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Mirahai and the Spiritual Economy of Bhakti
Kumkum Sangarl
In an economy where the labour of women and the surplus production of the peasant and artisan are customarily and 'naturally' appropriated by (he ruling'groups, the high Hindu traditions sought fa encompass and retain the management of spiritual 'surplus: and (0 'circumscribeits availability along lines of caste and gender. In this spiritual economy, the liberalising and dissenting forms Of bhaktl emerge as a powerful force which selectively uses the metaphysic of high Hinduism in an attempt to create an inappropriable excess or transcendent value grounded in the dailiness of a material life within the reach of all, This paper attempts to understand the specific character of Mirabal's bhakti as if finds shape within the overlapping yet contradictory configuration of the patriarchal assumptions of the medieval Rajput stale, prescriptive brahminical texis, and the female devotional voice as it develops in earlier and contemporary compositions of male bhaktas. What emerges is, firstly, that though the prescriptions of tile smritis and puranas do not survive as law, they are available as ideology which shapes the customary domain and self-description of Rajput ruling groups and constitute the historical moment in which Mira lives. Secondly, in the breaking and remaking of patriarchal relations, Mira':; bhakti marks as well as belongs to 0 longer historical moment in which the prescriptions oj the srnrltls and puranas are selectively internalised, and the customary nexus of religious practice is translated into metaphors and emotional structures. Thirdly, though Mira's compositions are themselves ambtvalently situated, there are significant differences in her personal practice and in her ideological Iocation when compared to earlier and contemporary male bhaktas, And, finally, etched into Mira's enterprise is not only the difficulty of being 'original' in an oral tradition, but also the recalcitrance and the precariousness of personal rebellion. [The paper is published in two parts. The second part will appear next week.]
THE ideological diversity and contradictory locations of bhakti are startling. Already embedded in vedic and puranic literature bhakti is not restricted to .what have been specified as movements: it is a structure of personal devotion which enters into the formation of new groups or classes, into the protests against elite hegemonic groups as well as into the redefining of dominant classes,' and is also central to the production of a syncretic vocabulary in accessible vernacular languages, Though often a mode of dissent which expresses dissatisfaction with certain orthodox, caste-based modes of social ordering, brahminical Hinduism, 'exelusive' religious institutions, and, at least apparently, patriarchy, the di fficulties of measuring the 'bbakt! movements' potential for change in h pre-industrial formation are enormous. .This would involve ascertaining which areas of meaning, social agency and interaction, political participation, power, and prescriptive Hindu orthodoxy are prised open by/for the lower caste peasants, artisans and women who were involved in each movement, It would entail an evaluative description of the nature of the social transformations taking place, with the gradual and differential establishment of feudal structures as the field from which bhakt! emerges and to which it responds, Finally, this would involve seeing bhakt! as a product and partaker of a changing soclety, which emerges alongside feudal structures-whether assisting or resisting them-for several centuries, Bhokti can neither be understood solely in terms of its social content and ideology, nor 'evaluated 1464 separately from the social practices in which it is implicated. Within an economy where the labour of women and the surplus production of the peasant and artisan are customarily and 'naturally' appropriated by the ruling groups, the high Hindu traditions sought to encompass and retain the management of spiritual 'surplus', and to circumscribe its availability along lines of caste and gender. In this spiritual economy, the liberalising and dissenting forms of bhakli emerge as a powerful force which selectively uses the metaphysic of high Hinduism (maya, karma and rebirth), in an attempt to create an inappropriable excess or transcendent value grounded in the dailiness of a material life within the reach of all, Even if bMkII does not substantively break the boundaries of high Hindu traditions it redefines these in content, modality and address, i e, in what is said, how it is said (orally-in defiance of the centralisation of knowledge in wrltten texts). and who it is said to. Bhakfi makes a language for aspiration and desire, through a notion of personal devotion and more direct communication with a compassionate god, which Is embedded within an experlential base-particular sorts of hierarchical, patriarchal and feudal relations-a location which defines both the power .and the vulnerability of such a ,language. Once assimilated into mainstream Hinduism, the critical edge of dlssenting forms of bhakt! is blunted, yet the language remains evocative, long after the movements have themselves waned, precisely because its experiential base has altered but not disappeared, This essay attempts to understand the specific character of Mirabal's bhakt! as it finds shape within the overlapping yet contradictory configuration of the patriarchal assumptions of the medieval Rajput state, prescriptive brahminical texts, and the female devotional voice as it develops in earlier and contemporary compositions of male bhaktas. Each one of these is a site for the production 'of' vation schemata, of notions of sexuality and of different sorts of female agency. Unfortunately, from this historical distance it is easier to ascertain their ascriptive funotions and ideological matrix than to determine their precise rellftion to social practices. What emerges firstly is that though the prescriptions of the smritis alJ4 puranas do not survive as law. they are avallable as ideology which shapes the 'customary domain and self description of Rajput ruling groups, and in this sense are that part of their 'past' which constitute Ihe historical moment in which Mira lives. Secondly, in the breaking and remaking of patriarchal relations. Mira's bhakl{ marks as weil, as belongs to a longer historical moment ill which the prescriptions of the smritis and puranas are selectively internalised, and the customary nexus of religious practice is translated into metaphors and emotional structures. Even as her bhakti sets out to escape, ignore or challenge certain social. religious and patriarchal institutions, its moraJlegitimacy is partially obtained from a transformation of some of these (enforceand Political WC(kly ]uly 7, 1990


Certain parts must have been re-aceentuated. and finally the miraculous death where she merges with god in a temple. altered. and so supply her with powerful patrons. and is persecuted after his death when she is a widow. the home of Krishna. ·The first is the problem of reading an oral corpus which cannot be reduced to a single <!!:'thor. Some versions claim. isolation. II is difficult to rescue the 'real' Mirabai. feudal patriarchy. and became critic of certain forms of social oppression? What is the relation between the historical figure and the legendary saint? At one level the saint's life is a consensual and so socially legitimate pattern which inherently contradicts the normative requirements of wifehood. her life may have been retrospectively 'fitted' into the ideal-typical life of a saint thus erasing all the signs of personal suffering. or to reconstruct her life separately either as legend or as history. Thirdly. He has twenty-elgbt queens and seven sons. certain potentials in the images actuallsed. 2 As a genre the saint's biography is complete: pari of a series of idealised lifetypes it presents an exterior self open to the public gaze. The legend-history has it that Mira is born into a Rather family in 1498 in Koorki village in the Nagaur district of Marwar. persecute her for political (rivalry with her natal family). Widowed five years later in 1523 Mira continues to compose poetry and sing bhajans under the protection of her fatherin-law. both inhabit a hierarcbising. the displays of wit and logic when questioned and tested by a male authority figure. and refuses to return to the palace even upon the blandishments of a later Rana.' How do we evaluate Mira as a saint and as a symbol of legendary devotion and personal rebellion.) In her dilemma she sings and dances before his image in the temple while the brahrnlns fast at the door. prescriptive social domain where the 'norms' of the one can be invoked to 'punish' the other: e 8. based partly on her own compositions. the renunciation of family and domestic life. the negotiation of these pre-existing structures. The. The personal and historical contingencies which informed Mira's choices either appear as generalised preconditions for sainthood or. in answer 10 her let! ter seeking advice about her persecution by her husband's family. Sbe is both literate and learned. The different usages of the female devotional voice in comparison with male bhaktas brings up two general but crucial questions. who is defeated in battle and expelled from Merta in 1535. and refuses to consummate her earthly marriage. The solidity of patriarchal assumptions in metaphors and analogies. declares herself married to Him. is punctuated with 'typical' conventions: the biller persecutions and miraculous escapes. and takes another wife. who undertakes to placate her son. the fort is conquered by Bahadur Shah of Gujerat in 1535. though Mira's compositions are themselves ambivalently situated. She sings and dances. Or. She refuses to worship the family goddess. loves Krishna like a gopl. possible to read it tentatively against both together-insofar as they interlock and contradict. perhaps as a mascot to guard against future mishaps. like his own marriages. The written texts assembled from oral traditions part of a collective oeuvre. Tansen. At another level both the historical figure and the legendary saint belong to the realm of public transcription. and his son's marriage to Mira is. All Ihe brahrnins find is her sari enveloping the idol.are invisible. Birbal and Tulsldas. Her father dies in 1530. meets all kinds of men and has a disturbing appeal for women and especially for men and women of lower social classes. pupils and gurus) suggest that this is a successful ruse to escape the brahmins. I The Life It is difficult to disentangle legend from history to reconstruct and interpret Mirabai's life. however. and more specifically of women saints. and his successor Rana Bikramajit. finds it difficult to accept such activity. Mira ii in Dwarka. or resisted. the breaking of norms and taboos. She gives up social decorum (10k lao)) and family honour (kul shrinkhla). After her father-in-law's death by poisoning in 1528. like the lives of all medieval saints. and interprets 'character' as deriving from such a substantive self rather than from the exigencies of changing. a Chamaar by birth. etched into Mira's enterprise. son of the 'Hindupat' Economic and Political Weekly Rana Sanga. to a simple realm of 'political' events which occur in a sequentialcausality. Mirabal herself" re- are July 7. the narrative of the saint's life projects modes of behaviour which arise in response to expectations or proscriptions as simple and pure expressions of spiritual being. 'the association with holy places. The Mira who may be gleaned from historical facts is one who belong. Mira's transgression of the norms for a good Rajput wife and widow may have necessitated seeking protection in the alternative norms of sainthood. legend goes that her brother-in-law (in some versions her father-in-law) seeing these as consequences of his persecution of Mirabai sends brahmins to bring her back'. If a straightforward reading of Mira's life is unavailable. there are significant differences in her personal practice and in her ideological location when compared to earlier and contemporary male bhaktas. patriarchal values and the engendering of religious belief. (She has re-built his temple in Dwarka. a political alliance. ideological in character. In one account her father-in-law asks her to kill herself. In thrse versions Akbar -conquers and plunders Mewar as retribution for the ill-treatment of Mirabal. her brother-inlaw Raja Ratan Singh. a wife of Rana Sanga. Some versions (which seek 10 extend her life beyond 1547 in order to make her meet Akbar. It is. conversely. skilled in 'male' arts thunting. 1990 1465 . In one version. So Mira takes to the road as ajogin or religious mendicant. She obediently plunges into a river but survives with divine aid. In another version she becomes a Krishna bhakta only upon the death of her husband. he is reconciled to her behaviour when he comes to believe that she is mad. and insofar as both suggest the pre-existing structures which she may have appropriated. She serves sadhus. her life. Durga. comes 10 constitute Mirabal's 'experience' for us. etiquette)_' When about eighteen she is married to Bhoj Raj. their readily paraphraseable 'content' raises questions about the role figurative modes play in reflecting or forging a social consensus in oral traditions. 'The second is the relationships between figurative modes. instead of her prescriptions into an internal ethic. Patriarchal structures and religious belief are not inert but subject to constant remaking-it appears that they may even be interdependent and mutually generative. At the time Rana Sanga is tire most powerful of Rajput kings and has great political ambition. the ill-treatment of a saint can change the course of political events and cause Akbar's conquest of Mewar. music. religious and probably personal reasons. followed by the jauhar (mass immolation) of the women led by Rani Karrnavati. and Tulsldas. eliciting certainties from her songs Is equally problemasc. Her mother dles when she is five and she is brought up bY her grandfather. In biographies (the earliest are the Bhaktmaia of Nabhadas (1667) and the Bnakt-maltika of Priyadas (1732).Mira's husband resents her celibacy. the social codes of family pride. battle) and Ui the 'female' arts (dance. In some versions her father-in-law also persecutes her. Viram Deo. persecutes her. accrued experience. suspects adultery. Her only supporter is Rana Sanga's mother-Jhali Rani-a pupil of Raidas. Raidas. decorum. as a historical figure and woman who resisted the power of princely. to whom she is devoted from childhood. but also the recalcitrance and the precariousness of personal rebellion. visits Vrindavan. advises her to leave her marital home. Krishna unable to resist her love incorporates her into himself. and a finished or already made relation with the world. sports. In some variations of the legend. Finally. She miraculously survives the cups of poison and snakes they send her and flees for shelter to her uncle Viram Deo. sewing. as Mira's own guru-the dates do not match. It appears that after she leaves Chittor. Both her grandfather Duda Merta and her father Rao Rattan Singh are Vaishnavites and worship Krlshna. and heir to the Sisodia kingdom of Mewar. honour. insofar as it is possible to reconstruct it. especially from a widow. In this sense. the rejection of worldly power and authority. vulnerability and daring in the life of the woman. Legend has it that at the time of her marriage ceremony she circles the idol of Gird harj i (Krishna). Finally. others allowed to fade over time. is not only the difficulty of being 'original' in an oral tradition.

