writing this article as a spiritual seeker and follower of Hindu Religion and Hindu Religious belief and Vedic Philosophy
When in this heart, sparks of love arises
Be sure this love is reciprocated in that heart
When the love of god arises in thy heart
Without doubt god also feels love for thee
— Jalaluddin Din Rumi ,a Great Sufi Mystic
The Most Powerful Word In World Is - Love
Any one let it be of any gender ,belonging to any religion,country or culture talks and seek "love" in one's life.This is very nature of entire existence where even God is not excluded from this .Saints from all corners of life be seen claiming that seeking of love from God is more intense than seeking of love of soul for God.
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad ( Indian ancient religious discussions) tells that in the beginning of Universe , there was only "Self ( Ataman /God) was existing in the form of person. He witnessed nothing but himself,& was not happy at all. Due to shear feeling of loneliness,he desired a mate ,so he divided into man and woman as husband and wife who's union lead to birth of human begin.
So basically Brihadaranyaka Upnishad ,in Volume 1, chapter 1 in stanza from 1-3 is basically trying to explain that -love is solemn reason for existence of all life form & creator (God) & creation is linked by connection of love.
This idea of connection of love between creator and its creation is basis for practice & existence of "Bhakti Movement" in india ,where disciples are used to surrender to "Spiritual Marriage" with God itself and sustain their lives by keep reciting and remembering God almighty itself as like 'separated lover".
Saint Mirabai is a prominent figure, from such mystic tradition of Hindu Religion ,who has revived the idea of platonic love to entire humanity by her life and devotion to God almighty ,which is known to Saint Mirabai as "her beloved Krishna".
Thousands of devotional poems written in praise of Lord Krishna by Saint Mirabai, . These poems are called 'Bhajans' and are very popular in North India.
John Stratton Hawley Explaining Idea of Bhakti Tradition Of Hindu Religion
Early Life Of Saint Mirabai
early life There are no reliable historical documents related to Meerabai's life. Scholars have tried to shed light on Meerabai's life from literature and other sources. According to these documents, Meera was born in Kudki Village, Rajasthan in 1503 in a royal family. Birth of Mirabai was like a blooming flower into Rajput Family,who was destined to win all battles of life on battlegrounds but on the sea of devotion and self -abandonment at the feet of Lord Krishna
His father Ratan Singh Rathod was the ruler of a small Rajput princely state. She was the only child of her parents and her mother died when she was a small child. He was taught subjects like music, religion, politics and administration. Meera was brought up under the care of her grandfather, who was a serious worshiper of Lord Vishnu and was a warrior as well as a devotee-heart and the visit of saints and saints was always present here. In this way, Meera kept coming in contact with the saints and religious people since childhood.
3-year-old, playful Mira Bai when saw an idol of Lord Krishna , worshipped by a guest-monk into her home, she gets irresistibly attracted to the image of Shri Krishna and wanted that "Idol" for herself. But that guest monk was not ready to hand over his -idol of worship, which he was worshipping for decades. Playful Mira Bai hence started fasting but still, guest Monk was not ready to hand over his Idol. At night, Lord Krishna appeared into the dream of that Monk aske asked him to indicate his willingness to stay with little Mira Bai.
Finally, the love of 3-year-old, Mirabai for Lord Krishna met to victory and Monk with a heavy heart handed over that idol to little Mira, to be part of her life as her only reason of devotion.
Saint Mira Bai
Mother Where Is My husband ?
On one fateful day after this incident, Little Mira was watching a marriage possession passing by their Royal home , an innocent 3-year-old Mira Bai asked her mother in sheer innocent curiosity that "Mother, when is my husband ?".Her Mother replied to little Mira that, this Lord Krishna Idol ( indicating finger to Idol of Lord Krishna) is your husband .and by the Grace of all-mighty Little Mira got a dream on next night that she is getting married to that Idol of Lord Krishna only to be staunch devotee of Lord Krishan and prominent figure in Bakti Movement ,as a Light House of dedication and Devotion ,for generations to come
Marriage Of Mira Bai & Disappointment Of Her In Laws
At age of 8 years, the mother of Mira Bai passed away, and little Mira Bai came to live with her grandfather's home. The name of her grandfather was Dubaji , and he was a devout Vaishnav (worshipper of Vishnu). Now Mira Bai started getting her lesson on Indian mythology and Indian spiritual lore on Bhakti. Time kept passing and in the year 1516 Mira Bia at the age of 13 made to marry with Son of Maharana Sanga, named - Prince Bhojraj. But for Mira Bai, this entire marriage was just a farce, fake and a matter of disappointment, as she was already married herself to Lord Krishna in her dream, which nobody was ready to take it seriously thinking that it is, the fantasy of a small child and nothing more. But who could identify the mystifying minds of Saints and Sages and their claims?
