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Bridal Mysticism: Story of Meerabai

by Jyotsna Kamat
Saint Mirabai (1547-1614 A.D.)

As the more famous (than Andal or Akkamadadevi) of the female saints of India,
Bhakti Mira or Mirabai can be considered as one of the foremost mystics of the
world. Worldly comforts never attracted these mystics. They have left beautiful
songs and hymns to posterity which are sung to this day.

To Andal, Akkamahadevi and Mira, the soul was the eternal bride and the Lord
their eternal Bridegroom the eternal Bridegroom . All the three excelled in the life
of renunciation and divine realization. They lived in entirely different regions,
wrote in their respective language in different age and Milieu, but became legends
in their lifetime itself, by the austere life and single purpose of pursuit of God and
finally divine attainment. This life is extremely difficult irrespective of gender to
practice and attain salvation.

Mirabai was a princess of Rathod clan and belonged to Medath of Rajasthan.

Rana Ratan Simh was her father. (Rana is the word for "Raja"). Even from
childhood she exhibited spiritual traits. She was passionately attached to the idol
of Giridhar Gopal, a form of Lord Krishna.

Refusal to Commit Sati and Marriage to Krishna

She was married to crown prince of Chittore. But shortly after, her husband
Bhojraj and father-in-law Rana Sangh died. Mira refused to commit Sati, as was
the practice among Rajputs. She was by conviction wedded to Giridhar Gopal,
and death of "earthly" husband had no meaning to her. She spent all her time in
praying, meditation, singing and dancing before her beloved idol, installed in the
palace premises. The place started attracting many devotees, wandering saints and
spiritual seekers. Mira found great solace in their company.

But this strange behavior was not acceptable to royal household and the ruling
king, her brother-in-law. They thought of various modes of diverting her attention
and save the glare of public. (Rajput women then and even now (year 2001)
observe strict purdah) .Some songs of Mira reflect the agony and persecution she
had to undergo. But her Giridhar Gopal always proved her savior.

"The Rana sent Mira a basketful of flowers with a snake inside. Mira absorbed in
worship, put her hand into the basket to take flowers. Oh God! The snake had
changed into a Saligrama! (Saligrama is a small round shaped black stone from
the Gandaki river in Himalayas and is worshipped as a symbol of Vishnu).

Determined to kill Mira, the Rana sent a cup of poison. She prayed to Gopal and
drank it. The poison turned into nectar. The Rana got a bed of sharp nails and
Mira was made to lay down on it. But the nails turned to flowers. Mira was saved
from all these dangers by none other than her Lord. Now intoxicated with
immense love, she wanders all over in search of her Lord, dedicating herself to
him entirely" she sang.

When many plots failed to kill Mira, it is said that Rana, the new king, cursed her
"Why shouldn't this ignoble woman drown herself and die?"

Mira came to know about this wish and thought it would be a great relief to her
royal relations if she put amend to life by jumping into the river. But in the nick of
time divine voice addressed her. "It is a great sin to kill oneself... go to

So she undertook pilgrimage to Brindavan. It is considered sport field of Lord

Krishna. Brindavan, a sacred place, was abode to several holy men. Jeeva
Goswami had taken a vow never to see a woman--even her shadow! So, disciple
of Goswami stopped her. "The Swamiji will not see any woman."

Mira laughed. "I though the only Man in Brindavan is Shri Krishan. now I see,
there is a rival to him!"

In the Bhakti cult the love of the wife for her husband is said to be the best form
of devotion. Hence all devotees in this world are women and God is the only man.
In Brindavan the only man was supposed to be Krishna and other men and women
were gopis, as gender distinction did not exist among real Bhaktas. If a devotee
really felt as a gopi, he could never refuse to see another woman devotee. If
anybody thinks himself a man it amounts to being a rival to god.

Mirabai's words stung Goswami and he at once understood the hidden meaning.
He came out from cottage, bowed to the great lady and escorted to the hermitage.

From Brindavan she went to Dwaraka singing and praying. "I discovered the great
secret in uttering the name and learnt it was quintessence of sastras. I reached my
Giridhar through prayers and tears."

She gave many helpful suggestions to spiritual aspirants. "Oh my mind! You must
do spiritual practice and worship.

"To love and live for Him" was the central theme of her songs. "Without pure
love, the darling son of Nanda cannot be attained."

It is said that Mira got merged into the idol of Krishna in the temple of Ranchod
at Dwaraka.

More than 400 songs ascribed to Mira known as Padas (lyrics) have been
collected. She herself set tune to her songs and sang in soul-stirring divinely sweet
voice. "Rag Govind" and "Rag Mira Malhar" are her creations. All her songs
could be set to music easily and have become immensely popular throughout
India, an indication to national solidarity established through Bhakti and through

Meera is known for many beautiful bhajans that she sung in praise of lord Krishna. Few of the
famous bhajan lyrics are as below:

Aisi Lagi Lagan, Meera Ho Gai Magan ...

