The bhajan by Anup Jalota introduced the deep connection Mirabai shared with Lord Krishna. Having such devotion and love towards Krishna that she set an example of giving oneself up in the love of the Lord.
The following lines tell us her story:
Aisi Lagi Lagan Mira Hogaye Magan
Woh to Gali Gali hari gun Gane Lagi
Mahalo mei pali Banake Jogan Chali
Mira Rani Diwani Kahane Lagi
ऐसी लागी लगन, मीरा हो गयी मगन ।
वो तो गली गली हरी गुण गाने लगी ॥
महलों में पली, बन के जोगन चली ।
मीरा रानी दीवानी कहाने लगी ॥
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The birth of Princess Mirabai
A princess and the grand daughter of Rao Dudaji. Rao Dudaji was the third son of Rao Jodhaji, who was known to establish the kingdom of Rathod Dynasty situated in Rajasthan, with Jodhpur as its capital. Jodhaji gave Dudaji a small portion of the Jodhpur kingdom. the kingdom had several villages and the capital was Merta. Merta lies about 60 kilometers west of Ajmer in the current state of Rajasthan.
Dudaji had two sons, Viramaji and Ratnasingh. Rao Viramaji named his son Jayamal and Ratnasingh named his daughter Mira. Mira’s mother, Vir Kuvari, was the princess of Zola Rajput Sultan Singh.
When Meera she was just four years old, while watching a marriage procession she asked her mother, “Dear mother, who will be my bridegroom?” Meera’s mother smiled and pointed towards the image of Lord Krishna and said, “My dear Meera Lord Krishna is going to be your bridegroom”. Since then, she manifested a deep devotion to Lord Krishna. Meera lost her mother early.
Meera was 5 to 7 years old when she lost her mother. She lost her father Ratnasingh in a battle defending the kingdom against the Mughal Badshah, Akbar. Thus, Mirabai had very little affection from her parents. However, her grandfather, Rao Dudaji, raised her with love and care. It is said that Mira would play in his lap while he looked after his business and various affairs related to his kingdom. Princess Mira was a beautiful and a beloved of everyone who were close to her.
Childhood and Adolescence Of Mirabai
Ever since her mother told her about Sri Krishna, she thought of Krishna as her husband. One day a Sadhu visited her family. One day, Mira saw a beautiful little Idol of Lord Krishna with the saint who visited her family. She saw hoe close he held it to his heart, worshipped, pronounced mantras, enchanted songs and danced in front of it. Mira closely examined the saint’s joy as he worshipped the idol of Lord Krishna. She wanted to have that idol for herself. Since she was a child, she insisted to have that icon of Shree Krishna. She cried and threw fits until Rao Dudaji requested the sadhu to give the icon to Mira. He promised the saint another idol. With a reluctant mind, the saint gave her the murti and taught her how to worship and take care of Lord Krishna. Mira was delighted and paid utmost attention to the details that the saint gave her.
Mira was loved and pampered by not only her uncle Viramaji, her cousin brother Jayamal, and her grandfather Dudaji, the ruler of Merta, but she was also the darling by the entire kingdom. She received utmost love from her birthplace, Kudki. Though she was the most innocent beautiful girl of the kingdom, she was never arrogant towards anyone. She never forgot to take care and provide love to her Eternal Bridegroom, Krishna. She used to play with him and to sleep with; she fed him, adorned him with clothes and ornaments. She enchanted songs in his name, and to put him to sleep like a little girl would do with her favourite doll.
Mira and her Marriage
In those days, the most common means to unity kingdoms was to build a relationship through marriage. Rana Sangram Singh of Mewar had four sons: Kumar Bhojraj, Rana Ratnasingh, Rana Vikramajit, and Rana Udayasingh.
Rana Singh proposed the marriage of his son Prince Kumar Bhojraj with Mira, thus, building healthy relations between the two most powerful kingdoms of the Rajputs. Unfortunately, in those days, girls had little said in their marriage. The Rajputs were known to be shortsighted and selfish. They followed the advice of gurus who were ritualistic and ignorant of the truth. Mira was married, against her wishes to Prince Bhojraj of the Sisodia. After being forced to marry she did what any wise young lady with true faith and love for Krishna would do. She refused to let Prince Bhojraj touch her since she already considered herself married to Lord Krishna. At first, nobody took her seriously in the Sisodia family. They hoped in vain that she would eventually give in knowing that no one dared to displease the mighty Sisodias.
There was persuasion, threats, attempts to cause her suffering and there were even attempts to kill her. It’s a well known fact that in the family life of such a clan most in-laws would take revenge for Mira’s disobedience and non-compliance. Her husband and father-in-law had a soft corner in their hearts for her, but not to the degree to approve her strange behaviour, which opposed their religious traditions.