and in the imperial designs of the emergent feudal Rajput state. And yet the family is neither stable nor secure. The stale too can b c dlortJco.s Women have neither the right to divorce nor to property and the right of widows to ruuirucnancc is easy to infringe. Manhood or maleness comes to be synonymous with veerta (courage.accentuates what has preceded. affective power from these. as in Ihe smritis. and Rana Sanga's assertive Hindu identity was related to his imperial ambition. And the family can ill turn be iI unit of the stale's 'decentralised' patriarchal power=-supptying women lor marriage exactly as it supplies men for baule Dishonour in either case amounts to saying Ihat the family's political reliability is at stake. The poliriclsation and depersonalisation of marriage is striking.s{court bards) who now begin to fabricate the origin and trace the lineage of the ruling clans to remote antiquity. genealogical status. status of natal family. the regulation of sexuality and the restriction of women's right 10 properly.6 The resurgent 'Hinduism' of 'k shatriya' ascendancy. and becomes a mode of dif. and alliances. and makes relations between them tense and unstable. constructs relations of vassalage and clientelist allegiance wherein marriage becomes an expression of loyalty and fealty. 'Ierr itories were being wrested from tribes. the degree of integration and desired harmony between family and state not only sets off the ruling Rajput groups from other castes. but also determines the patriarchal public nature of the code ofTamily honour. embeds the warrior's service into the hierarchy of the feudal relation. except for favourites. Patriarand Political Weekly JlJly 7. She is subordinated via men 10 the state and domestic service of the husband becomes analogous to religious service. acquires a social existence.." within which the women though indispensable are construed as little more than counters of exchange." The wife too takes on a relation of generalised subaltcrnity to her lord-husband-master. Further. roles of both servant and wife are predicated on devoted service and fidelity to a feudal stale within a hierarchy which expresses. of the management of marriage. II Family. legitirnises and idealises an unequal social relation. their consent to patriarchal domination (ideologically obtained) also becomes a consent to coercive social relations in wider sense. The fifteenth century sees the emergence of the word 'rajput' in its contemporary sense. and mode of acquisition (i e.tall'" It becomes (111 adjunct of the ~!all' ill thai even as it mainlain. and familial solidarity based on kinship-some of the co-ordinates of military success. The desired. So on the other hand. which reinforces the mutual dependence between ruler and clan. The notion of kill or dan acquires its emotive. (pilfl!>" through It. indeed its very intelligibility. Women have no independent access to political power. women are conceived primarily as subjects. there appears to be an internal stratification of lineages wherein kinship and the rights of the subject vis-a-vis the sovereign are being remodelled in consonance with emerging 'contractual' relalions. once described. seniority. and which also sets out to govern tho: hierarchical system of vassalage and the reciprocal duties of master and servant. In sum. which repeatedly displays a potential for internal fission. influence.. dowry. the perception of military and other service as a form of worship expressed through unstinting devotion and self sacrifice which brings both material reward and salvation. is Iimited. The patriarchy uf the family becomes in some sense co-extensive with lhe state. Representations of this 'invisible' world are shared by men and women. state and struggles for power. especially in the upper strata. Though the subordinate function of Rajput women seems to put even women of the ruling group into the humble category of the ruled. as yet embryonic. feuding unit even within the kin group. The early medieval Rajput state is one particular patrilineal clan or sub-clan politically organised into a single unit within which is inscribed the place of women \\ Ii(l are tied to the needs of clan ideruity and status. organises social relations and plays a determining role in their reproduction. The zenana or an- tahpur of Rajputs seems to be riven by divisions among women along lines of age. a claim to prestige and achieved status.pronged conflict in Rajput states many of which were still at a formative stage. ferentiating them from the lower castes in Rajasthan who have less formal marital arrangements. They represent intentionallties. Not surprisingly. Mira sang and danced-the nuances. Mewar was surrounded by Muslim kingdoms on three sides. the management of women and marriage are key elements in the process of cultural unification. Marriage and State What was the location of a princess married into the premier ruling family of Rajasthan? The late fifteenth and early sixteenth century which mark the end of the Delhi sultanate were characterised by a continuous three." The conflarion of god·ruler·thokur(chiel). ii is a fragile. The political history of Mcwar is one of ceaseless competitive warfare. and it is partly through these that women consent to their domination. The world beyond death. is perceivet. It Within the Rajput polity. Both arc placed within a chain of ideal connections in which the reality of the social order itself. beliefs. status. The family enlt'r~ into a series of relations with the . and instltutionallses a system of gaining land. In this sense the songs are inscribed in an extended rather than a discrete moment of production. inflections and assertions of performed worship which set personal devotion squarely within the public gaze-can in retrospect only be surmised. The sacralisation of marriage with its corollary system of rewards and punishments occurs most fully among upper castes. power. and its own patriarchal practices grounded in the clan system. 1990 1466 Economic . worn . There is a high instance of polygamy. since the family is inserted directly into the political sphere within relations of dcpendence and solidarity. and female infanticide among Rajputs. concubine or slave). the notion of ku! acquires a certain urgency from the need for affirming lineage cohesion. 4 This is not only a period of expansion and the consolidation of vassal and tributary states. material benefits. the family providcx a system of patriarchal protection for wo me II. In some sense the service demanded of women overlaps with the compulsory service demanded of other subaltern groups. Linked as it is with clan. but also a period of cultural unification. from Muslim rulers and from other Rajput states. ruler and vassals-in effect builds and reinforces a feudal relation.9 T he obligatory and politically instrumental character of marriage is rationalised and sacralised through the ideologies of service and of suhaag (the married state). As tho: xrnallest unit of a clan. it. wife. honour. competitive. S signifying not merely a caste but a ruling military aristocracy with its own ethos of martial involved in marriage norms because Ihe state assumes a continuity between itself' and il\ subjects. On the one hand. desires which stretch beyond the individual and may be designated as a definable mode of social perception inhabited by Mira and nameless others. size of income.n) it als" maintains I he order of social hierarchy. However. the conquest of neighbouring territories provides the king and state with an economic and political advantage over kinsmen. bravery) and kutgaurav (the honour of the clan). which interlocks wit h an exaggerated lineage consciousness. operates as an oppressive site for tho: daiJ)· reproduction of caste and gelllkr inequality in which women I hClIIsdw\ play il significant role. which would become sharply defined with Mughal rule. builds cohesive dan and interclan relationships across territorial boundaries. 0I11l stut u-. and by the struggle for mobility through access to the ruler-husband which inevitably. rested on propitiating brahmins (who could legitimise higher varna status through selective use of the smritis and puranas) and on investing heavily in a self-legitimislng genealogical enterprise with the co-operation of bhats and churon. Exogamous marriage is a structural mainstay of the clan as a political unit. political influence..! as irrevocably tied whh the principle of hierarchical layering in which husbands and kings OCI'UpY (he summit The character of Rajpuis as an expansive and hegemonic military aristocracy led to and demanded the development of an instrumental and quasiautonomous ethic of male heroism with its corollaries of male bonding and corporate identity. a condition both of stead)' expansion and of insecurity.

