The Kashmir Education, Culture and Science Society (KECSS) in collaboration with N.S. Kashmiri Research Institute held for the first time in the National Capital, New Delhi, a National Seminar on 12 November, 2000 on "Remembering Lal Ded in Modern Times". Lal Ded is considered the greatest spiritual seer and saint-poetess of Kashmir. She lived in Kashmir in the 14th century. Yet, her, spiritual eminence is known to every Kashmiri even to this day. She also was a great poetess and thinker and created identity for Kashmiri people as a peace loving, artistic, and cultural people of India who believed in the composite culture of the country. Taking into consideration the recent turmoil in the valley because of militant forces operating from outside Kashmir borders, there is need by scholars to write about the heritage of harmony left behind by Lal Ded and her eminent followers like Nund Rishi and other well-known Rishis. Her vaakhs or sayings provide source for peace and harmony. Religious extremism and fundamentalism will gave way to traditional love between communities and, bring enlightenment.

The participants in this seminar on Lal Ded attracted a wide spectrum of eminent scholars, scientists and thinkers. Some participants presented papers, and some spoke it depth on the occasion. It is hoped that this seminar proceedings will reciprocate ideas from various academic centers of the world, desiring a peaceful world order.

The book should be of wide interest in India and outside India. It should crease harmony and creativity for our mankind. The KECSS is on the threshold of starting an International Center for Kashmir Studies in order to extensively research on the academic, cultural and social heritage of Kashmir. This seminar provides a very good beginning in this direction.

We thank the distinguished scholars, executive committee members of KECSS, notably Prof. B.B. Dhar, Mr. M.L. Bhatt, Prof. S. Bhatt, Mr. M.L. Kachru, Mr. A.K Jalla and others who made this historic seminar a success. The Kashmiri community in Pamposh Enclave, New Delhi has always been supporting academic efforts by KECSS. We are grateful to the members of this community for their creative interest.

To Dr. S.S. Toshkhani, an erudite scholar, we are thankful for planning this seminar along with KECSS members, and for editing the seminar proceedings with great insight. Lastly, we are thankful to Mr. S.B. Nangia of A.P.H. Publishing Corporation for publication of this book expeditiously.

Mr. M.K. Kaw

Prof. B.B. Dhar
President, KECSS

B-36, Pamposh Enclave,

New Delhi 110 0048
July 1, 2002

Lal Ded: The Great Kashmiri Saint-Poetess