Aisi lagi lagan, meera ho gayi magan

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

Koi roke nahi, koi toke nahi

Meera govinda gopal-e ganne lagi
Baithi santon ke sang, rangi mohan ke rang
Meera premi pritam ko manane lagi

Aisi lagi lagan, meera ho gayi magan

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

Rana ne vish diya, mano amrit piya

Meera sagar mein sarita samane lagi
Dukh-e lakhon sahe, mukse govind kahe
Meera govinda gopal-e ganne lagi

Aisi lagi lagan, meera ho gayi magan

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

Paayoji Maine Shyaam Ratan Dhan Paayo ...

Paayoji maine shyaam ratan dhan paayo - 2

Janam janam ki punji paayi,

Jag me sabhi khovaayo,
Paayoji maine shyaam ratan dhan paayo - 2
Kharch na laage koi chor na loote,
Din din hot savaayo,
Paayoji maine shyaam ratan dhan paayo - 2

Satki naav khevaaya sat guru,

Kari kripa apanaayo,
Paayoji maine shyaam ratan dhan paayo - 2

Mira ke prabhu giridhar nagar,

Harshi harshi jas gaayo,
Paayoji maine shyaam ratan dhan paayo - 2

Jo Tum Chhoodo Piya, Main Nahi Chhodu re ...

Jo tum chhoodo piya

Main nahi chhodu re
Tosai preet joudi Krishna
Kaun sang joudu re…

Meera nai toe keh daala,

Main kya boolu mere Ram,
Is kalyug ke bhoolbhlaiya mein khoye
Mere who sawarai, sunder Shyam

Janam sai he, iss vyakkol mann mein,

Ek pyaas ajeeb samayee hai
Mein bhi banoo ek din piya ki pyaree
Yeh tujhe se duhai hai

Itna toe batla de o Bhagwan

Is bhanwar mein jo tune utaara hai
Mere Kanha ko bhi is kalyug mein
Behshaque tone kahin banaaya hai

Mann main bassi hai moore Prabhu

Meera ki he madhoor vani,
Tann mein agann jale hai morai
Radha se mai prem diwanee

Iss matwali kaari duniya mein

Morai Kaanha, tohe kahan dhoondhu mai,
Mein tori raah ektook ho dekhoo
Bus aur kuch bhi naa janoo mai
Pal bhi yeh aass nahi mitt-paatee
Ke ek din tu bhi aayeega,
Is bawari, akeli bairagan ko he
Tu saprem apni Radha banayega

Barasai Badariyaa Saavan Kii ...

barasai badariyaa saavan kii,

saavan kii man bhaavan kii.
saavan me.n umagyo mero manavaa,
bhanak sunii hari aavan kii..
uma.D ghuma.D chahu.n disase aayo,
daamaNa damake jhar laavan kii.
naanhii.n naanhii.n buu.ndan mehaa barasai,
siital pavan sohaavan kii..
miiraa.N ke prabhu giradhar naagar,
aananda ma.ngal gaavan kii..

Herii Mhaa Darad DivaaNaa

herii mhaa darad divaaNaa.N

mhaaraa darad n jaaNyaa.N koya.
ghaayal rii gat ghaayal jaaNyaa.N
hiba.Do agaN sanjoya..
jauhar kii gat jauharii jaaNai
kyaa jaaNyaa.N jaN khoya.
miiraa.N rii prabhu piir miTaa.Ngaa
jab vaid saa.Nvaro hoya..

Another bhajan translation:

Akhand Var Ne Vari Hu - I Am Married To The Eternal Husband

Hari Vase Hari Na Janma - The Lord (Hari) Resides In The Heart Of His
Satsang No Ras Chakh - Enjoy The Company Of True Saints
Mukhda Ni Maya Lagi Re - Beloved Mohan (Shree Krishna)! I Am
Enchanted By Your Beautiful Face
Ab To Mera Shyam Nam Dusara Na Koi - The Name Of Lord Krishna Is My
Only Obligation
Harivar Mukyo Kem Jai? - How Can I Abandon My Beloved Hari?
Koi Kahe Tene Kaheva Dayiye - Let The Worldly People Criticize Our
Piya Itani Binati Suno Meri - Krishna, Darling! Please Listen To This Modest
Request From Me!
Ghela Ame Bhale Thaya Re - Friend, It's All Right To Be Crazy For God's
Meera Ko Prabhu Sachi Dasi Banao - Lord, Make Mira Your True Servant
Varmala Thari Giridhar Ne - I Will Wear The Marriage Garland Offered By
My Real Husband Giridhar
Ranaji, Hu To Giridhar Man Bhavi - Ranaji! Lord Giridhar Has Accepted
Me As His Beloved
Meto Tare Sharan Pari Re - Lord! I Have Surrendered Myself To You
Aani Milyo Anuragi, Jogiyo - Lord Giridhar Krishna Has Come To Meet Me
Govinda Gao Man Govinda Gao - O Mind! Sing The Glory Of Lord Govinda
Bhaj Man Charan Kamal Avinashi - Mind! Worship The Holy Eternal Lord
Ghadi Eka Nahi Avade Tum Daras Bin - Lord, Without Seeing You, I Do Not
Feel Happy Even For A Moment