Saint Mirabai : Eternal devotee of Lord Krushna in Kaliyug

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Index


 

Introduction

 

Sant Mirabai (1498 - 1547) was a Rajput princess who lived in the north Indian state of Rajasthan. She was a devout follower of Shri Krushna. Sant Mirabai was one of the foremost exponents of the Prema Bhakti (Divine Love) and an inspired poetess. She sang in vraja-bhasha, sometimes mixed with Rajasthani, in praise of Giridhara Gopala (Shri Krushna), her Lord for whom she developed in her heart the most intense love and devotion.

 

[Please Note: Sant Mirabai, Mira Bai, Sant Mirabai or Meera - All names belong to the same person. For better search ability on search engines we have used all these names in the story below. This however may cause a little confusion and we apologise in advance.]

 

Childhood and Early Life


 

Sant Mirabai was born at Chaukari village in Merta District of Rajasthan. Merta was a small state in Marwar, Rajasthan ruled by the Ranthors, great devotees of Vishnu. Her father, Ratan Singh, was the second son of Rao Duda ji, a descendent of Rao Jodha ji Rathor, the founder of Jodhpur. Sant Mirabai was raised and nurtured by her grandfather. As customary with royal families, her education included the knowledge of scriptures, music, archery, fencing, horseback riding and driving chariots – she was also trained to wield weapons in case of a war. However, Mira Bai also grew up amidst an atmosphere of total Krushna consciousness, which was responsible in moulding her life on the path of total devotion towards Shri Krushna.

 

 

When Sant Mirabai was only 3 years old, a wandering Sadhu came to her family’s home and gave a doll of Shri Krushna to her father. Her father took this is as a special blessing, but was initially unwilling to give it to her daughter, because she felt she would not appreciate it. However Mira had, at first sight, become deeply enamoured with this doll. She refused to eat until the doll of Shri Krushna was given to her.

 

 

When she was just four years of age, she manifested her deep devotion to Krushna. Mira Bai watched a marriage procession in front of her residence. Mira Bai, the child, spotted the well-dressed bridegroom and asked her mother innocently, "Dear mother, who will be my bridegroom?" Mira Bai’s mother smiled, and half in jest and half in earnest, pointed towards the image of Shri Krushna and said, "My dear Mira, Shri Krushna - this beautiful fellow – is going to be your bridegroom". Soon after, Mira Bai’s mother passed on. As Mira Bai grew up, her desire to be with her Krushna grew intensely and she believed that Shri Krushna would come to marry her. In due course, she became firmly convinced that Krushna was to be her husband.

 

 

Mira Bai was soft-spoken, sweet,  mild-mannered, gifted, and sang with a melodious voice. She was reputed to be one of the most extraordinary beauties of her time with her fame spreading to several kingdoms and provinces. Her fame spread far and wide. Rana Sangram Singh, commonly known as Rana Sangha, the powerful King of Mewar, approached Rao Duda for Mira Bai’s hand in marriage to his son Bhojraj (also known as Rana Kumbha or Kumbha Rana). Bhojraj wanted to marry Mira Bai for her pious nature and divine intent. Rao Duda agreed to the union. However, Sant Mirabai could not bear the thought of marrying a human being when her heart was filled with thoughts about her Krushna. But unable to go against her beloved grandfather’s word, she finally consented to the marriage. Mira Bai was wed to Rana Kumbha in 1513, before she turned 14. As ordained, Mira Bai was dutiful. She left for (Chittorgarh) Mewar with the Rana Kumbha.

 

Sant Mirabai's Family was unable to understand her devotion

After her household duties were over, Meera would go to the temple of Shri Krushna, worship, sing and dance before Shri Krushna’s Idol daily. Kumbha Rana’s mother and other ladies of the palace did not like the ways of Mira Bai, as they were worldly-minded and jealous. Mira Bai’s mother-in-law forced her to worship Durga and admonished her often. But Sant Mirabai maintained, "I have already given up my life to my beloved Shri Krushna". Mira Bai’s sister-in-law Udabai formed a conspiracy and began to defame the innocent Meera. She informed Rana Kumbha that Meera was in secret love with some one, that she witnessed Meera talking to her lover(s) in the temple, and that she would show him the persons if he would accompany her one night. The ladies further raved that Sant Mirabai, by her conduct, had brought a great slur on the reputation of the Rana family of Chittor.

