I hung on to your gaze, I kept your smile, if you leave there is nothing, and now I only know your existence, you crossed my path I found paradise and I stayed. – is what I would say to my destiny … well we continue with the story
Love at first sight
When Mira was 3 years old, a sadhu came to her home and gave her father a small deity of Krishna. Her father considered it a special blessing, and installed the deity on the family altar. Mira, she became deeply attached to that deity, and she refused to eat until the deity was given to her. She began to live for her Krishna doll, she dressed him, she only ate the food that she had previously offered him on a plate. She resolved to make Krishna her only friend, lover, and husband. Throughout her turbulent life, she never forgot this relationship with her statue.
This is the story of love, devotion of Mirabai …
Approximately 500 years ago, the kingdom of Rajasthan was a land of warriors, sages, sadhus, and kings. It was at this time, when Princess Mirabai was born (1478). Her mother passed away when she was very young and her father, Ratan Singh, was very busy with the kingdom. Growing up in her grandfather’s palace, Mirabai devoted herself deeply to Krishna. When her grandfather passed away, her uncle became the new king. He arranged her marriage to Prince Bhoj Raj, the eldest son of Rana Sanga of the Rajput kingdom of Mewar. This was the most prominent and powerful Rajput kingdom in the 16th century. Mirabai was not interested in the status, riches, silks and jewels that her new family had to offer. Instead, she became interested in performing bhakti from Sri Krishna, whom she referred to as ‘Giridhar’.
Mirabai’s new family in realizing her intense devotion to God, saw it as a problem. She refused to worship the gods of her husband’s family, because she only knew of one God – Sri Krishna Bhagwan. In order to offer her devotion to Sri Krishna Bhagwan, she would escape from the palace to go to the mandir (temple) of the town. This was problematic as she would mingle with the lower casts by attending a local temple. As a result, to save the family’s honour, her father-in-law tried to haver her killed. He swapped her regular beverages with a poisonous drink. Not knowing that it was poisonous, she took it from him & drank it as a blessing. To the families disbelif, her love and devotion to Sri Krishna was such that he saved her from the effects of the poison.
When her father-in-law passed away, Mirabai was crowned queen. Despite being the queen, she continued to visit the village chief & locals at the temple. It was in this mandir that she met her guru, Raidas, who further inspires Mirabai’s devotion. Raidas was deeply moved by her devotion. He gave her an ektaro (musical instrument) as a gift, which she played when she sang her kirtans. Playing instruments was no feat for a queen, it was of servants, this subjected her to difficulties in her marriage. When her husband died, Mirabai locked herself away in her room. Yet even locked, she could not get away from everyone being against her. The difficulties became unbearable and began to get in the way of her devotion. She then decided to leave the palace for good and embark on a pilgrimage to Mathura, Vrundavan and Dwarka.
Mirabai was a born poet. She expressed her deep devotion to Sri Krishna. With her ektaro in her hand, she sang hundreds of kirtans, full of pity, love and dedication. Even today many people still sing her kirtans. Although she was a queen who had everything, she gave up all her riches to worship Sri Krishna Bhagwan. Eventually, a deputation of men from Chittor found her in Dwarka, but before they could abduct her, she disappeared while singing in the temple. All that was found was her sari, draped around the Krishna murti.
Today, Mirabai is considered one of the great female saints of India. She is still very much alive today in the hearts of Indians.