Whispers from the Past

Whispers from the Past is an overture to the history and culture of classical Kashmir, which for over a thousand years was one of the most creative places in the world. Through the book, the author hopes to acquaint the reader with Kashmir’s contributions to art and aesthetics, including drama, music, painting, sculpture, sciences, yoga, tantra, literature, and philosophy. The region’s culture was premised on the idea that universal consciousness binds humanity together, and knowing this at the individual’s level is fundamental to self-understanding and for creative growth. Classical Kashmiri artists appreciated great art not merely from its inherent cleverness points of view but for its capacity to inspire audiences to the source of creativity itself, and this entailed devotion to excellence and a robust tradition of criticism. The book explores the currents of intellectual life and the lives of prominent royals, writers, and sages, showing how Kashmiri scholars and travellers came to influence not only southern regions but also far-away lands beyond the Himalayas. It showcases Kashmir’s famed storytelling tradition through abridged tales from the Panchatantra, Kathā-sarit-sāgara, and Yoga Vāsiṣṭha, the last of which is arguably the greatest book of imagination and wisdom ever written on the conundrums of consciousness with unequalled clarity. Kashmiri aesthetics and the search for meaning in life resonate with modern sensibility