avoid sensual pleasures. 10 phuthya haiyo tumhaara Tum hi kaho ordhangha hamaari. P: 45). ana service [0 god are already bonded. sir se door kari Maan apmaan dou ghar patke. 234). As an errant. none besides. Mira\ crcdemials cis good wife are being ensured prior to her transformation into a saint. alongside the honour of [he family. I nterpreting III Mira s Life Mira's rebellion. marriage to Krishna. piety. their sej (marital bed) can be an abstraction. she is even suspected of a liaison with Akbar who has come in disguise (0 see her. The genealogy of the Rajput widow can be traced to the model of the Brahmin widow in the Manusmriti. as a disobliging wife. The ideology of suhaog thus becomes a way of controlling marriage and through it procreation. and bhakti a path: Tero koi nahi rokanhoar. kari jagaai haal (BM: 70) The rejection of earthly marriage. marriage to human beings I know only Girdhar.01li' husband" (MDS: 135). This reality naturalisessuhaag-it does not appear to be an illusion. In those versions of 'he legend in which she is persecuted b)' her husband. Mira ignores the claims of suhaag. in the former version. Aise var ko kya karu jo janme our mar jai Var variyo ek saavre ri mero chudlo amar 110 jai . Here the good wife and the saint cannot be reconciled-she can only be one or the other. 19 Since Krishna is a god. Widowhood is a punishable crime. At the same time the ideology of suhaag acquires its power. the break with domcsticiry is a rejection of the primar~' domain where sexuality is customarily regulated. mahaon ke jog janjaal Mira ke prabhu girdhur naagat. husband. The Manusmrltl explki[ly oller. Further. niksi hu gyan gali Unchi atariya taatkivariya. Mira's claim is substantive when she says: Soli no hosya: glrdhar gaosya mahaara man mohe ghannami Jefh bahu ko naato na raanaji.chal domination depends on the symbolic. self-sufficiency. authority. hamku moat pita boi bhai Thai thaare main mohaare Ranaf]. the widow [00 like the wife must subject mind. wife. To what extent does Mira break the norms of the feudal relation regarding marriage and widowhood. social critique and iconic image have to be located within this set of relationships which constitute the field within which her bhakti finds shape. and by her obsessive religiosity from the moment she is wed. Her service acquires the illusory character of an exchange or a reciprocal commitment in which the husband's well-being saves her from widowhood and finds her a place in heaven.zdecay. 1990 1467 . asceticism. the husband is the intermediary between this world and the next. but of the whole social order within which they arc enmeshed.'! Unlike lower caste' women she is forbidden reo marriage. so kahan rahat ri luka! Mira kahai prabhu girdhar ke bin. However. and feed them/to your kitchen fires. have a single future destiny. celibacy.. nirgun sej bicchi (BM: 56). of kul. is punishable by ostracism in both worlds (MDS: 135·37. and widow." Kaai our ko bam maavri. widowhood is atonement through personal austerity. The good widow then must both practically and emotionally be as monogamous as the good wife.hoi mit jaasi Main to ek avinaasi varoongi jaahe kaal nahi kbaasi (BM: 79) Surat dinanath su lagi tu 10 samajh suhaagan naar: . a signi ricant element in the life of a saint-celibacy and its attendant spiritual powers-is also being established." Her indifference to her husband and passion for Krishna is 'read' as adulterous by both husband and father-inlaw. Widowhood is read in the brahminical tradition derived from the smritis as the predestined.. and continued justification for women from the experienced rcaliry and perceived consequences of the loss of suhaag or widowhood. the state. 116): Jhootha suhaag jogat ka ri sojni. He is my father. in her choke of asceticism and in the nature of her asceticism? She breaks the code of marriage by remaining sexually unavailable to her husband. for both the wife and the widow. there is an indication of the magnitude of her decision. pargat ho naachi. and in order to obtain heaven like the Brahmin ascetic. she must practise those "incomparable rules of vir!ue which have been followed by such women as were devoted to 01l1). dujo na aavai mahaari dai (BM: 85) In this sense each patriarchal persecution-a product of her real transgressions-is at the same lime a fest which proves her sainthood within the pattern of a saint's life. . when widowed Mira denies the realitv of having been married in the first place. labour of women themselves in rituals (0 preserve marriage and ward off widowhood. magan hui Mira chali Laaj saram kut ki marjaada. The ideology of suhaag legitimises the enforced dependence of women and redescribes it as [he necessary submission [0 duty and veneration of the husband. or by . the souls of the servant. "Him whom the snake of death will not devour" (DP: H9. and domestic drudgery. austerity. pahra bhi ilia/ali. Real suhaagis with an immortal. yun kohe Mirabai (B. service to the state.. karmic product of transgression in past lives. hu sevak the swaami Girdhar kant Girdhar dhani mahaare. success. kin. disobliging wife. speech and body to her husband. spiritual growth. which justifies the customary treatment of the widow and helps to create a-hierarchy of dependence within the family. Abinaasi ki pol par ji Mira karai chai pukaar (P: 165~67) Like other women saints. belong to an indivisible realm. 162). she does not challenge all the other accepted 'components' of a widow's life-piety. inheritance and properly. The smritis when desired offer timely and notable assistance.' 16 Mira designates jag suhaot: or marriage with a mortal as mithya or useless and illusory: 111m hi ihuthe ham hi jhuthe jhutha hai sob sansaara lagoayo kaara Koti brahmand me vyapya rahiyo hai so nij var hamaara 11 Stri punish ke sambandh jhuthe. I have nothing to do with the ruler of the state So says Mirabai. The organisation of the zenana and the emotional structures of suhaag together describe the wife as monogamous in terms of her fidelity and devotion [0 a 'naturally' polygamous husband. Marriage occurs ill society but outside history. "Take these husbands who die. In order to acquire renown in this world and the same abode as her husband in the next world. is in effect a rejection not only of [heir educative and organising functions. Marriage is indissoluble even upon widowhood. faalao ghau na jadoi Purab janam ki preet hamaori sajni. Infringement. Though Mirabal's mendicancy breaks the mandatory seclusion of the upper caste Rajpul widow (Ab kahe ki laaj sajnl." In other versions of the legend where she becomes bhakt only after [he death of her husband. (B: 106). Kinship. around which much of their religious activity is centred. the realms of domestic service. and monogamous devotion to him is the unilateral path to salvation. Within the ideologies of service and suhaag. and the bonds of kinship.' ritual and domestic labour as a suitable rneanx for restraining wives and controlling female 'sexuality (MD5: ]32). likewise. She claims Eo have already married Krishna in a dream (Mat Mahone supne me paron gaye Gopol 8M: 70). mot her. nanad khijairi pivji rahyori samai Chauki bh! me/all sajni. Mira acquires not only an active freedom from an expected role. Like Mahadeviyakka who sang. Heli mahasu Hari bin ruhiyo lIa jai Saasu lade ri sajni. but also the preconditions for uccess [0 wisdom. The Brahmin widow in order to be good must never even think of another man. Why should I burn myself on a pyre with the body of the rana and be sati? Is not Girdhar my eternal consort? I recognise no relationship of body. and most of all. Female renunciation finds no place In the Economic and Political Weekly July 7. 1I'l.

liyori aankh! kho! (BM: 71) In either case her vulnerability never ceases. Mira disengages herself from a social order she has understood. extra-institutional moral authority.. At this level her metaphors retain an inner <'Pr· respondence with-the social order. Mira's moral authority also partly depends on her austerity. offers an element of control over circumstances. so she must return to the palace. is remade as metaphor. the austerity of the last two renunciato"ty stages of a householder's life are no different in principle from a widow's life. resisted in practice. She can only claim 1468 Economic . then the renouncer must melt the divide between the inner and the outer. It is religious belief which empowers Mira] both her sense of selfhood and her violation of man-made custom emerge from her conviction of her subjection to god and her dedicalion to a 'higher' cause. B: 174).106. make Mira's iconic image problematic. into a sanctioned model of sainthood simply as a vulnerable woman seeking a form of security? Were her bhakti and the reputation of celibacy maintained as defensive shields. of the claims she makes in the name of austerity and in the name of mayo? The inequitable ground of ascetic widowhood is generalised to extend to everyone regardless of gender and marital status. and Political Weekly July 7.. maya specifically designates a set of familial and patriarchal claims-of husband. Choices are explained and dramatised. [aanai sob koi Daasi Mira la! girdlrorhoni so hoi (B: 139) Mal ri mein to liyo gobindo 1110/ . Then a 'voluntary' obedience to custom is exhorted. mother. If celibacy betokens an inner spiritual state.77. Mira refuses. Mira con nates actual poverty with poverty as a renunciatory slate of mind (Koma fokeeri phir kyo dilgiri..68)-which are described as illusory (B:I72). brother. unlike widowhood. mayo: Yo sansaar sakal jag lhutno (BM: 68) All the wealth and ornaments of the world are ephemeral. In one song she resists the persuasion of her-brother-in-law to give up wandering in the company of saints: it destroys the honour and repute of the family (Kul ko Koi kahe Mira bahi baavrl. and enables her rejection of the domestic.smrltis (travel for religious reasons and pilgrimage are expressly forbidden to women20 except in two paradoxical ways. n Further. Mira repeatedly describes herself as mad. Indeed orality may well be a domain where assertiveness accentuates personal risk. "worldly comfort" is an "illusion" and "the world is a deceit and a delusion. indeed such poverty is a mode of access to the divine (Hosfi ne ghora moat khazaana kaai no ave soallr. So the same 'components' which make Mira an object of familial persecution (P: 171-73) also ensure a wider social legiurnacy for her enterprise. jog su the cost door rahu 1lm mall dhan jaavo Mali mero sees lahu (BM: 64) At other times her bhakti seems to be impelled by helplessness. Did she reject the court or was she hounded out? The songs sometimes present Mira's choice of Krishna as a product of her own will. Her bhakli is at once a principle of consonance and of discord. truth lies only in devotion to god (B: 114) Jhootha manik motlyarl jhothi jag mag Jhootha sab aabhushanaa ri saanchi piya ji re pot! Jhootha paat dikhni cheer patambara re jhootha j011 The degree of 'real' choice available to Mira is unclear. Moral authority in the high Hindu traditions is usually a product of control over sensuous gratification (MDS: 153). The relation of the female subject to the feudal pollty. are a product of male volition. sadaa magan me rahna ji. Could she have disarticulated this order in its entirety and remained intelligible or been allowed to exist? What is the nature of her asceticism. political guarantee that a family provides necessitate belonging to god? Once outside the system of familial protections and obligations what other choices existed? Mira's songs oscillate between a recognition of her 'inevitable' destiny and a celebration of her choke: Maata chhori pita chhore. The grahasthaashram of a woman simply ends on her husband's death. As princess turned ascetic. (DP: 136)u Did the refusal to. she may have been/arced to break with it or she may even have felt herself broken by it." In some sense then the absorption of the widow into the renunciatory mode is both acceptable and threatening (it requires for some biographers the sanction of a Tulsidasl). however. in the absence of patriarchal protection? Did the very fact of lacking the socio-.liyori taraaju 10/ . nyaat (relatives) kahal kulnaasi re (BM: 60) Mira may have chosen to break the feudal relation. Both her natal and marital family (Jaaun no pillar jaaun no saasar P: 139)-primarily constitute the falseness of the the fact that as a f~male sublect Mira tak~~ recourse !o the highest point-gad-within the same patriarchal structure.! or simply a dream" (DP: 44. she must emaciate her body. roots etc (MDS: 135). public opinion is taken into account. it is only permissible under duress (and that too only in some dharmashastrasi. This recornposition is not merely an ideological manoeuvre-it genuinely effects a denaturalisation of 'necessity'. and this along with the definition of poverty begins to compose the essence of the true bhakta or devotee. It does. some of whose oppressions she has grasped. father. However. The upper caste widow should be an austere renouncer. for an abandoned woman or a widow.. botiya kahat banai (BM: 58) Durjin log maori ninda kare chhe (B: 172) Log kahal Mira bhai: baavri. The devotee is privileged precisely because he/she has no socially recognised privilege. is acutely and defiantly conscious of how she is perceived: Piv koran bauri bhai. she has no other "true relative or friend/The whole world has tumed against me". between essence and behaviour. Like many other renouncer. kin and dan (BM: 7f. "rubies and pearls" and "bondage to the world" are "false". and eventually perhaps even a source of alternate. First. a woman from such a family demeans it by dancing in public (Bodo ghar (he [anan: ttvo chai naacho de de taarir. and Jive voluntarily on flowers. by persecution even by the women. materialistic and self-interested (sob mattab ke garji BM: 56). chnore sage soi Sadira sang baith baith 10k laaj khoi. and is already accustomed to subjection. The series of oppositions offered to hierarchy are both made possible and undone. poverty for her is a willed state which by shearing away earthly desire is more receptive to the divine. ko! kahe kill naasi (P: 91 B! 164) Mira baat nahin jog chhani (P: 175) Saanchi piya]! ri goodrl ja me nirmal rahe sareer (B: 167) Woo poverty..consummate her marriage set up a wbole 10~1c which resulted in Lok kutumbi baraji baraj hi. because renunciation so utterly contradicts wifehood and domestic surveillance. Yet if the feudal relation crumbles in her personal practice. 'Mira describes the this-worldly as illusory. The acquiescence of the listener has to be sought and established: it cannot be guaranteed. Her gesture creates a productive disturbance in a birthbound hierarchy. 116. loot gya jyu (aoga BM: 51).. 128). It is the great matchmaker between you and god (B: 124) All "external finery". in Mira's composttlons. Ab (0 boat phait goyi. 1990 daog logoi cha! bhabhl nlnda ho rah! bhaari). these stages. .87. 'ephemeral' social systems of kinship and political power only to rejoin the community in another capacityas critic and commentator. leaving home? Did she turn to mendicancy only because she was rejected by her natal and marital family? Did she then have to 'fit' . Second. P: 117). 194. wlthou! disarticulating its order of reality. ephemeral (Maal pita SUi kutumb kabeelo. she breaks with 'outer'. to her fine ornaments and her husband. jyu kaathh! ghun khai (BM: 76) Rallaji mujhe yeh badnaami loge meethi Koi nindo koi vindo mein 10 chalungi draa: anuthi (P: 81) moral power in the name of god. the sadhus and sants are now her family: Rona ne samajhavo javo mai to boat no Mira ke prabhu Girdlrar naagar santo heath bikaani (P: 175-77) She reiterates her choice whatever maani Sodhu sangati karl harl sukh layu. The image returns to challenge and rework the character of her personal rebellion.27. in some ways her songs recover it both figuratively and as ideality and so recom pose its everpresent 'necessity' as choice.

