- Religion and Philosophy»
Mira Bai - Amazing Woman Saint
Overcame All Obstacles
I want to tell you the story of an amazing Indian woman saint. Her name is Mira Bai. She is regarded to be an incarnation of Radha, the beloved of Krishna. She was born in 1498 or 1499 in the village of Kurkhi, near Merta, in the state of Marwar, Rajasthan. There were many interesting occurrences in her childhood. Once there was a marriage procession going by her house. Mira noticed the bridegroom. She said, "Who is my bridegroom?" Her mother smiled and looked at the image of Shri Krishna and said, "Mira, this beautiful image is your bridegroom." On another occasion, a sage came to visit her family. He carried a very small image of Krishna. She played with it until he left. He took it with him, and she was unhappy and could not eat afterwards. The sage returned a few days later with the image and gave it to her saying Krishna had appeared to him in a dream telling him to bring it back to her. So he did.
Another important event in her life was her marriage at the age of 13 to 18. We are not sure of the exact age. She married a Ranjputi prince of Mewar called Prince Bhoj Raj. He died in a battle only a few years later. She was a married woman, but the One she loved the most was Krishna, and he was always on her mind and in her heart. She was part of the Bhakti Movement centering on devotion to Krishna. She mingled with all kinds of people. She did not care about your sex, race, social class, caste or anything else which others would categorize. She only saw the love in someone's heart for Krishna. After her husband died, she was often persecuted by her relatives. Sometimes, when her husband was alive, he would persecute her, also. Her husband sent a cobra in a basket to Mira with a message that it contained a garland of flowers. She meditated and opened the basket and found a murti of Krishna with the flowers. Her husband also sent her some poison and said it was nectar. She offered it to Lord Krishna and offered it as Prasadam. She was not poisoned, and it became nectar. The prince sent her a bed of nails to sleep on. As she slept on it, the bed was transformed into a bed of roses. You can see why many believed she was an incarnation of Radha.
She sent a letter to Tulsidas Ji about her problems with her relatives. She was to the point where she could not do her devotional practices in the house. He told her that sometimes you have to abandon your family. Prahlad abandoned his father, Vibhisbana left his brother Ravana, Bharat deserted his mother, Bali forsook his Guru, the women of Vraja disowned their husbands in order to attain the Lord. Rukimini abandoned her brother and father, who wanted her to marry someone she did not love. She married Lord Krishna instead. As Krishna said: "A woman has a right to choose her own husband." Tulsidas said all other relationships are temporary compared to your relationship with God. So at the age of 30 she left the palace. She went to Mathura, Vrindavan, and Dwarka. She had a great Guru, Ravidas, a shoemaker, who bought her a sitar because of her great creative abilities as a songwriter/singer/poetess. Mira composed 1300 devotional songs to Krishna. In 1546 she went to the temple of Dwarka. An amazing thing happened. The sanctum doors were closed by an unseen force. Later when the doors were opened, her sai was found wrapped around the murti of Krishna. It is believed she finally was in union with her beloved Lord Krishna.
She was a woman who broke with convention and did not do what was expected of her. She put God first above everything else. Her family did not understand her and did everything to stop her. Miracles happened all around her, and this is proof to me that she was the incarnation of Radha. She is very right in seeing beyond earthly categories and stereotypes. Sexism, racism, and discrimination are very engrained in the world. She rightly saw love for God is more important than anything else. She was a strong, independent woman who showed us who we are as spiritual beings. The inner qualities are what matters. Knowing yourself as a human and spiritual being is a great goal for our age. Finding your Higher Self or Atman is the goal of all human beings, no matter if you are a woman, man, or child. Yes, Mira, had it right: no relationship is greater than your relationship with God. I can sense her presence with me now as I write this blog, and I can sense Krishna, her true Beloved. She was one amazing woman!
JAI SHRI MIRA!, Radhapriestess