OUR FASCINATION WITH MIRA BAI
Don't Go - The Bhakti Path
Don't Go - The Bhakti Path
Don't go, don't go. I touch your feet. I am sold to you.
No one knows where to find the Bhakti Path.
Show me which way to go.
I would like for my whole body to burn and turn into a heap of incense and sandalwood and you set a torch to it.
When I burn down to ashes, smear me on your shoulders and chest.
Mira says: "You who lifts mountains, I have some light. I want to mingle it with yours."
When I was a child, I heard the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I did not hear about Mira Bai and Lalleswari until about 10 years ago. Both were saints, teachers, dancers and poets. Both disappeared and dissolved into light. A sign of an avatar (incarnation of the Divine) is this mysterious disappearance and/or appearance which is unearthly and hard to explain through rational explanations. If you live your life as an intuitive, like many women do, you understand these mystical, unexplainable appearances and disappearances. After all the Spirit comes and goes as She wills.
March is Women's History Month, an opportunity to appreciate the great women who live and have lived on our planet. Our fascination with Mira Bai is her great story and how she always over came every obstacle in her path. She truly lived the Bhakti (devotional, love ) path. Women do put up with stereotypes and all kinds of things men simply do not have to put with because they are women. Hoping for a day and consciousness when this is not the case.
In 1498 or 1499 (we don't exactly) in the village of Kurkhi, near Merta, in the state of Mewar, Rajasthan, India, Mira Bai was born into a wealthy family. She was a princess. She became, like Rumi, one of the most popular and beloved spiritual poets of all time.
In her childhood some fascinating events occurred. She became acquainted with Krishna when a marriage procession came through her neighborhood. She wondered who her bridegroom was. Her mother said, "Krishna is your bridegroom." Her mother showed her a murti of Krishna. From that day forward Mira and Krishna were inseparable in consciousness. At another time a sage brought an image of Krishna with him and she played with it. When the sage left, she cried because she loved this image of Krishna. The sage came back a few days later with the image saying that Krishna appeared to him in a dream instructing him to return the image to Mira Bai. This is truly amazing.
She married a prince of Mewar called Prince Bhoj Raj who died in battle only a few years into the marriage. She was forced to marry him and had no interest in the marriage. Before the prince died Krishna appeared to her and told her that the prince would not be with her very much longer. Her relatives persecuted her after his death. When her husband was alive, he would try to oppress her, too. He sent a cobra to Mira with a message that it contained flowers. She meditated and opened the basket and found a murti of Krishna with the flowers. He tried to poison her, but when she offered it to Krishna it turned into nectar. He sent her a bed of nails to sleep on, but it turned into a bed of roses. Everyone of their plots against her failed. It reminds me of Daniel and how God protected him even in the furnace. She is a truly amazing individual.
She eventually renounced her life as a princess and followed the advise of Tulsidasji who said that sometimes you have to leave your relatives as many have done in various Hindu stories. Tulsidasji was a great poet, writer and sage. At the age of 30 she left the palace and went to Dwarka, Mathura and Vrindavan. She traveled from town to village in between. She finally had a guru, Ravidas, who gave her a sitar. She wrote 1,300 devotional songs to Krishna, danced and taught the crowds about Krishna. She drew large crowds. Her poems are her legacy we have today. They are numerous and great. When you have spiritual poetry readings, Mira Bai, is there with the greatest poets of all time.
At the end of her sojourn on Earth, she entered the temple at Dwarka. People later found her sari wrapped around the murti of Krishna. She had simply dissolved into light and joined Krishna in other dimensions. These events can not be explained by rational means, but they happen all the same.
I often wondered what it was like when she dissolved into the murti of Krishna. That would have been quite an event to see. Those kinds of experiences are unworldly and beyond earthly description. Anyone who has had a mystical or psychic experience knows how difficult it is to describe these kinds of experiences to people who have never experienced them. There was a character in the TV show, Star Trek, who had psychic experiences. They did a great job of showing these types of experiences in a visual and emotional way. When you have these experiences, it is as though you are in another dimension or place, yet at the same time, you are present in this dimension.
I have had experiences of Krishna where I have heard his flute, which is very unearthly. It is a very high frequency and can not be described completely. Each time he came to my rescue I heard the flute. Another experience I had with Him was very interesting. All of a sudden, when I was I walking in the Bird Sanctuary at Lake Harriet, I saw the child form of Krishna. Then I saw a butterfly who followed me around for several minutes. Most butterflies go flower to flower and do not follow people around. I think He took the form of the butterfly and was playing with me to show me His essence is in everything. If you are in a peaceful state or in a crisis, He will show Himself to you in the some way. The Gita explains this all very well. You merely have to be open to the Bhakti Path, like Mira Bai!
JAI SHRI MIRA BAI! JAI SHRI KRISHNA! JAI SHRI MOTHER SARASWATI!