 

 The enraged Kumbha ran with sword in hand towards Meera, but as luck would have it Meera had gone to her Krushna temple. A sober relative of the Rana counselled him, "Rana! You will forever repent for your hasty behaviour and consequences. Enquire into the allegation carefully and you will find the truth. Meera bai is a great devotee of the Lord. Remember why you sought her hand. Out of sheer jealousy the ladies might have concocted scandals against Meera Bai to incite you and ruin her". Kumbha calmed down and accompanied his sister who persistently took him to the temple at the dead of night. Rana Kumbha broke open the door, rushed inside and found Meera alone in her ecstatic mood talking and singing to the idol.

 

 

The Rana shouted at Meera, "Meera, show me your lover with whom you are talking now". Meera replied, "There sits He—my Lord—the Nanichora who has stolen my heart". She went into a trance. The ladies floated other rumours that Meera was mixing very freely with Sadhus. Meera was unaffected by such scandals and continued to invite Bhagavathas to join her in Krushna bhajan at the temple. She stood unruffled in the face of accusations from the royal family. When questioned about her marital responsibilities, Meera responded that it was Krushna to whom she was married. Kumbha Rana was heart-broken but remained a good husband and sympathizer of Meera until his death.

 

 

Rana’s relatives began persecuting Meera in various ways, even though Meera had no desire for the throne. Meera was sent a basket with a cobra inside and a message that the basket contained a garland of flowers. Meera, after meditation, opened the basket and found inside a lovely idol of Shri Krushna with a garland of flowers. The relentless Rana (her brother-in-law) sent her a cup of poison with the message that it was nectar. Meera offered it to her Shri Krushna and took it as His Prasad. It was real nectar to her. The bed of nails that the Rana sent, transformed into a bed of roses when Meera reposed on it.

 

 

When the torture and scandals continued, Meera sent a letter to Goswami Tulsidas and asked for his advice. She wrote, "Simply because I am constantly tortured by my relatives, I cannot abandon my Krushna. I am unable to carry on with my devotional practices in the palace. I have made Giridhar Gopala my friend from my very childhood. I feel a total bondage with him. I cannot break that bond".

 

 

Tulsidasji sent a reply: "Abandon those who cannot understand you and who do not worship Rama or Syama, even though they are your dearest relatives. Prahlada abandoned his father; Vibhishana left his brother Ravana; Bharat deserted his mother; Bali forsook even his Guru; the Gopasthrees, the women of Vraja, disowned their husbands to get to their Krushna. Their lives were all the happier for having done so. The relation with God and the love of God are the only elements that are true and eternal; all other relationships are unreal and temporary".

 

 

Meera met up once again with her Guru and mentor Raidas, who is said to have lived to a ripe age of 118 years. She went into the slums often to be in the satsang of this great teacher.

 

Turning point in Sant Mirabai's Life

The turning point in Sant Mirabai’s life occurred when once Akbar and his court musician Tansen came in disguise to Chittor to hear Meera’s devotional and inspiring songs. Both entered the temple and listened to Meera’s soul - stirring songs to their heart’s content. Before he departed, he touched the holy feet of Meera and placed a necklace of priceless gems in front of the idol as a present. Somehow the news reached the KumbhaRana that Akbar had entered the sacred temple in disguise, touched the feet of Sant Mirabai and even presented her a necklace. The Rana became furious. He told Sant Mirabai, "Drown yourself in the river and never show your face to the world in future. You have brought great disgrace on my family".

 

Sant Mirabai obeyed the words of King. She proceeded to the river to drown herself. The names of the Lord "Govinda, Giridhari, Gopala" were always on her lips. She sang and danced in ecstasy on her way to the river. When she raised her feet from the ground, a hand from behind grasped her and embraced her. She turned behind and saw her beloved Giridhari. She fainted on him. After a few minutes she opened her eyes. Shri Krushna smiled and gently whispered: "My dear Meera, your life with your mortal relatives is over now. You are absolutely free. Be cheerful. You are and have always been mine."

