I would like to know about Lalleshvari Devi, also known as Lal Ded from Kashmir shaivism who was a central figure in poetic lineage. Would like to know about her life, Guru, and her work.

  • Here is one of her poems --- kamakotimandali.com/blog/…
    – Rickross
    Sep 23, 2020 at 14:31
  • Like I already said; But I'll say this again her poem is deeper, deeper than blade which penetrates through the heart and fill it with great devotion and bliss; truly remarkable. She was a great divine being! @Rickross :)
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Sep 23, 2020 at 14:35

1 Answer 1



Lalleshvari Devi is well known literary and spiritual figure in the valley of Kashmir. She has been venerated both by Hindus and Muslims. But She was constructed differently by each community. For Hindus, She was Lalleshvari or Lalla Yogini and For Muslims, She was Lalaarifa. Lal Ded was her name as well.

Birth and Death

There is no certainty of her date of birth and place, but it is believed She was born in 1301 or between 1317 and 1320, either in Sempore near Pampore, or in Pandrenthan near Srinagar. She believed to to have died in 1373. And where she died nobody knows.

Spiritual Path

Lalla was born to a Brahmin family, she was married at the age of twelve, and given a new name Padmavati. Her domestic life was a troubled one. Her husband treated her cruelly because of suspicion of her meditative absorptions and visiting ashramas. Her mother in law often starved her. After all this troubles, she finally renounced home and family and went to Shaiva saint Siddha Shrikantha. He became her guru and instructed her in the spiritual path. After completing her discipleship and being initiated, this was the time when started composing her scintillating, provocative compelling poems. She renounced family and married life to wander and gathering spiritual experience.

As she says in poem 92:

They lash me with insults, serenade me with curses.
Their barking means nothing to me
Even if they came with soul-flowers to offer,
I couldn't care less. Untouched, I move on.

Also poem 92, she says:

Let them hurl a thousand curses at me,
pain finds no purchase in my heart.
I belong to Shiva. Can a scatter of ashes
ruin a mirror? It gleams.

Those days, it was not easy for a woman to follow the path of spirituality. From her poem, we can clearly make out that. Lalla from her poems, shares her experience of being a Yogini, trained in the spiritual discipline and devotional practices of Kashmir Saivite mysticism. She was receptive of other ideas and traditions as well. She is viewed as a figure of Kashmir Shaivism, Tantra, Yoga and Yogachara.

Divine Realization

In her poem 15, she shares her experience when confronted with Divine:

Wrapped up in Yourself, You hid from me.
All day I looked for you
And when I found You hiding inside me,
I ran wild, playing now me, now You.

In order to validate whether Lalla was really a practitioner in tantric tradition, Kaulachara discipline; We can look at her poem 19 and 20 where she says about secret practice using Pancha Makaras (Also known as 5M's):

Up, woman! Go make your offering.
Take wine, meat and a cake fit for the gods.
If you know the password to the Supreme Place,
You can reach wisdom by breaking the rules. //19

Fatten the five elements like they were rams meant for for the sacrifice.
Feed them the grain of mind-light , and cakes fit for the Gods.
Then kill them, But don't rush.
If you know the password to the Supreme Place,
You can reach wisdom by breaking the rules. //20

Source: Introduction from I, Lalla; The Poems of Lal Ded

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