The pragmatjc causality of the actions of Krishna the Mer is the obverse of his 'aimless' lovepilly. His relation with the gopis can be non. and as such il may funcEconomic and Political Weekly tion as no more than the conscience 0 f ruling groups. And )'ct in order to do so. he invokes and receives unabashed pleasure. loves them all and neglects none. As a renouncer Mira establishes a distance with daily integrative . disinterested in maintaining social order. for speculation on the nature of being and the pressure of mortality. Worship is satisfying for both g~ and devotee.~'. and often structural similarity with it. He has two distinct aspects (though one may be more prominent in certain traditions). patriarchal·god like the maryadapurushotlam Ram. <l~ 'I'd! as a medium for the formal ion of an 'inlier life' or 'senvibility'. are largely concerned with love or madhurya bhava-« perceived as thehighest and most encompassing' relation. military aristocracy. Sometimes he is a courtly Krishna: "Oirdhar nagar". It becomes both response and challenge the way marriage is institutionalised by a polygamous. when combined with her personal practice. Even this re-Interpreted maya. non-procreative. maya is an impediment to bhaktl in the shape of characteristic sins-/·. As the 'sinful' cowherd lover towards whom all longing is Krishna cannot taste his own beauty and sweetness unless it is objectified in another person toward whom he can direct his love. which may look quite different from different parts of the social hierarchy. If the absence of economic independence is transformed into the renunciation of material desire. familial and patriarchal encumbrances. Significantly. Once it emerges 'a metaphysic appears 10 assume an ideality and to acquire an autonomy: this in fact facilitates an 111· . Like many other saints. krodh (anger). The notion of personal (not individual) devotion to a reciprocating husband-lover gather special resonances and inflections in a medieval Rajput court. and there is an impllclt structural relation between the two. some or the structured relations of collective power and some of the very principles of inequality which underlie these systems." Finally. to the way it regulates relationships between men and women. the wealth to be rejected in this context is accumulated by merchants. IV Choosing Krishna Mira's relationship to patriarchy is far from simple. the peasant with the prince. Maya becomes a condensed sign for invoking a moral order based on moral worth rather than on social institutions and inherited privilege. the prince and husband of the Bhagwad Purana who has sixteen thousand one hundred wives and eight queens. And yet being labile and abstract it is simultaneously open W [1. and "mahara]". with intermittent reciprocity.aam (desire). To put it crudely. through the devotee's pleas for deliverance: Harl hitu se het kar. 26 Mira's location as a Rajput woman is 'crucial here since 'love' is scarcely a private matter though it may appear to be . can exist in and for itselfnoj as the 'fruit' of action but as action itsel f. Her songs.'interpretation. The different potentials for appropriation could be surmised from the elite and popular versions of Mira's legend and songs through lime. alterity. hierarchical. like those of many women saints.)11. Bengal Vaisnav bhakt! blurs the distinction between god and devotee and heightens reciprocity: the jiva is a part of the Bhagawat. [(I caste. The first aspect of Krishna is structured around his reciprocity and negligence of social propriety. Not only is Krishna sympathetic to the 'feminine' he can at times be subject to it. Krishna is not simply a monarchic. Mira's description and designation of Krishna varies. Mira's bhakti reinterprets maya. including those of conjugal fidelity. the feudal ruler who urges Arjun to battle in the Bhagwad Gila. of the visiblu and invisible world? Do faith and metaphysic absorb and (kneel critique or docs critique rcthrone and relocate metaphysic? Then' can scarcely be an adequate textual anxwer to these questions. despite its critical edge is no less a metaphysic. indeed Dwarka becomes a "synonym for his absence" for the lovetorn gopls and for Radhaj29 it represents the difficulty of reconciling. Thus the metaphysical core of '1\1ira's bhakti is labile and abstract enough to provide a medium lor unarticulatcd human pnssibility imokshui. Though her compositions de not enunciate it. ~~ From being a cosmic illusion emanating from creation or from god. sahaj kar bairaag (BM:7?) Mira only leaves home at Krishna's command (Jogiya ne kahiyo re aades P: 83). it reworks existing inequities into higher levels governed by faith. usurers. and unlike the conjugal relation. "Dwarka kc thakur".lI The courtly Krishna lives in Dwarka. and consorts with lower CUMe men and women. The other aspect of Krishna is structured around his political power and pragmatism. clas~ or patriarchal interest and to political lise. He is the warrior-hero: the vir engaged in continuouswarfare in order to conquer evil. more than her life which complicate the refraction of wifehood and widowhood. The critique of wealth and power is expressed (ideologically) in moral and metaphysical rather than in' political terms. then doesn't Mira's rebellion confirm the power of the family and feudal state which can only be abnegated but not changed? What docs asceticism imply for a widow who can claim maintenance but has no inalienable right to property or direct access to political power? Is she not deciding 10 forego what she cannot easily ha\'c?-and tllat too under shelter of a fairly generalised metaphysic or renouncing maya. he has powers superior and yet analogous to those of humans and is open to direct appeal. it is not a moral order which can be situated in individual volition' alone. She resents his shift 1469 July 7. occupies relationships of ideality. expansive. Docs not Mira continue ((1 share the dominant rcprcsentatron . drawn from the ostentatious expenditure of thc landownmg groups. Renunciation here has an inescapable sociality: through redescribing poverty and gender (as I shall disCuss later) in ways which carry them well beyond their ascriptive functions into the figurativemetaphysical doruain. strurneruality or a di ffererit order since it b always intersected by other dis~'\'l\lr. In general.. iliad (intoxication) and moh (delusion)-which corrupt the mall or heart (B1\-I: 77. fobl! (greed). and inserted into a range of social practices. but that is 100 vast a search to be undertaken here. it becomes more a set of conventional beliefs and attitudes. sansaar aasa tyaag Das Mira lal girdhur.And yet it is necessary to see Mira's language as amenable to maintaining status quo.81). Maya as an obstruction cannot be removed by the sheer force of the devotee's will and personal insight. of which in turn Mira's bhakti is the 'other' face.25 it can only be withdrawn by Krishna. may have had a di Iferent ideological location.ystems of inequality in order to open them to reflection or to represent [hem as peuy. The belief that death and maya challenge all is a staple of the metaphysic of the high Hindu tradition. her cntique of wealth. He is represented as the object of orthodox wifely fidelity-eight queens are immolated on his death. which prevent the meeting between the self and god. When this mcraphysic is also the ground of the challenge to feudal hit-!arch)' and patriarchy thvlI some 'lIICSJiOn'. she affirms at figurative and metaphysical levels. He not only himself breaks the norms of marriage=-Radha is married in some Vaisnav traditions-but Krishnabhakt! becomes the occasion for women to trespass norms. The second aspect of Krishna is not yerY different from that of the Rajput military aristocracy. She had a following among lower caste men and women both during and after her lifetime. and the way the 'private' is structured by and into the public domain. Or it can turn the existing reality of [he dominated into the desired reality of the renouncer. A metaphysic emerges from the constriction and tyrannies of a social formation. After . Mira relinquishes her own ca-re and class status. abhimaan (pride). gives up the benefits of princely power along with the perilous norms of upper caste widowhood. And it is her songs. Her choice of Krishna as the object of worship and 'devotion is both ironic and complex. and from the scantily remunerated labour and perennial indebtedness of peasants and artisans. he is both pastoral cowherdpeasant and prince-proprietor. remain. 1990 . and so shares in the quality of beloved ness. in his illicit pastoral frolics with the gopis in Vrindavan.. his self-delighting lila in Vrindavan (DP:)3).

1990 1470 Economic . inversely. quarrelsomeness without a proper cause. keep me as thy servant Keep me as thy servant. Nor can Mira's songs be isolated from other semantic histories of bondage. pritam. nit uth dorsan paasu Vrlndavan ki kunj galill me. Syam! mane chakar rakho p. This in turn necessitates a low ritual status for both and the construction of rules for their exclusion. broadly speaking. Though Rajasthan has a significant poetic tradition centred on the heroic courtly Krishna (e g. protection and consumption of wealth. into a rosa and gives madhura bhakt! supreme status. V Different Modes 0{ Bondage Subordination becomes the figurative ground for transcendence in her bhakt! resulting in a play with a range of meanings in the ideas of service. the emotional contours of' her bhaktl are closer (0 Chaitanya's Gaudiya Vaishnava school in Bengal=-flrmly established in Vrindavan by the 16th century under the Ooswamis. the more so because they encapsulate a long Vaishnav history of vesting subalternity with symbolic power. «a» (0 [aye Dwarka chhaye BM: 31) and "follows" his itinerary in her travels. renunciation. which occurs in the Sotapathabrahmana=on the basis of both being embodiments of untruth. sumiton paau k harchi Bhav bhagati jagiri paau.from . Krishna says that he is under the control of ' his devotees who have "enthralled him by their. strong lust. their Jowly birth is a result of sins in previous births (MDS: 230-33.. teenu baata sarsi (B: 153). The chakar could be a servant In a household or the client of a feudal patron. 2031. teri lila gaasu Chakri me darsan paau.Vrfndavan (0 Dwafka (Pal pat Vrindavan dhoondyo. ostensibly because these will ca'!se their downfall (patall): reciting Vedic mantras. servitude. In her songs Krishna is the beloved tpiv. god and lover. and' by the perfect presence of knowledge and dharma. If He sold me into slavery. Subalternity itself is endowed with inverse power by a personage no less than Krishna. master. It might be helpful to look at the semantic history and local context of her figurative modes. Will plant thy garden And every morning will rise early 10 bave thy sight. (DP: 53). She has sold herself in slavery to Him Without accepting a fee (DP: 58). and the Bhagwat Purana describe a Vaishnavisrn which marks the inclusion of women and sudras as listeners to the stories and teachings of the epics and Puranas. Mostly he is the cowherd lover.ll In this literature soclalIy prescribed roles are conjoined not only with the essential nature of women and sudras. I will have thy sight for reward. elevates bhakt. Analogies and metaphors of bondage are common. thieving. inequality or any form of stratification. The Brahmanda Purana (c 100-1000 AD) describes the first utopian krtayug as a nomadic world marked by the absence of. sin and darknessH-becomes more detailed and frequent in the smritis (MDS: 43. sajana}." Women and sudras become the 'natural' constituency of Krishna. The pairing of women with sudras. Thy remembrance will be my wages. sudra or low caste. and lover. self-interest. and pride of the uppercastes. and raises its own set of disturbances. 2062-63). etc. between the bondage of the soul to the god. Roughly the same set of activities are forbidden to them. The Vishnu Purana. humble. Subalternity seems to acquire a special value in some wands of Vaishnavism. performing austerities. the husband-lover (Suiya). Rup Ooswaml. The cyclic time scale of the four yugas enters into a curious relation with subalternity. The word das emerged from Dasyu or non-Aryan. a metaphorical enrichment and idealisation of subalternity." Such power is in turn seen to be an effect of k<!fiYlIg. At one level these metaphors of desire approximate the language of social and patriarchal SUbjection. both born 10 and accustomed to servlce. The Bhagwat Purana (c 500-1000 AD) represents women as' the distracting creations of maya. If I perform Thy service. His slave for birth upon birth. bondage and domination. degeneracy. because he owns neither possessions nor property to tie him to the world. want of faith. However both aspects of Krishna enter into her configuration of god. and came by early feudal times to mean house servant or bondsman. 1 would acquiesce OP: 41) Taha baithavai titht balthu. 93. the husband (pall).. the bondage of the wife to the husband and the servant to the master. Since the model bhakt is a renouncer. there occurs. heterodoxy.of earlier women bhakts like Mahadeviyakka and Andal. Girdlrarilal! chakar rakho ji Chakar reh su baag laga su. the maidservant or slave (das/). they cannot be taken literally or 'accused' in the same way as prescriptive statement and there is much in Mira's songs which works against them (as I shall discuss later). the Bhagwad Gila. between divine service and wifely or domestic service. immerses herself in servitude. Mira is the eternal virgin tjanam janam ki kunwaarh. But Mira is sold into Had's hands." In medieval Rajasthan the das or dasi was bought and sold (either by himself/herself or by others). going on pilgrimages. pastoral to an agrarian economy. free from arrogance. The Goswamis use the analogy between human love and divine love comparing love for god with a woman's yearning for her lover: the enjoyment of god's nature occurs through a bhakti expressed as rati (pleasure). pure. between earthly husband as lord. but also with the very order of creation. the bride (dulhall). as well as retainer or serf. 168). the protector. In the Manusmrltl. o Girdhari Lal. and between the spiritual 'desire' of the soul and sensual desire. Tum mere thakur main teri dasi (B: 149). J4 Here. the mastei-{Ihaklll). piya. falsehood. poverty and low caste can be read as a 'natural' freedom from maya (BhP: 5: 1901." Mira's bhajans derive their emotional and cultural power from the metaphoric use of the common analogies between god and master. 1921-23. 133) and puranas. simultaneous with descriptions of the subjection of women and sudras and of their essential 'fallen' nature. the servant (chakar). And yet the ideal bhakt in the Bhagwat Purana is the poor or low caste man because he does not devote his time and energy to the acquisition.draws on the secular definition of sringaro rasa. to be shunned by wise men and sages as impediments to devotion. and of course god (prabhll). ignorance. because he is by nature empathetic.devotion even as good wives do by their devotion to virtuous husbands". the bridegroom (yar. texts which mark and probably negotiate the shift from a nomadic. bechain 10 bik [aun (B: 155). 2013). the fourth ashram of sannyaas. and conceit. violent anger and inordinate covetousness" (BhP: 5: 1948-49. The desire to create and/or maintain the subjection of women and sudras is fundamentally a desire to secure control over the means of reproduction and production (i e. even generic. Mira glorles in single minded devotion (mere aasaa chltwant tumrl aur na dooj dor BM: 55). between soul and wife. and she presents herself sometimes as a gopl or Radha. the king (mahara. Prlthvi Rathaur's Veli Krisan Rukmim). Her metaphors acquire a special resonance in the context of medieval Rajasthan. suffering and in the vicissitudes of loving Krishna. and bonded in perpetuity for generations since his/her children were born as slaves. dutha). husband and lover. labour)-and extends to negotiating the ways in which they are to be represented.). The characteristic qualities of the lowest castes are "absence of cleanliness. 1993. The female body appears to be publicly structured by existing hierarchies. However. clubbed together by the Bhagwat's thorough chastisement of (he wealth. . People are devoid of desire and proand Political Weekly July 7. and in a far more emphatic way as compared to the compositions . In the leafy lanes of Vrindavan I will sing the deeds of Govlnd. the wifebeloved separated from the husband-lover (virhan). t he essential wicked or servile nature of women and sudras is preordained. guileless. literary devices in bhaktl compositions. I will remain thy faithful servant. the devotee lpujarin). The spirit of devotion my fief. For which I have longed during many a birth (OP: 97).