 

Poems of Sant Mirabai

Much of what we know about Sant Mirabai comes from her poetry. Her poetry express the longing and seeking of her soul for union with Shri Krushna. At time she expresses the pain of separation and at other times the ecstasy of divine union. Her devotional poems were designed to be sung as bhajans and many are still sung today.

One of the poem of Sant Mirabai
 
Aisi Lagi Lagan, Meera Ho Gai Magan ...

Aisi lagi lagan, meera ho gayi magan
Wo to gali-gali hari guna ganne lagi
Mehlo mein pali, ban ke jogun chali
Meera rani divani kahane lagi
Aisi lagi lagan, meera ho gayi magan - 2

Koi roke nahi, koi toke nahi
Meera govinda gopal-e ganne lagi
Baithi on ke sang, rangi mohan ke rang
Meera premi pritam ko manane lagi

Aisi lagi lagan, meera ho gayi magan
Wo to gali-gali hari guna ganne lagi
Mehlo mein pali, ban ke jogun chali
Meera rani divani kahane lagi
Aisi lagi lagan, meera ho gayi magan - 2

Rana ne vish diya, mano amrit piya
Meera sagar mein sarita samane lagi
Dukh-e lakhon sahe, mukse govind kahe
Meera govinda gopal-e ganne lagi

Aisi lagi lagan, meera ho gayi magan
Wo to gali-gali hari guna ganne lagi
Mehlo mein pali, ban ke jogun chali
Meera rani divani kahane lagi
Aisi lagi lagan, meera ho gayi magan - 3


“Mira’s songs infuse faith, courage, devotion and love of God in the minds of the readers. They inspire the aspirants to take to the path of devotion and they produce in them a marvellous thrill and a melting of the heart.”

 

 

Her devotion and spiritual magnetism were infectious. She inspired many to follow the path of Vaishnavism. As Swami Sivananda stated:

 

 

 

“Mira wafted the fragrance of devotion far and wide. Those who came in contact with her were affected by her strong current of Prem. Mira was like Lord Gauranga. She was an embodiment of love and innocence. Her heart was the temple of devotion. Her face was the lotus-flower of Prem. There was kindness in her look, love in her talk, joy in her discourses, power in her speech and fervour in her songs.”

 

Sant Mirabai coming back to Mewar and her travel to Dwarka


Sant Mirabai walked barefoot on the hot sandy beds of Rajasthan. On her way, many ladies, children and devotees received her with great hospitality. She reached Brindavan (or Vrindaban). It was at Brindavan that she again met and was inspired by Raidas. She went about Brindavan doing Oonchavritti and worshipped in the Govinda Mandir which has since become famous and is now a great place of pilgrimage for devotees from all over the world.

 

A repentant Kumbha came to Vrindavan to see Meera and prayed that he may be forgiven for all his previous wrongs and cruel deeds. He begged that Meera return to the kingdom and assume her role as the queen once more. Meera said to Rana that Krushna is the one and only King and my life belongs to him. The Kumbha Rana, for the first time, truly understood Meera’s exalted state of mind and prostrated before her in reverence. He then promptly left Vrindavan a changed soul.

 

 

Even learned Sadhus would come to her for inspiration. There is a story of one respected Spiritual Master, who refused to speak to Sant Mirabai because she was a woman. Sant Mirabai replied there was only 1 real man in Brindaban, Shri Krushna; everyone else was a Gopi of Krushna. On hearing this the Spiritual teacher accepted the wisdom of Sant Mirabai and agreed to talk to her.

 

 

Meera’s fame spread far and wide. She was immersed in satsang day in and out. At the request of Kumbha Rana, Meera returned to Mewar and Kumbha agreed to her request that she would reside in the temple of Krushna but would not restrict her movements and wanderings. From Mewar, she once again returned to Brindavan, and then went on to Dwaraka. The King went with her.