Further issue of disappointment for new in-laws of Mira Bai that, she had not brought yearnings of the young bride with her, in marriage as per Rajput traditions. Women in Rajput or any other Indian families are seen as an object of pleasure and not a matter of asceticism and spiritual masters.
Mira Bai contrary to the be-a a good and attractive wife of a newly-married prince turned more into the devotion of Lord Krishna and started spending time more worshipping Lord Krishna and singing songs of Lord Krishna. She even started inviting monks and holy men and has religious/spiritual discourses with them. All this was contemptuous for new inlaws of Mira Bai, and shear reason of disappointment for her.
Agony Expressed By Saint Mira Bai In Song For In Laws , Which Means
All Dear ones of this household are creating trouble
Over my association with holy men
And causing great hindrance to my worship
From Child Hood Mira Made Lord Krishna her friend and beloved
This attachment shall never be broken but shall flourish
— Song of Saint Mira Bai ,for her married life
Widowhood Of Mira Bai & Her Intensified Spiritual Journey
In Stories, the husband of Saint Mira Bai is depicted as a jealous and hateful character. But in some folktales, the husband of Mira Bai is depicted as a deprived husband who was denied conjugal married life by Saint Mira bai due to her limitless devotion to the worshipping Lord Krishna. Prince Bojraj, a husband of Mira Bai is also depicted as a figure of melancholy who loved his wife a lot but was not able to receive the same response from the side of Mira due to her devotion to the Lord Krishna.
After 7 years of marriage of husband of Mira Bai died due to old injuries only to offer, more trials and tribulations for Saint Mira Bai as a brother in law of Mira Bai started persecuting her and accusing her a reason for the death of his brother.
( Her husband was wounded in one of the ongoing wars with the Delhi Sultanate in 1518, and he died of battle wounds in 1521.)
As being the widow of her unaccepted husband, Saint Mira Bai took the initiation from spiritual teacher- Raidas, who was belonging to an untouchable -leatherworking community of north India. This lead to adding more holy company and denying all restrictions meant for royal women made by her in-laws families.This lead to developing more animosity for her into the mind of her brother in law. And as a result, after the demise of the father in law Rana Sanga, impose strict restriction on Saint Mira Bai, after being the new king of Mewar. But still devotional practices of Saint Mira Bai kept their pace and Mira Bai has never left a touch of the company of holy men and opportunity to sing and dance in front of her deity Lord Krishna in temples. Brother in Law, Rana Vikramjit was not enough purified in mind to understand the need for the company of holy men and the intensity of spiritual practices of Saint Mira Bai. So Rana Vikramjit banned all singing, dancing and permission to meet any male person (let it be how holy) & started her character assassination and discovering unfounded scandals against her.
But when Mira Bia was not allowed to practice her spirituality in royal fort then she started visiting temples which are outside of the Fort in her own way. This leading to the recommendation of her spiritual devotion by peoples and fellowships to her devotional practices in public.