the disregard of laws regulating the conduct of husband and wife.1 which simultaneously offers thenr some . By the end of the yllg women outnumber men. In contrast to the enormous ritual labour required of twice born men.44 The family is metaphorically interchangeable with the state. Here the incorpo ration of the subject into the body of the social plenum represented by the king becomes the deep structural form of all being. the husband with the king. the general valorisatlon of sexual pleasure. It appears to be utopian precisely because of the absence of caste. Invisible power may even be a handy recourse in the face of the hostile. Thus the divine or 'higher' power to which Mira affirms her subjecthood. readily paraphrasable meaning. p 157).is disfavour is as nothing compared to Krishna's disfavour (Rajo ruthoi nagrl raakai had roothya kaha joana BM: 75). worse than they have ever been. The state incorporates the (willing) subject. the uppercaste male and the woman or sudra is established in which the uppercaste male is an intermediary. a certain ontology remains intact. caste distinction and copulation. patriarchal practices can function ideologically not merely in their own name but in the name of something else.l? Indeed. The absence of religious homogeneity and the contradictory interpretations of ancient texts are singled out as the cause of corruption. the four stages of life. the social. and naturalises the continuum of woman-devotee-husbandking-god. disobedient to husbands and parents. these schema make It possible for women and lower castes not opty to share these representations. In the third dwaparyug. may be analogous to the king but it can also in turn incorporate both king and state. and the clear-cut principles 0 f dharma are all being adulterated. dishonest. short. The series of mirroring analogical relationships which extend from lowliest servant to god entwine the feudal slate and its subjects into an indispensable spiritual economy. Conversely. Purana kaliyug is marked by mortalitv. but also belongs to a continuum of power relations in which power is serially distributed. thought. The symbolic location of subalternity here hinges on the relation of the female subject to the state. He is placed in open combat with Krishna. given to harsh speech. correspond with what in another context has been called the "overall parcellisation of sovereignty based on the coincidence of political and economic relations of subordination/appropriationny The hierarchy obtaining within marriage not only represents other social hierarchies in miniature. The many husbands who mediate the dispersion of the political power of the state through intermediary zamindaries or chieftaincies. visible power of the ranu-whether he is the husband or the king.geny are born without copulation through mental conception. Mira does not alter such a positioning of the subject. the classification of castes. 1990 . Whether or not kaliyug is accurately describing the present. fraud and daredevilry. the legal and the caste order: the rule of wealth. the rise of heretics and of enemies of the system of varnoshramdharma. mein bar payo Oirdhari (B: 184/P: 125).sends is turned into nectar with Krishna's benediction (BM: 75. they are like crop to be brought up for grain". the inevitability of evil and the reversal or degeneration of the political. the Bhagwat Purana and the Brahmanda. women and sudras can attain god simply through performing their duties and through service of their husbands and twice born men respectively.~dc in the face of 'resisting' sudras and women. lmpediment can become advantage through obedience-a "woman has only to honour her husband in act. <111. natural calamities. thus laying the basis for kallyug. shameless. it acquires another specific set of meanings in the medieval Rajput state.1L is finally the Rana who is dispensable: TUm jaavo rana ghor apne meri teri nahin sari (BM: 56). Though the analogy has a certain transparency at the level of ruling class desire. its relation to social practice is bound to be diverse and complex. H In the Vishnupurana (c 100·500 AD}. they also begin to sell their bodies. The fact that her bhakti remains grounded in such ideality may in part be a reflection of her own class location. fond of pleasure. And yet. fickle.l'::)<ce of control over their salvation=-rb a. but to use the kaliyug time scale for selfempowerment. The rana is addressed with defiance. marriages for the sake of mutual liking or mutual consent rather than family pedigree or social status. the desertion by wives of those husbands who have lost their property." Social and patriarchal subjection constitute the path to salvation-which amounts to staying in one's ordained place. h. It is in this contradictory space for subalternity-in which caste and patriarchal orders are being obsessively n:II. it expresses fear and anxiety about preserving desired social hierarchies. law and order.the redeeming properties of kotiyug consist in the singular blessedness of the lowest and most subaltern-women and sudras-who can now achieve religious merit with ease. RC111ajimein (0 sanvre re rang raati (BM: 79) Ab nahin maanu Rona thaari. by simply subjecting' themselves to patriarchy they-can achieve salvation easier than ever before. the misuse of religious not merely replicate these meanings. and salvation is attainable with great speed simply through singing his name and deeds. kingship. If the triad of scrvanr/wifcmaster/husband-god accrues one set of meanings from texts which belong to an earlier social formation evolving an order of caste and gender at a time when a slate and classes are emerging (meanings which Mirabal's songs duplicate and displace). wanton. dissolute. sexuality and consequently any form of patriarchy! The second tf!!toYlig sees the establishment of settled cultivation and agriculture. in this Vaishnav literature kaliYrlg is described as the best time [0 be born a human since Krishna makes himself much more accessible to those human souls who practise devotion to him." This dystopia virtually makes kaliyug a projected embodiment of strisvabhav or the essential fallen nature of women. Here a triadic relationship between god. nonbrahrnanical) doctrine by sudras. Ironically. The innate faults of women are enhanced: they are selfish. Though deeply implicated in them Mira's compositions. the poison he . and speech". \Iira's metaphors arc constituted. The practices of Rajput polygamy regulate the sexual desire of women but allow men an insatiable appetite 1471 July 7. and the immorality of women. The faithful wives do not survive. property. The dominance of uppercaste men is presented ideologically-they can be perceived almost as doing a kindness to/for women and sudras by providing them with easy avenues of (service) salvation. theft. 4(1 Economic and PolJticaJ Weekly The rule of patriarchy is at its most insecure and women are completely fallen in kaliYlIg. Kaliyug is most notable for the breakdown of patriarchal norms: the failure of marriages to conform to ritual. it is the description of a present made dissatisfactory for some by the religious and social dissent of others. The passionate intensity of the songs actively works against and sometimes displaces them because the female Is centrally a desfrlng subject: The smriti literature acknowledges sexual desire but presents it as something which must be regulated for both men and women within the primarily procreative conjugal relation. In general unchaste. Though kaliyug is projected as a future dystopia. the adoption of heretical (i e. suggesting the desired ideal relation of the (female) individual to family and state. The common analogy between the attributes and rights o(la king and of god41 is complemented in political thought by the representation of monarchy on the patriarchal domestic model wherein "the subjects are wife to a king. the collapse of the extended family. The parallel idealisation of subalternity arid the new and 'easy' modes of salvation opened to the subaltern are an inversion of the fear of the empowerment of women and sudrlIS-which in a couuadictory way also makes a new space for them in salvation schema. and who mediate the women's relation with king and god. paradoxically. VI 'The Female Subject The ideological and semantic accretions of these analogues and metaphors of bondage have glen them a 'determinate'. It may not coincide with the aspirations of the ruled even when women and other subjects themselves share these representations and assent to characteristics ascribed to them. and the rule of the low-born. greedy. a respect for heresy.

