mohitaH |
sa mlechCha-sahito yogirAjaM tam avadhIch CharaiH ||
Intoxicated by the liquor of hate towards what he saw [the yogin] the Mohammedans who accompanied him [Sayyid] struck the yoga-master with arrows.
saMtaptair malinaiH sthUlair janAnAM tad vilokanAt |
bhUtale patitaM vAShpair apavAdaish cha rAjani ||
Having seen that [the killing of the yogin] people shed hot, stained, heavy tears on the ground, conveying with that their censure to the sulTAn.
pR^ithvI-nAtho .atha tach ChrutvA shuddhy artham iva magnavAn |
bhI-hrI-shoka-krudhAshcharya-kR^itya-chintArNaveShu saH ||
Having heard of that the lord of the land as if to purify himself, dipped himself into an ocean of fear, shame, sorrow, anger, bewilderment and brooding over what to do.
prathamodbhUta putre .api tasminn ahni mahIbhujA |
nAsnAyi nAbhyavAhAri na vyavAhAri nAkathi ||
Even though it was the day his first son was born, the ruler of the land did not bath, eating, hold court or talk.
anyedyur bhUpatiH pR^iShTa-smR^iti-j~na-gurukovidaH |
hantur daNDaM vadhaM shR^iNvan karuNAyantrito .abhavat ||
On the next day, when he was told by his learned guru-s who knew the smR^iti-s that [the Sayyid] had to be sentenced to death he was overcome with compassion.
pratIpaM kharam Aropya pratihaTTaM paribhramam |
nara-mUtrAbhiShiktasya kUrchasya parikartanam ||
As punishment he sentenced the Sayyid to be seated on a donkey and paraded around the market place. Human urine was poured on him and he was shaved off completely.
ShThIvanaM sarvalokAnAM pretAntrair bAhubandhanam |
jIvan-maraNam AdikShad daNDaM tasya kR^ishAyateH ||
Everyone was to spit on him and he was tied up with the entrails of corpse. Thus, it was to be a bad fate of living death for him.
rAjani mlAni-hInAni dik-saugandhya-vahAni cha |
apatan nAka-puShpANi paurAshIr-vachanAni cha ||
Then heavenly flowers, unwilting carrying fragrances from all corners showered on the sulTan and also the praise of the people.
There are some things one could read between the lines:
1) The Sayyid though very empty was greatly honored by the sulTAn. The excessive honoring of sharifs by Indian sulTans in the pre-Mogol period has been noted in other cases too (example Mohammad ibn Tughlaq placing himself at the foot of a Sayyid). They obviously held a tremendous prestige to the point that the Turkic sultans prostrated themselves before these Arabs. This account shows that Zayn was very much taken in by the prestige of this Arab despite his Hinduizing tendencies.
2) Ultimately, there is no real safety for Hindus under Mohammedan rule, however, pro-Hindu he might be a Hindu might be murdered as long as there are blood thirsty Meccans around. The sulTan took the murder of the yogin by the Mohammedans seriously enough to punish the Sayyid strongly. Yet this and other actions of his [footnote 1] do not mean in any way that even a “good” Mohammadan rule is a safety net for Hindus. For after all his successors can restore true Mohammedanism even if he does not.
hindavaH sUha-bhaTTena balAd ye pIDitA bhR^isham |
paradeshaM gatAs te tu bibhrato veSha-kalpanAm ||
Hindus were violently oppressed by sUhabhaTTa (who converted to Mohammedanism as Saif-ad-dIn or the sword of Islam and aided Sikandar bhUt-shikan in his persecution of Hindus). They fled to foreign lands or they took on the disguise of Muslims.
nijAchAre ratA nityaM tadAchAra-dviSho hR^idA |
svam AchAram anuShThAtuM preritAsh cha dvijair balAt ||
Yet in their hearts they were true to their own tradition [i.e. Hindu dharma; that is why one encounters several Moslem surnames among Kashmirian Hindus] and hated Mohammadanism. The twice-born strongly inspired them them to uphold their own tradition [It is important to note that the Kashmirian brAhmaNa-s despite being the target of much oppression struggled hard to uphold the Hindu dharma].
dAritAH svatrANabhayAd utkochArpaNa tatparAH |
rakShitA bhUmipAlena tad upadrava-vAraNAt ||
Tortured and from the fear of protecting themselves they applied themselves to find ways to exit from Kashmir [note that Saif-ad-dIn had posted forces to track down refugees exiting Kashmir and capture them and convert them to Islam]. However, the sulTAn Zayn intending to dispel the troubles inflicted by the trouble-elephant [Saif or Sikandar] gave them protection [He enabled Hindus to return to Kashmir; R suspects that her ancestors might have fled via Jammu to Kangra during Sikandar’s reign].