Hand Painting of Saint Raidas -A Sprirutal Teacher of Saint Mira Bai
Disgruntled- Brother In Law-Rana Vikramjit
All this publicity and felicitation received by Saint Mira Bai only angered Rana VikramJit. Hence Rana Vikrjit made Mira Bai captive in place and tried to kill her, by poisoning or any other means, due to which no one can blame Rana Vikramjit for her murder. It was the only grace of god Saint Mira Bai to get saved and survived all of this oppression and indirect imprisonment which was no less than -single person concentration camp for Sain Mira Bai. this can be identified from the poem written and singed by Saint Mira Bai as follows ,
"Mira is happy in the worship of her Lord,
Rana made her a present of the serpent in the basket,
Mira , after her ablution,
On opening, it found the Lord Himself
Rana sent a cup of poison
Mira after her ablution ,
Drank the cup which the Lord had turned to nectar
Rana sent a bed of nails for Mira to sleep on,
It became a bed of flowers,
Mira's Lord averts all her troubles,
Ever her kind protector,
Mira roams about in an ecstasy of devotion
She is a sacrifice to the Lord
-- Poem written by Sain mira Bai"
This entire agonizing poem was written by Saint Mira Bai proves how she has made to suffer and oppressed by RanVikramjit to get rid of her, to save -fake family name and to prove one's Royalty and imperialism to society
Painting Showing , Lord Krishna Turning Poison into Nectar For Mira Bai
Uda Bai The First Follower Of Saint Mira Bai
When Rana Vikramjit found that he is failing to stop Mira Bai, he hired his sister and sister in Law - Uda Bai to keep vigil, pursue and convert Mira Bai to be obedient to traditions of the Royal court by stopping all spiritual practices, as a last resort. But rather than any conversion of Mira Bai, it was Udabi and her personal maid, who gets transformed into a seeker of Lord Krishna by witnessing Lord Krishna personification conversing to Saint Mira in her room. This true power of Saints and Sages where just be their presence around anyone can change the life of anyone
Banishment of Mira Bai From Chittore
When Rana Vikrmjit came to know that rather than pursuing Mira Bai, Uda Bai has transformed her self into, Rana Vikramjit appointed special spies to keel vigil over Mira Bai and on one day they brought hot news to Rana that Mira Bai can be heard doing romance /flirting with some male inside the temple in the Deity room.
Rana saw it as a final opportunity to eliminate Mira Bai once and for all, so he drew the sword and rush to Temple, where Mira Bai was heard flirting & romantically conversing with someone. Rana forcefully opens the door of the Deity room of the temple, but he found no one beside Mira Bai sitting alone inside the Deity room of the Temple. But Rana was not satisfied and tried to search the entire temple and to his door just behind the Deity Room, he was seeing the "Lion Faced Man" staring & growling at him. After this face to face encounter, Rana Vikramjit literally fainted on the ground. Mira Bai was also rushing behind Rana and she also get shocked to see such a hedious face of his own Lord who was just a few moments before flirting with her inside Deity Room.
After this terrorising experience, Rana asked Mira Bai to leave Chittore Royal Palace as soon as possible to save the Royal family name which was getting ruined due to her singing and dancing in temples and flirting with some unknown male who can transform into a lion face man, forgetting the glory of Lord Krishna.
Saint Mira Bai took this order as a new trial to prove her devotion and left Chittore, and with her departure, the fortune of Chittore has also left Mewar.
Finally, Fortune also didn't want to stay where Saint and Sages don't want to live and sustain. That is why the company of sages and saint is seen as auspicious, blissful and blessings of God almighty, in Hindu Culture since ages.
After the departure of Mira Bai from Chittore, attacks by Mughal kings started and Chittore remained as just mss ruined
Unending Trials For Mira Bai
Mira Bai after leaving Chittore came to Merta to her maternal kins, but here also she was persecuted and due to political reason, forced to leave Rajputana.It is believed that Meera was called Merta by 'Rao Biramdev' in the year1533. Then in the year 1534, after Meera's Chittor renunciation, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat took over Chittor 1534. In this war, the ruler of Chittor, Vikramjit was killed and hundreds of women committed Jauhar. After this in 1538, Rao Maldev, the ruler of Jodhpur, took control of Merta, after which Biramdev fled and took refuge in Ajmer and Meera Bai set out on a pilgrimage to Braj.
Now Mira Bai was surviving as a street beggar dwindling between hunger and seeking the company of her beloved Lord Krishna, which she was used to call as, "Girdharilal"
Perhaps it was the will of Lord Krishna himself, to force Saint Mira Bai to spread the message of "Platonic love of God and Express his cravings for his Bhakts/Devotees" to the masses. While completely renunciation from day to day life, the songs of Mira were getting more emotional and heart touching to touch to initiate the spark of love for Beloved and let her be remembered by 100 of future generations of the Indian subcontinent as a Prominent Saint of Bhakti Movement.