motion ki lor pove). In effect. absorbs her completely like a madness (blrakfi bhav me mast dO/II). In a sense it is the female voicewith its material basis in patriarchal subjugation-which provides the emotional force of self abasement and willed servitude.45 Taken up with the physical beauty of Krishna she yearns for a sight or vision (darslrun) of Krishna. Prem preet ke baandh ghunghru Lok loa] kulki ya mein ek Mira hori rang raachoongl (BM: Ply ke palang« [aa paudungl. bich bich raokhu kyaar! Sanvariya ke darsan paau. or more accurately the 'wifely' voice.relation of bondage which is now replete with desire. whether women or sudras. Mira's bhakti refixes a feudal hierarchy even as it carves out a space for her personal deviation from the social order. in return for accepting both his arbitrariness and the unequal relation. nirakhi piya ku sufal manorath kaani BM: 55. Secondly.). unconnected to procreation. perceptual and customary norms of a class? Though Mira appears in some ways to choose and advocate an ascetic way of life. Significantly this desire is expressed and accompanied by performance through which she constitutes herself as a defiant selfdescribing subject of Krishna (BM: 80). makes a bed of flowers and awaits Krisfma or is seated in her bridegroom's house "arrayed in finery and quite without shame:' Or else she is a woman separated from her lover sitting all night in her palace of pleasure threading tears-pearls into a necklace (virhan baithi rang mahai me. She has spent a whole night waiting for her beloved (piya ke panth niharat slgrl rain vihani ho). it is a space which is artificially wrenched from the material domain: in it the relations between wife-husband. where even a ruler is no more than a ruled. Firstly. such servitude whether social or patriarchal demands and assumes reciprocity. i e. an altered personal practice. Second. security and intimacy with a god who is addressed as III._~ty. are rich in affective worship. sanvri surat.lter of feudalism but 10 its 'spirit'. Bow mere nalnan me nandlal quo.. Her chest heaves at the sound of his name tsabad sunat meri chatlya kampe). . and of an 1472 What is this new space? First.nd access to a potentially unlimited number of women. is a god rigured as involved in production and reproduction. baanwri Jot me jot mila jaa (8M: 55) Taal.. mirdang baaja saadha aage naachi re Koi kahe Let my Ught dissolve (OP: 53. ho mein hari aavan ki avaaj (B:. The space created by and for exceptional women is restricted space and can be made (0 ratify the rule for ordinary women. 60.). creates female desire as partially sel f-sublim a ti ng. a servant before god. servant-master. ur baijantl maal (B: 142) Sun.. 1990 Economlc . 97. like the sun and jl~ heat (OP: 80). endows the lord with a complementary munificence. all earthly and Political Weekly July 7. and not merely a duty. knotted into the same vocabulary. 46. the domestic relation. pakhawaj. 92. 114. drives her astray. as it is expressed in the prescriptive. 36. glories in its own creative power. Tumre kaaran sob sukh chorrya. jo de sol khaau. no 'raakhoongi 73).. Jo pahirava! sol pahiru. and the spiritual relation. With fairly contradictory results. crazes her (prem diva". 45. Mein girdhar aag« naocchoonst Naach naach piv rasik rijhaou. and OP: 93-95). 153).148) Thirdly. her bridal bed IS empty (sooni se)) or exists in another world igagon mandai par se] piya kl). hans kar turat bulaavau hau (B: ISO) It is obedient not to the mere I. devotee-god are read as affective and non-economic. she longs for physical union (ang se a(lg lagavo) and her whole life passes in such longing (OP: 96. Mor mugat pitaabar solte.. pyas. Mira's desire for Krishna is by definition unregulated. more immoral than 'moral'. Though her songs bear the traces of an Advaitic nirguna bhakti in the assertion of the identity of the individual soul with god. She anticipates a midnight tryst on the bank of [he river of love (aadhi raat prabhu darsan dlnhe. Such servanthood provides unspeakable relief. She dresses in bridal" clothes. A language which makes the patriarchal substratum of customary subjection simultaneously the matrix of agency and transcendence may achieve quite remarkable shifts of emphasis. so only unstinting devotion can establish and complete the munificence of god. 69. B: 83. Her love is an unquenchable thirst ttaras. 80) in your light: Her Krishna is both present and absent. premi jan ko [aanchoongi surat ki kacchwi kaacchoongi marjaada. Fag ghunghru baandh Mira naachi re BM: 72). but what OCCUrsat the same time is that her songs re-evolve a ne. 61. Mira's personal practice and songs disturb the model of the good wife and the good widow but they also articulate the good wife and the good widow. Through the infusion of such desire the feudal relation becomes at once the political relation. she yearns more often to realise such identity through union: Thou and I are one. a spirit of such potential magnificence that all social prac-. This performance itself is a quasimetaphorical sign of abandon (1On karu taal. 144.) whicli holds her captive (moh. T"he undeniable material reality of this female-social body in turn confers a special reality on this god objectified as human. the specificity of servitude is dissolved into servitude as the human condition. Nit uth Harij! ke mandir jaosya.4-6 their affective power is only strengthened by the fact that the path of bhakti is a choice. in some ways more a boldly attractive courtesan than a dutiful wife. the generosity of willed servitude. makes her oblivious (0 all else taaku! vyakul phiru rain din). man karu dhopli BM: 8. even as it remains amenable to maintaining status believer.. social behaviours of enforced dependence are "displaced and become the qualities of the ab mohi kyu tarsaavau hau . claims its ri3hts even as it acknowledges d. her bhajans are filled with sensuous yearning. Indeed the renunciation of worldly desires seem to give the celibate Rajput princess access to the language of sexual desire. indeed creates a notion of lordliness which must respond to the immeasurable and excessive passion of the das/i with an illimitable excess of reward (salvation). within another set of relationships. The metaphor substantiates god. intricating various modes of desire and dominance. Mira ke prabhu girdlrar nagar boar boar bali jaau (B: 155) Precisely as only the unquestioning obedience of the wife can complete the patriarchal power of the husband. How does the personal devotion and sensuous desire as embodied in the 'subaltern' female voice correspond to and diverge from the feudal relation. Ab chhorat nahi bone prabhuji. The sensuous symbolism and perforrnatlve mode transgress the austere conventions of upper caste widowhood. The poor. the erotic relation. koi madmaati re (pp: 167-69) Performance is both jeopardy and ecstasy. pahar kusummi saari (BM: 153/DP: 97) Mohlni murat. the god created in the same analogical continuum as husband-king. Because submission is voluntary. 141. tice must cave in by comparison. without him her body is lean and anguished iang cheen vyakui bhaye). naina bane bisaal Adhar sudha ras murli raajat. noacchya de de chhutki (BM: 72) Ram lane rangraachi Rana mein 10 sail valiu rang raachi re Mira biro. gal baijanti mala Vrindavon me dhenu charaaye. as controlling both the female body and the social body described as female. dislocations and create new. the "offer" of herself as "sacrifice" (OP: 84) or of willed servitude to Krishna is the (ironic) ground of agency. contradictory spaces. What is the precise nature of the gratlfiealion available? In this space gender divisions are generalised and dissolved even as they are recreated. a spiritual consummation which is described erotically as a sensuous union and sometimes attained (Bisari gayi dukh. irretrievable public exposure of her self and body to the point which makes readmission into the respectability of the family impossible-she is dancing in front of 'other' men/sadhus. mohan murli wala Hare hare 1J(t baog lagaau. Indeed for Mira in her own life. 94. prem nadi ke teera}. .

and also open to excessive making is itself part of an obsessive coninvestment without fear of human betrayal struction of theoretical models for control.Jt is now seen as contradiction between a 'wifely' voice of necessary to contain female sexual desire devotion and between actual wifely service. Service. In these contradictory spaces. but it is also the site of mortality and replenishing the reciprocity structured into diffuse unnameable desire. nor the modality of on inpaltry.betweel) wife. This voice. to either critique or reaffmnation. replenishes that structured both in and across the world. subservience and transcendence. desire and subjection. Bxactlyas the primary concern now is the are 1473 . illusory time woman is cast as the eternal temptress maya even as they refine and. It corporation of domestic bondage into a is seen as sinful for women to have their own celestial code. law devotee's will. replicate -the objectand very form of sexual desire unegalltarian feudal relations inside the who can ensnare the wisest and most ascetic language of rebellion. rather a transcendence within the relation patriarchy are at once embodied and cast itself which is both marked and enlarged. At this level Mira's bhajans desires and these are explicitly opposed to rebelliously distance and 'transcend' their dharma (MDS: 231. husband and god. a lack of plenitude. turns it into an unlmagined excess. sacralised and converted into transcendent a part of their essential wickedness. The subjection simultaneously marked as the inevitable of women. ' Marriage. In some sense Mira's bhakt! is transforming some of the structures of social control prescribed in Hindu orthodoxy into intimate. however. rapture The transcendence effected is not a rising above the feudal relation or an 'escape' from with and without a secular teleology. In the process the social relationshlps and moralities on which these based tire also opened up to reflectlon. The orthodox triadic relation . can scarcely be of living. Bhakti offers direct salvation. Thestructures of social subjection Economic and Political Weekly July 7. and the control of sexual desire ground of transcendence. licit and illicit relations between men and women come in handy as metaphorical and analogical modes to develop. Us very historical existence is complex. By the time of'. A bhava which comes to be defined in part through her refusal to serve either her husband or his memory can become a free floating emotion which can be rejoined to the institution of marriage as devotion to the husband. But sexuality here is not a ships. the intermediary position now belongs not to the human husband or the Brahmin priest but to the female devotional voice. The material conditions of body as a. is codmodes of fulfilment. then these structures are essentially disru ptive natu re of fem ale desire. internalised structures of feeling. and more generally. express and apprehend the relationship between bhakt and god. transfigured (but not necessarily changed). to dissolve gender distinctions it remains preTo what else may such excess be attrieminently a gendered terrain. or the frauds of maya. is both with and without purpose. The domain of ethics. The relatlonship of the fern ale devotion al voice to patriarchal Instltutlens such as marriage is at once a relationship 10 an actual institution and to an ideologically fraught conceptual abstraction made up of in'timacy. in which the daily su·Tveillimte. in a contradiced as strtsvaonav.48 However. The wife no longer gets her salvation through her 'godlike' husband as in the Manusmrit! (MDS: 135). 234)_ At the same oppressive institutions as mundane. the religious Manusmriti does. This new ennobling femaleness is in striking contrast to the 'negative' femaleness essentialised as insatiable. One contradiction occurs and sexual desire. are selectively combined. all human love faced with a sense of dividual identity and the processes of its forinadequacy. There is 11 second social order and salvatlon. suffering. obsessed with the relationships between men and women.uality and desire are both embedded and duty in its stride. and strictures becomes a complex bhava. The 'self-transcending' feudalrelaseparated from the 'soul' in Mira's bhakti. The social relationships. The heterogeneous modes and -operatlons of it. and of paap-punya (par! of the karmic ledger of maya) shifts from obedience and transgression of law. Third. these very structures are in the smrltis and the epics. (MDS. Similarly. however. by power. always: inseparable and which is enmeshed in the actual texture from its social meanings." Both exist unreconciled tory way. the punitive operations of patriarchal It is in this sense that Mirabai. Methods of containment ideology governing familial and political and of extracting obedience and virtue from structures is inserted into sensuous and wives are coded as stridharma white the mystical experience. within 'evolving orders of caste and Here the feminisation of devotion could patriarchy-through prescribed methods of potentially be used as a new spiritual sanction for patriarchy. domestic and political economy of the This new space created remains a conRajput state but it is structured as 'uncontradictory site because though.the smritis. aside in the plenitude and diffuseness of which is both measured and made elastic such desire.servitude including the domestic be rendered function of. it may set out tainable'. 232). this displacement simultaneously assists in the refinement and interuallsatlon of these very structures of' control. but it is relegated as a characterisation of women or womanhood. tion so constructed aspires to humanise the The spiritual economy of Mira's bhakt! actual feudal relation and makes it may in many ways be homologous with the inhabitabte. These are no longer parallel expressed within an ensemble of gender and and unreconciled. subjection 'higher' modes of spiritual desire and divine dominance. The space which the body occupies 'recognised' as mere bondage without prois the simultaneous space of this world (the mise of release. 1990 coded as strldharma. The body. and of female desire coded as strisvabhav. In the Rigvedic anti because spiritual desire is open to individual Brahrnana myths desire is represented as either a 'natural' part of creation or as shaping or remaking depending on the disruptive. is broken. as excessive. The splritual can hold the domestic to but also by her own "good inclinations" ransom. immoral strlsvabhav: strlsvabhav may be incorporated as a generalised female sexual desire and its 'excessiveness' garnered as intensity. and becomes fundamentally a mailer of how a person stands . they mayor may not be compatible. world other than this. However. it relation. continues to negotiate the triadic relationship-it simultaneously transgresses and reformulates patriarchal ideologies. Desire and morality are remade together in a new series of relationclass relations and in particular notions of self and time. Mira's The female devotional voice of Mira's bhakflis able to establish an irregular relabhakti makes subjection the ground of a tion between a woman's duty and a woman's female desire which now encompasses -and desire-they may be either aligned or disextends beyond the sexual-it can now take junct. the ultimate displacement of the husband by god shifts the domain of female purity. it is far from simple in itself. femalenessand moral Se>. Visible modes buted? Mira's hlrakti belongs 10 a prolonged of human desire and patriarchal dominance historical moment and marks an exhilarating coincide or overlap with but also contradict shift In Iherelation between law.with god=-an 'internal' mailer. and through rewards and language of a woman would assist in the inpunishments in·:(his world and the next. This Malia can be used conservatively to assist either in 'splritualising' marriage 'or in reconciling 'love' with marital duty. an emotional configuration. site for social knowledge and its ordinary existence are at once devalued and reproduction) lind a.· Finally. when a gender of men (MDS: 42). concede that vocabulary itself effects a further dispersal some degree of intemalisation or self-control of desire which refuses patriarchal conis necessary to keep a wife good: shemust solidation even as its language consents to be guarded not only by the family/husbarid it. The female body is the site of passion. discarded as a set of rule. though the female devotional voice may be open to such simplification and ideological use. internalised and recast as a femaleness-even as the actual physical/ corporeal SUbjection of women within the family is relegated. so effecting a is to be effected externally through a comdispersal of desire across a whole range of bination of Vedic and customary laws. and mation. Desire too is an 'ideal' feudal relation.