 

Sant Mirabai's union with Shri Krushna

On Krushna’s Janmashtami at the temple of Krushna. There was much happiness all around in the abode of the Lord. The light of the lamps, the sound of the bhajans and the energy from the devotees’ ecstasy were filling the air. With Tamburi in one hand and cymbals or chipla in the other, the great tapasvini was singing ecstatically with her Gopala smiling in front of her closed eyes. Meera stood up and danced with her song ‘Mere Janama Maran ke sathee’, and when the song ended, Kumbha gently approached her and requested her to come back. Meera said, ‘Ranaji, the body is yours and you are a great devotee, but my mind, emotions and the soul are all His. I do not know what use I am to you in this state of mind’.

 

Kumbha was moved and he started singing with her in unison. Meera rose up abruptly, stumbled and fell at the flowers on the feet of Giridhari. ‘Oh, Giridhari, are you calling me, I am coming’. Whilst Kumbha and the rest were watching in awe, there was a flash of lightning which enveloped Meera and the sanctum doors closed on their own. When the doors opened again, only Meera’s saree was enveloping Shri Krushna’s idol and her voice and the flute accompaniment were the only sounds that could be heard.

 

 

It is said that in her death she melted into the heart of Krushna. Shri Krushna appeared in his subtle form and was so pleased with his dearest devotee that He opened up his heart centre and Sant Mirabai entered leaving her body whilst in the highest state of Krushna consciousness.

 

 

So many princesses and queens have come and gone. So many princesses and queens have appeared on the stage of this world and vanished. How is it that the queen of Chittor alone is still remembered? Is this on account of her beauty? Is this on account of her poetic skill? No. It is on account of her renunciation, single-minded devotion to Shri Krushna and the self-realization she attained.

 

 

She conversed with Krushna. She ate with Krushna, her Beloved. She drank the Krushna-premarasa. She sang from the core of her heart about her unique spiritual experiences. She was indeed one of the foremost embodiments of Premabhakthi that ever walked on earth.

 

 

Sant Mirabai was a devotee of the highest order. She was immune to the criticism and suffering of the world. She was born a princess but forsook the pleasures of a palace for begging on the streets of Brindaban. She lived during a time of war and spiritual decline, but her life offered a shining example of the purest devotion.  Many were inspired by her infectious devotion and spontaneous love for Shri Krushna. Sant Mirabai showed how a seeker could attain union with God, only through love. Her only message was that Krushna was her all.

 

 

My Beloved dwells in my heart,
I have actually seen that Abode of Joy.
Mira's Lord is Hari, the Indestructible.
My Lord, I have taken refuge with Thee,
Thy slave.


Source: Chittorgarh.com  and www.biographyonline.net/spiritual/Sant Mirabai.html

 



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Comments (19)

Sri Ram Jay Ram , India (Bharat)
17 Jan 2014, 01:16
Meerabai exemplifies Bhakthi as the means of remaining in Hindu Dharma. A great article indeed!!!! Kriahna Bhakthi stands on a high pedestal even today in age like the Kaliyuga. Saashthanga Pranaams to Her Holiness.
krishnkant arjariya, India (Bharat)
12 Dec 2013, 20:18
i am very happy with this i also believe in worship but this help me to understand article quality thank you
raman goswami, India (Bharat)
28 Mar 2012, 09:59
any body need any helop from mumbai regarding information of meerabhai contact raman goswami ph: 08976617389 bhagvat dham mumbai
Jayakrishna Nayak, India (Bharat)
27 Mar 2012, 17:21
Fantastic series of great Hindus run by site. Humble suggestion: Please include precise dates of birth, demise and other important events of the personality's lifetime, whenever available. It would help serious students and researchers of Hindu history and philsophy. Hare Rama.
amit, India (Bharat)
27 Mar 2012, 11:04
Really good know about Devi Meera.
Thanks for enhancing my knowledge as I was knowing Meera but where she was born not know to me.
Thanks a lot.
Arun P Gondkar, India (Bharat)
27 Mar 2012, 09:22
I am very happy with the articles sent by you. I have curiosity to know our religion. Will yau kindly send me the articles and detail of indidual nath biography of our Nath sampraday?
Also I am searching for the details of Kauravas. I know each Kaurav had his own speciality. Do you have any information regarding this topic?

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