Mira ignored the advice of their guru, which was not tolerated by the Sisodia clan. Mira was, at the end, a powerful Rajputani. She didn’t allow anyone to interfere in her spiritual life.
Bhojraj and Mira Relations
The young and innocent Mirabai had already embarked upon her internal and spiritual journey that would pervade her life. Bhojraj was bewildered by her detachment and is said to have initially attempted to pull her back into worldly affairs. He found Mirabai’s detachment and personality fascinating. Bhojraj and Meerabai enjoyed a friendship where they understood each other, with Bhojraj appreciating Mirabai’s poetic talents and indulging in her wish to have a temple all to Lord Krishna within the palace.
It is also known that her sister-in-law, Udabai, mainly conspired to defame the innocent lover of Lord Krishna, Mira. She informed Rana Kumbha, that Mira was secretly in love with someone else. Kumbha attempted to murder Mira by running with a sword in his hand but eventually calmed down. He along with his sister, visited the temple to see what Mira was upto and she was found alone in her ecstatic mood talking and singing to Krishna’s idol. He shouted, “Meera, show me your lover with whom you are talking now”. Meera replied, “There sits He —my Lord She stood unruffled in the face of accusations of immoral character and said that she was married to Sri Krishna. Her husband was heartbroken but he remained good and sympathised with her until his death. (As per an article on Vedicfeed)
Bhojraj lost his life while fighting a battle in 1526. His death had a profound effect on Meerabai’s life, since she lost both a friend, however tenuously; and a patron who had protected her from criticism within the family.
Mirabai and conspiracies against her
Legends say that there were several attempts were made to get rid of Mirabai. She was sent a basket with a cobra snake inside a basket and a message that the basket contained a garland of flowers. Meera opened the it and found a lovely idol of Lord Krishna with a garland of flowers. She also received a cup of poison saying that it was nectar. Meera offered it to Lord Krishna as Prasad. It was real nectar to her. A bed of nails was set up for her by Rana and when Mira encountered it, the bed turned into a bed full of roses.
Mirabai and Vrindavan
When all attempts made by the Sisodia clan failed to get rid of Mira, they decided to send her to her parental home. Mira was always humble, gentle and firm in her determination and didn’t allow even the worst circumstances to interfere in her love for Lord Krishna. She finally reached Merta. The situation in Merta was no better. The sense was uneasiness due to never ending wars made it impossible for her to stay there. She finally decided to leave for Vrindavan where her beloved Krishna.
In Vrindavan, she visited a knowledgable sadhu about God. But the sadhu refused to see her since he had vowed not to see any woman. As she began to leave, Mira responded that she was unaware that there were other men in Vrindavan other than Shree Krishna. The sadhu realised his ignorance, came out of his hut greeted her. Mira pardoned him and continued to complete her journey.
Death of Mirabai
Mirabai arrived in Dwarka. Once she arrived she decided that her life must become one with her Lord. Her family upon realising their foolishness sent some priests to invite Mira to return to Merta or Chittorgarh. Mira, as always, was too absorbed in her love for Lord Krishna that she had abandoned any hope to reconcile with the worldly. It is said that the Lord finally absorbed her in him at the Dwarka temple.
Mirabai – the poet
Mirabai was a poet since birth. She expressed her deep devotion and love to Lord Krishna. With ektara in her hand, she enchanted multiple hymns that she composed which were full of piety, love, and dedication. Even today she is known for her kirtans. Although she was a queen, she gave her all to worship Shri Krishna.
In her hymns and poems, Lord Krishna is a yogi and her lover, and she herself is a yogini ready to take her place by his side. Meera’s style combines impassioned mood, defiance, longing, joy, and ecstasy of union, always centred on Lord Krishna.
My Dark One has gone to an alien land.
He has left me behind, he’s never returned, he’s never sent me a single word.
So I’ve stripped off my ornaments, jewels and adornments, cut my hair from my head.
And put on holy garments, all on his account, seeking him in all four directions.
Mira: unless she meets the Dark One, her Lord, she doesn’t even want to live.
— Mira Bai, Translated by John Stratton Hawley
Meera reminices of a personal relationship with Krishna as her lover, lord, and mountain lifter.
After making me fall for you so hard, where are you going?
Until the day I see you, no repose: my life, like a fish washed on shore, flails in agony.
For your sake I’ll make myself a yogini, I’ll hurl myself to death on the saw of Kashi.
Mira’s Lord is the clever Mountain Lifter, and I am his, a slave to his lotus feet.
— Mira Bai, Translated by John Stratton Hawley
Devotion and love are two different things. Love is a crazy feeling but there are shreds of sanity attached to it. You can still recover. In devotion, there is no shred of sanity. Devotion does not allow recovery, once you learn to sit here, consciously and lovingly, trusting the existence the way it is, that is devotion. It is not a belief system, it is the sweetest way to be in the existence.- Sadhguru