ng O"~~IOI subjecl to the supermtendeoce connct acrr Oiredion cr tne Soard of Directors.3Bl. DepOllmrr. Rs 106. In Mira's compositions as well as those of many male bhaktas=-Nanak. S M Rdmakroshna Rao. dphenyl). 2 See A K Ramanujam.trololuenes (or\t>o. S M S Ahluwalia. mimeograph.Cornpeny is manoged by the Monag.on 10 the Central Go<.ce.l3.00. 03-Melonll.pur. lorelgn exchange loans. 8. Nom I nee Of L1C. Centre for Historical Studies. para.k. ariel particulars under. 6. Indicale whether the proposal re!"le~ to the . Mira (Chinorgarh: Vijay Prakashan. The Devotional Poems of Mirabal (Delhi: Motilal Benarsidas. The man is an active worshipper at god's feet: once il is freed from social constraint and opened to god.'"c Ac. 9. surnpnoo).C'· The project is proposed 10 be f.29 cr epprox. M Phil thesis.. 1965). 1966).y Tt~e. . 1980). O6-Chloro benzene~10000 TPA (C3Ptl'ie consumotorn 07 -Nitroehloro benzenes (ortno. Delhi.melhyl. These differing descriptions and assessments of the material basis and revolutionary potentials of bhakti have effectively broken it as a universal. ab na rahungi atki (8M: 72) Had jan dhobiya re.. New Deihl under suoand 10 Section 22 of the Monopolies Restrictive Trade ~ractices Act.troChloro mela). lhapar House. 10-Sulphuric Aod 33000 TPA. liO Estimaled Annual Turnover.oo) Aod ACId (Cspnve Consumption). 1 24'Janpath. Ol~Acetanilide-'2000 TPA. 8 Mr. non.lal. Narottam Sangal.hlra Stete. Raja and Rule (Bombay: Oxford University Press. State Atldnr3 Predesn.bed So PaId· up Cap. rpt Delhi: Orient Longman. 1985. etc. pp 7-8-chis is henceforth cited in the text as DP. 1969.d (Captove benzenes (Capl. 7 Selh H P Poddar. pere. 02-Sulphan.c:llr5-. Regd Off"e. as well as to the reformation of cattle tending pastoral Jats into a peasant group due to the expansion of settled agriculture between the 11th and 15th century (''The Historical Background of . Raarli hoi ke kin 're jaau. Mr. ot the croooseo 7. Madhyakaleen Bhaktl Andolan ka Samajik Vivechan (Varanasi: Vishwavidyalaya Prakashan. Maharana Sango. 04-Me13 A mines (D. utldertakJng. of Bombay. In case the oroposel supply. 350. 08-Nllrololuwe~ N. 6 Vols (Oxford: Clarendon. the Hlndupat: The UH{ Great Leader of the R(1jplII Race (nd. Vol I. 4 For a suggestive discussion of the formation of Rajput lineages see Richard G Fox. 1%8). Radha and the Goddesses 0/ India ed John Stratton Hawley and Donna Marie Wulff (Berkeley: Graduate Theological Union. 1987. 10. in terms of usual (U. Rs. Name PUR INDUS1RIES 01 the proposal are as & address of the appl.c Amino PhenOl.!Udies Series. 1982) demonstrate that bhakt! as a form of personal devotion is not restricted to what have been specified as movements and its elements are not only varied but to be found in various places at different times. It is this man which is to contestexternal social.n Tire Divine Consort. Jawahartal Nehru University. juridical.on(. G N Sharma. and in the expansion of artisan groups to service the ruling classes in the IJth and 14th century. Bha. Rekha Misra. J Ram Vallabh Somani. faith and loyalty is both a symptom and prop of the feudal economy whlch arises at Ihe end of the 6th century-D D Kosambi History and Society: IProblems of Historical Interpretatton ed A J Syed (Bombay: University on (Delhi: Munshlram Manoharlal. BALLARPUR INDUSTRIES LIMITED NOTICE It is he reby notified fOf the inforin etion of the public IMI BallMpur Induslriesl-imiled proposes to make an applic~t.$Idblo$hmenl at . .o Bal'arpur. /II M Thapa r. 1970). Delhi! Kumar. parasi hari ke charon (BM: 68) Mew man laago harlsu."clvd. Govt. 2'2. G S Acharya. consurr-pt. d.44. Kabir=-the heart is both home and temple.00. Suman Sharma. fmanc~~t mstitutions. lildrcatln9 tum hau hirdaaro saa] (BM: 86) Bill piya )01 mandir andhiyaari (f. 88. storage.]3.000. $hO'Strl {lh&wdn. Dim.ral ~ ~ Nayyar (Retd). income eALlARPUR INDUSTRIES LIMITED Sd/.ss from banks. IN & Manas'ng DirecI-Mnaglng Director. History of Mewar (Bhilwara: Mareswari Publications. The project Will be irnp!emenled r. 355. Chandr.l~e d representetion In quadruplicate to the Seclera!).t. pp 230-35. 0 P Mall10lr3.'trnment in tbe Depart- rnent section of Company (2) of Affal/s. pp 16-18-this is henceforth cited in the text as BM.Popular Mcnotlr<stic Movements of the 15th-17th centuries". Women ill Mughal India suocthe names of the directors. New Del hi·1. School for Social Sciences. Capital structure NOI sppticeb'e. Head Office. 9.. rr 321-23. while Rameswhar Prasad Bahuguna shows bkakti to have had different trends and ideological pulls and [0 have been gradually assimilated ("ConIlict and Assimilation in the Bhakti Movement in Medieval India". Irfan Habib locates the emergence of monotheistic cults In. so too one of the chief addressee's Is the heart or man of the bhat«.650. A J Alston.. Romilla Thapar sees the Tamil devotional cults of the 7th and 8th century as partly a resistance to the power of the brahmins under royal patronage and 10 Aryanisation-A History of India (Harrnondsworth: Penguin. OQ~Sulphdnl:ic -2000 TPA.. 205) Mero man baasigo girdhar 101 (P: 129). pp 22-23. i e. Ghatke sob pat khot diye hai.nanced by Co's internal resource. ed Debiprasad Chattopadhyay Calcutta: K P Bagchi. 1965). Rs. becomes his home. The new substantive definition and centrality of the man is of some significance. Scheme of finance. Ajere piya mere hrdav basat hai yeh sukh kahyo na jaati (BM: 79). R.l<: undertakjflg Of a new u{tit/dl\liS)Q~. 1986). p. and Susrnlta Pande Birth of Bhakti ill Indian Religion and Art (Delhi: Books and Books. Subscr. 1983). Vol 6.strib\l· relates to Ihe production. 1968). 25. meta)-10000 TPA. 1976). Mr. state the volume of activity epplkebte. pp 344. meI3)-4DOO IPA Q<l-Conc. of In(l~j. Max Arthur MaeauJiffe. Nom. 6. With Krishna ornamenting her heart=-the man virtually becomes a mandir or temple which can 'centre' all activit)' and desire. VICe Adm. 'On Women Saints' . p 148)--fur D D Kosambl bhakti as a constellatlon or·"personal devotion. Sacred Writlngs and or controt 01 ony goods/articles. J) Name of goodllartlcles. 1.c ACId . and to be suppiernentert by borrowin. pp 186-88)-and (he rise of heterodox. p 165.e con· oenzenes (ortho/paraf 09-Cor<.. 04-Mela Amino Benzene AminesPhenol-10OO TPA. loceuon of of Ihe ndertakongfu M/dovlsion. inccere.44. Religious ~.l-Mhar"."I. p 181). The Sikh Religion: lis Gurus. 03~Melanll. 08-N. ma. purified by Krishna. 28th June. 1987). If ar.320 epprox (100% (opa<:ity otIIIZ3110n). 5 Mr R Narayonon.iture of the relationship between god and bhakt. 2. 22. mystical monolith.. intimating his views on the proposal and includ ins the nature for of his mterest therein. 2 IN V M Th<ipar-Depuly 3 Mr. 1982). Aulhorised Capital Rs. the place where husband-god rcsides.3000 TPA. 05 -Al<yl aeozene Olelh(l.caste mobility. rpt. 1971). 1976). social protest movements as connected to expanding trade and social mobility-Ancient Indian Social History (1978. Kin. or the: Company (o~~~~hn3 of the fo~~· log· 1 loll L 101 Thapar-Cha'rffian 101. 1967)."O. New Delhi within 14 days from II:. BAllAR· LIMITED (BILT). religious institutions and their norms. the path is cleared. for approval the establishment of a n<Nt unde<takin3/unit/division. (VIRENDER GANDA) SEC~E1ARY Date. 10k laaj sab daar ke (8M: 63) Man re. There is inexpressible joy for Mira when her heart. IO-Sulphurlc OrIhoIporafmeta. Har Bilas Sarda. Premvani: Mirabai ke ek sau barah padon ka sankalan ed Sardar Jafri (Bombay: Hindustan Book 'lrust. his/her affective powers. Nilric Acid-16000 T~A (C"plive consumenoo).t? This enlarged space of the man appears to be part of a historical shirt where even as god is internalised it becomes possible to internalise specific patriarchal relations-both can be transformed into seemingty 'uomediated'· essences and experiences which appear to bypass social instituuons ITo he concluded Notes I Ram Vilas Sharma designates bhakti as a progressive anti-feudal manifestation of class conflict (Sahitya: S(hayi Mulya aur map39'"3 wrotet~me dlrector{s) and manager. OS-AI~yl Krishna Sharma. 1 Management tore of ttle appticd(lt org~n~~a[iQfl. 07 -N. 352. Muslim Expansion In 4500 TPA. in· dKoting the arnoonrs 10 be raised from each $O". pp 21-25-[his is henceforth cited in the text as P. date of publicalion of this nonce."ee of ICiCI. 4. In case the oroooser reiates to the provision of dny serv. mail mana di dhoy (B: 166). 1474 Economic and Political Weekly July 7. 1909).ew lJ as d division of 81Ll S. and cleared a space for specific studies of bhaktas and movements. Issued Cspital. Bhok(i and (he Bhakt! Movement: A New Perspective (Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.1 "f Cornpany Att. Any person mterested in the m~tter mQ'Y' mt. 10. Not measures such as value. 1990 . 1974). II) Proposed uceosed Cg_pacity. 1990. 278. ~ A Cheuter. Social Life in Medieval Rajasthan (Agra: Lakshmi Narain Agarwal. debentures. 4. COlt ot the proJect. C"~llal structure of I he apptkent orsanlsallon. Harbans Mukhia isolates the conservatism of Dadu Dayal in his use of the analogy between the divinity of the sovereign and the divinity of god ("The ideology of the Bhaktl movement: the case of Dadu Dayal" in History and Society: Essays in Honour of professor Nlhhurranjan Ray. 06-ChIOlo ACId. Clan. OJ-Acetanilide.

