A reputed technical or educational hub is the determining factor for the progress and prosperity of any particular place. Authorities worldwide do a lot of spadework before choosing sites conducive to and essential for providing a viable and vibrant environment for the establishment of any research institute or a center of learning/university campus. These places are no less than places of worship. In fact, a congenial and peaceful atmosphere is a prerequisite for the development of any such place of learning. It is in such institutions that a scholar is able to acquire and cultivate observational skills as well as free-thinking habits. It is here that they develop an unquenchable thirst and irresistible urge for understanding the universal phenomenon of evolution and involution. This is the place where they find an expression and expansion of the contours of their mental horizon. No wonder then that any resident scholar feels proud of associating themselves with all the positive developments happening within these campuses.
Now, permit me to slightly deviate from the topic. Just think of the people who are blessed to have the vale of Kashmir as their birthplace. Why did I mention their name? It is because they need not put any extra effort into searching for special environs or selecting particular sites for their learning institutions. These people are fortunate enough to find ready-made/natural ingredients necessary for building infrastructure for such temples of learning. Nature does help here in many ways. That is why the quality institutions/universities that have come up at various places in the valley have surely shown excellent results at low costs. The scholars from valley-based institutes have excelled in their fields wherever they have gone or settled. It is because there are enough opportunities to acquire keen observational skills in such a serene atmosphere. Here, you show your natural readiness for acquiring new experiences or even focusing your mind on seeking knowledge of the secrets shred with all the opportunities for performing research work & experimentation in the open lab & lap of Nature. That is how our ancient seers & saints compiled masterpieces abundant in practical philosophies & scientific truths.
No less than a seer of the order of Adhi Guru Shankracarya, while setting his feet on the pious soil of the vale for the first time, said that this piece of land, though far away from the shores of the deep seas, was deeper than the ocean. And if one ever picked up a small pebble from this ocean of immeasurable depth, that particular pebble would be worth worshipping. For it not only represents condensed energy unfolding the treasure of knowledge, but also the soil to which it belongs is a chosen abode of the Goddess of Wisdom, Saraswati. It is for the observer to know, through his or her inner vision, the secrets hidden within and extended up to her peripheries.
It is natural for people to love and worship their land of birth. However, leaving aside this sweet feeling, there is definitely something more that gives the inhabitants of the vale of Kashmir an edge over others. Probably, every place in the valley provides ideal and suitable environs for harnessing the potential of a fertile brain, an indigenous characteristic of this pious land of Rishis. Certainly, there is something special in the basic constituents of this soil that enhances the capacity of an individual to assimilate the very essence of universal wisdom. Just observe the taste of water that finds its sources in her bosom. It is definitely sweet in taste and quality. Observe the seasons here. They are amazingly distinct, and each season has a particular charm. Feel her oxygen-rich air or her nutrient-rich soil. Obviously, a variety of special quality vegetation and rare habitat is the yield. Her snow-clad mountain tops, dancing brooks that find their origin in the white-capped mountain tops, her world-famous lakes, sweet springs, dense dark green forest cover, her green pastures and marghs, all of this is bound to set your mind into cosmic vibrations. You will feel yourself in a relaxed and peaceful mood, ready to absorb all that your eyes can capture, store, and may even provoke you to analyze the matter collected within your nervous system enclosed in your boney box. Therefore, this land of Sati is not only fertile in nature but also has the distinction of giving birth to creative and innovative brains. Kalidasa is the greatest Sanskrit poet and dramatist. Panni is the greatest Sanskrit grammarian, Varahamihira is the greatest astrologist, and Kalhana is the pioneer in recording history. His historical treatise, titled "Rajatarangini," is perhaps the first recorded history in India. The great ministers, such as Engineer Suriya, saved generations of Kashmiris from frequent floods caused by heavy rains and snowfalls that increased the water level in the river Vitasta beyond the danger mark, causing enormous loss by way of death and devastation. Another minister, Shri-Bhatta, was responsible for getting Jazia abolished in favor of people of his faith in a different era. Furthermore, the vale could boast of brave kings like the greatest warrior and conqueror Lalitaditya Mukhtapeda and the builder king named AwantiVermana. Lastly, the great propounders of Shaiva philosophies, especially Kashmir Shaivism, the greatest gift to humanity, compiled by seers of the repute of Vasugupta, Somananda, Utpaladeva, Abhinavgupta, and Khemendra, justify the quality of genius this pious soil of the vale has produced. It may be pointed out here that while Shaivism of Kashmir included the philosophic schools of Trika, Kaula, and Krama, Kashmir Shaivism was the unique contribution of Utpaladeva and Abhinavgupta, now known as Pratyabhijna Darshana.
However, there is definitely a blot on the face of the moon, a drawback deliberately placed by none other than Lord Shiva himself. It is a hurdle that keeps the vale from achieving a state of absolute perfection. Perhaps this is due to the very nature of the lake having turned into a vale. Often, the land mass of this vale becomes marshy due to excessive rain and unexpected extreme seasonal storms, causing the banks to overflow and resulting in water logging. This gives rise to the growth of weeds that consume, catch, and stop the supply of oxygen both to the environment and water bodies. Obviously, the existence of negative effects of wild growth of weeds now and then is a reality that inhabitants have to confront. However, weedicides, either natural or artificially created, do help in removing the side effects.
Overall, the special features bestowed upon this heavenly vale have provided it with the opportunity to encourage the ongoing natural processes of evolution and involution.
Thus, the valley can take pride in having produced men of letters on one side, while it has also produced ruthless people on the other side. While we can boast of having sages of immense stature like Naga Arjuna, the greatest Buddhist monk responsible for the spread of Buddhism outside India, the valley has also had the misfortune of having kings like Sikander Buttshiken, who brought wholesale death and destruction to a particular community. One can observe the impacts of both these positive and negative aspects of the indigenous fertile brain, the very product of this valley. Just examine the statement made recently by a contemporary Kashmiri political leader of great fame. While criticizing his countrymen from the rest of India, he says that his co-religionists behaved like idiots/fools while indulging in an unnecessary controversy of claiming possession of an ordinary dilapidated Babri Masjid, a matter that could have been settled silently. But for their obstinate behaviour, they awakened the majority community from a deep slumber. According to him, they had already reached a stage where they enjoyed being the head of the state and even Home Ministers. It would not have taken them much time to reach the corridors of power for a complete takeover of the main seat of governance, viz, grabbing of the constitutional post of Prime Ministership. This is where both positive and negative sides require thorough study, and if needed, corrections incorporated to ensure that institutions of learning remain flawless.