Though Mira Bai was homeless but she was always followed by a crowd of people to remember her songs and poems to let those spread to all corners of North India. Nobody knows how may many songs were sung and created by Mira Bai in private, but still, there are well know -more than 500 songs of Mira Bai, which are still remembered in Indian folk music & Bhakti tradition even after 4 centuries has passed since time of Mira Bai , when she was on pilgrimage.
Pilgrimage Of Varanasi & Recognition Of Sainthood of Mira Bai By King Of Chittorre
As a wandering mendicant uettering name of Lord Krishna and singing the most fabulous devotional songs, Saint Mira Bai reached to Vrindavan where Lord Kirsha had played a celestial dance of devotional love with Gopis (female devotees). Saint Mira Bai was finding celestial peace and unfathomable love of her Lord Krishna, In Vrindavan Sint Mira Bai wished to visit Jiv Goswami to have religious & spiritual discourse. But Jiva Goswami had taken an oath that he will never talk to any woman as his owe of celibacy and denied meeting with Saint Mira Bai. Jiva Goswami was one of the hyper rigours ascetic and known disciple of Sri Chaitanya.
When Saint Mira come to know this, she gets disappointed and asked Jiv Goswami that all souls in the mortal world are basically female and only Lord Krishna is a male ( this is the idea of Vedic philosophy where it is claimed that at the beginning of the universe there was only "self" who created another feminized form to get away his loneliness, then this self turned into God and feminized form had taken the shape of all living being from where man and woman have come to existence. and hence all Bhakti Movement Saint are used to claim one self as -lover of Lord Kirshan or God almighty in femine form).
By hearing this message Jiv Goswami realised his mistake and met with Sain Mira Bai to have long discourse on spirituality and Religion, Thereafter Saint Mira Bai came to Dwaraka, and settle down there until her last breath or say -disappearance or atonement.
Meanwhile here in Mewar, new King Udaysingh had come to power and realised that only due to the banishment of Saint Mira Bai, the entire Mewar is suffering this much and decided to invite Sain Mira Bai back to Mewar to end the bad fate of his kingdom. So he sent the most astute And highly educated -Group of Brahmin Scholars-as royal emissaries to persuade and convenience Saint Mira Bai to return back to Mewar. So when These Brahmin Schollars met Saint Mira Bai in Dwaraka and requested her to please come back to Chittore, Sain Mira Bai refused.
So as a final resort, the Leader of that Brahmin Group started fasting to death to emotionally black mail Saint Mira Bai, so that she has to returned to Mewar. So helpless Sain Mira Bai asked to let her take permission from her, Lord Krishna and she then locked herself in Diety Room of Temple, and started singing her devotional songs after songs. Meanwhile, entire groups of people and Brahmin emissaries were sitting in front of the locked door in this hope that when Sain Mira Bai will open the door then they will be successful in their adventure of taking Saint Mira Bai back to Mewar as per order of their King Udaysingh.
Atonement Of Saint Mira Bai
Here inside Deity Room, Sain Mira Bai was singing songs after songs for her Lord Krishna on a continuous basis and 2-3 days had passed but she was not ready to either open the door or to stop singing. And then suddenly Sain Mira Bai stopped singing the song.
The city dwellers and the priest sent by the King of Mewar, knocking on the door because they guessed that something abnormal is happening inside the temple. A flash of strange lightning made the temple deity room enchanting. The moment for which Sain Mira has waited finally arrived after all of these trials and tribulations. The idol of Lord Krishna come to life and held Meera’s hands taking her body away from the worldly tortures.
People broke the door and found nothing except her sitar, clothes, and paduka (wooden slippers). Mira had the blessed cosmic vision making her capable to witness her beloved Lord Krishna in a tree, in a stone, in the flower, in the bird, in all human beings—in everything. Mira’s life was full of troubles and difficulties which had now come to end and Mira Bai get relived from emotional blackmail of priest sent by King of Mewar and even this brutal world which failed to do justice for –pure and pious love of Saint Mira Bai for Lord Krishna
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Dr Nilesh Jaybhaye