pp 304·07.. no 46 (November 14. pp 132-33. TIt# Rel411011S 0/ tM Deihl Sulwl1ilte with Rajaslh'an 1206. Hindi Sant Sohflya me Madhuryabohva Pillani: Chlnta Prakashan. 2086). 1302. p 1971. trans Ganesh Vasudeo Th~ 5 vols (1976. Bhakt Mira (Bo~y: Bharati)'ll Vld)'ll Bhavan. 1976) P 76. 1974). 12 Manava Dharma &stra or the TllStitute 0/ Manu. New Subscription Subic. 'I'M Pftfrct Wife (DelhI: Oxford Unlvcmty f're&I. 4{) Vishnu Purano. 51. pp 47-48. Bhakl~ pp 260. part ii. 51. pp 2012. Devotional Poems. 1984). and loy at the mercy of the Lord (vol 5. pp 224. trans H H Wilson (1840 rpt Calcutta: Punlhi Pustalc. 22. my eternal readiness 10 serve.88. 'Politics before and after the Annexation of Punjab'. in Kinship and Authority ed RIchards.December 1987). 21 Patrick OUveUe. 'Some Nole$ on Rajput loyalties during the MuShal Period' In J F RIchards ed Klffgship and Authority in Medftyol South Asia (University of Chlcage Press). Rajasthan me naar! jHVan ki slilhL' 1600-1800 (Blkllner: 'ThnJn PraWhan. pp 30-31. 0 C Haulhlon. vol 22. amounts to the continuous association of wife with husband In birth after birth (pp 273·75). p 178. in Studies in Dharmashastra. ed Mataprasad Gupta Allahabad. 1981). 293·96. p 349. pp 14=I7. 43 For example in Dadu Dayal. pp 131· 32. p 139. 27 Edward C Dimock Jr. p 320. History 0/ Dbarmashastras. 2 vols. 214{). Rajasthan me naari. 139. (New Delhi: Raj kamal . 2142. 1983). p 135.I« SIwma. Slgnlficantly the gift of dhart! (land) or dulhan (bride) alone. 4th ed 1863. Bhagwal Purana. p 2121. 56-97.ribe'l Numben 10 respondln. G) and Man mandir rahan nit chashol In Hazariprasad Dwivedi. trans Oanesh Ya. lWjasthanl Nibandh SangTth (Jodhpur: Hind] Sahltya Mandlr. 1978). and my devoted service to my elders' (Mohobhafllta. 542. pp 122. 18·80.h an obUque. Malerlal Culture and Social Formations In Ancient Tndla (Delhi: Macmillan. 317a. vot 5. ed sfniet. In the Bhagwad Glta Krisna offers release to 'those who take refuge In Me. Studies in Rojput History (New Delhi: Chand. vol 2. Devotional Poems. 83. pp 4l!7-93. Social Life and Concepts in Medieval Hindi Bnakt! Poetry (Delhi: Chandrayan Publications. 62. see K R Quanungo. 42 John MeUington. p 242. 'On Women'. pp 1925. pp 71·72. 1639. Journal 0/ Arts and Ideas. DeIW: Vikas. 1980). Muslim Expansion. 292. Sikh Gurus. 10 Saubhagya Singh Shekawat. The bcundarles of Mewar fluctuated constantly between 1527 and the I'SSOs. See also P V Kane. p 118. 'Renouncer and Renunclation in the Dharmashastras'. 34 Thakur Harendra. 3SI. 47 For a typical description of strlsvabhav see Manava Dharma. vatshyas and sudras' (quoted In D D Kosamb! ed Syed. ibid. 22 See also Alston. p 190. AncIent India. 1985. 1983). and J Julia Leslle. Thomas Ifopklns. pp 21. 1984). pp )921. pp 3S-39. ed Rev P Percival. 1978). 1969). pp 1310. For the increasing emphasis on the divine origin of kingship see Thapar. p 69. 1977). pp lJ4-lS.240-41. HD) or as in Nanak Hamre ghari aaya jagjeevanu bhataaru quoted in Ramcharan Sharma. Norman Ziegler. quoted in LesUe. 49 In Kablr when Iheprilamigod comes home after a long absence then the temple tights up (mandir maahl bbaya ujlyooro) In Kabir Granthavat]. 11 Shekawat. p 134. 1983). In Rajuthanl Illwtratlons of the Blwktmala. 126. Sahltya Bhavan. and ended nghHng Babur and beins defeated. Henceforth cited in the telIt as MDS. Min. words. and Ahluwalia. 37 Brahmando Purana.JarthaJt. Rites and AI· titudes. See Mukhia. ed Hawley. and Savitri Chandra Shobha. ed Rodney Hilton (London: Verso. 25 Joseph 0 'Connell. ed Syed. 18 Ramanujam..232. )5 Bhagwat Purana. 56. 38 Vishnu Purana. as derived from the stories of Satadhenu and Salvya.oola kinadom of Mewar whlch euteqed in mid 14th oent!tf)'\Ir'l. pp 232-33j and for a suggestive dlscusslon of dharma \IS strisvabhav see Leslie. 46 In the Bhagwat Purana devotion is described as uninhibited and lntensely emotional: falteri n. pp 76. quoted by Surjit Hans.83. vol 2. 24 Hlren Oohain. 2062. 667·68. Economic' and PPlltical Weekly. preface by William Jones (182S. rpt. ed Milton Singer (Chicago: Unlverslty of Chicago Press. R S Sharma. 'On Women' In DMne Oonson. 19 Her btopaphm . pp 348. 307. 1944). 131. P 31. not money. quoted In Leslie. 41 Vishnu Purana. iJ depicted In the yellow dhof/ of the renouncer worn in male fuhlon. 273. ar/eet Wife. In Krishna: Myths. (poona: Bhandarkar Oriental lnstitute. Numbers I mentioned on the wrappers and quote these numbers when cor. 233). 31 D D Kosambl. Sanaa invited Babur to Delhi In order to takt over the throne at Agra from Ibrahim LodJ. Dayal. 'Oaudi)'ll Vaisnava Symbollim 0 r Deliverance' In 'nrulillon and Modernity tn Bhakfi Movements ed Jayant Lele (Lelden: ~ J BriU. pp 229·~ Lloyd and SUJaJU1e Rudolph. :r vol 2. 4S See Alston. 56. Essays en Rajputana: Reflect/oIlS on History. 48 For example It bypasses the disapproval of 'mental' adultery or unbecoming thoughts-whlch IITC seen as a precursor of Infidelity on the part of a wife and even require expiation in the MallusmrW (MOS: 129. p 46. . The Sword and the Flufe: I<JlIJ and Krishna (1975. Kabir. P 331 (cited henceforth In the text as K. part 3. 44 Rajnifl. rpl Deihl: Asian Educational Services. 1961). be they even of the sin ful breeds sue h as women. pp 487·93. a Sikh text composed originally by the Ralput brothers Bho] Raj and-Lakhan in 1684. pp 123. p 234. The Vishnu Purana: Social. In the Vishnu Purana the model for the good wife.Wunenu for such refusal are cornpanble to those for adultery In the Smrltls. 17 Bankey BIIwl. History 0/ India. 2g Bhagwat Purano.hey are Indicated wlt.RlJ. 14 The pun. p IS3. 1966). Bhakt MIra. See A C Bannerjee. 6 The SL. p 249. 'lbwn and Country in the Transition to Capitalism' In The 'Iransltlon from Feudalism to Capitalism. pp 2130.0 10 some lenath to ell&bUab her virtue In folUna ·aetual adww:a.. pp 77. Leslle. p 2SI. 1990 1475 . Brahmanda Purano. ed Richard Lariviere (Calcutta: Firma. 82·84. department. pp 49. trans and with an Introductlon by A K Ramanujam (Harmondlworth: Penauln. 16 Speaking oj stv». cd Hawley. could be given among Rajputs as compensation for bloodshed. P 232. III 222. S vols. $oCUli Life. pp 69·71. 9 Ibid.sudeo Thgarc (Delhi: Mot iIal Benarsldas. p 1993). 7 S« Shashi Arora. p 169). 1979). 'The Ideology' In Htstory and Society. 29 David R Kinsley. melting heart. and S M Pandey and Nonnan Zide. p 966. 'Doctrine and Practice amoll$ the Valsnavs of Bengal' in Krishna: Mylhs ed Singer. p 141 (cited henceforth in the text as KG. l6 Bhagwat Purana. 1981). 33 Manav« Dharma. p 492. leslie. their new are requested note with the circulation Economic and PoUtical Weekly July 7. 1986. 'The sOcjal ltacblng of the Bhagwat Purana' In Krishna: Mylhs. In Divine Consort. P 1147. vol 4. Iran. pp. pp 928·30. 'The Labyrinlh of Bhakti: On Some Questions of Medieval Indian History'. nos 14·15 (July. vol ~. Vol 6.37. IS MacauliITe. ed Chattopadhyay. S« Manava Dharma.S at the peak of power under Raiii Sanga and ascendant OYer most Rajput states. pp 49. 32 Salapalhobrohmana. 24. Subscritllion. pp 201~3. 8 Arora. Vol 5. Per/ect Wife. The Per/eel Wife.SJJch RII1giolt. Rajput Studies (Calcutta: A Mukherjee. 1982). 133. Brahmanda Purana. . 190. pp 487. 13 Shanna.aln control over her husbands: "My husbanw have come under my control as a result of my attentiveness. 97. 42. IIOe M a. pp 262-66. 1983). Delhi: Motilal Benarsldas. 'Some Notes'. Cuflurt and Adm/nistroifon (New Delhi: Concept PubUshlng.93. 'Surdas and his Krishanbhakt'. and where Enalllh trarulatlolU are avallable t. p 234. 26 See Ramanujam. 30 See description In Krishna Sharma. 289. Intro R C Haz:ra. 1989). P 134. 20 MQNIVQ Dharma. Aclwyl.cau1lJTe. pp 308. Social Lift. The power of the pal/Vtata is exempllfled in Draupadl's answer to how she ha$ managed 10 A. lament at separation. pp 280-81). 1973). Bhagwa! Purana vol S. The Bhagawat Purana offers 10 address women and sudras who have hitherto been kept in ignorance of the greatness of Han and claims Vaishnav bhaktl as the best course 'even' for them (xol 5.275. p 221. ~ 6.233. vol 5.1526 (Delhi: Yupntat Pralwhan. pp 38·39. Econolilic and Religious Aspects (DeIW: Sundeep Pralcashan. 1987). p IJS. 64. 1961). vol S. Subloquent references to thlJ In the te:I!t' are cited u B. XIV I I 31. Zlegler. This is henceforth cited in the text as BhP. pp 16-18. 63. 23 Thapar. ft. Per/eel Wife. hr/ect Wife. 172. pp 167-68. 39 Vishnu Purona.