Sunday, April 14, 2013

MIRABAI (MEERA, MIRA) - POEMS








Mirabai (Meera, Mira) - 15 / 16th Century devotional poet. Composed over 1,000 devotional bhanjas expressing her love for Lord Krishna.



Mirabai was a devotee of the high, higher, highest order. Among the saints of India, she is absolutely unparalleled. She composed many, many bhajans, which are prayerful songs to God. Each song Mirabai wrote expressed her inspiration, aspiration and sleepless self-giving. “
- Sri Chinmoy








From an early age Mirabai felt an irresistible attraction and devotion to Sri Krishna. As a young child she was given a doll of Krishna, which she worshipped as if it embodied the living presence of Krishna. Although people misunderstood her, she considered Krishna to be both her best friend, lover and husband.Swami Sivananda said of Mirabai 



It is extremely difficult to find a parallel to this wonderful personality – Mira – a saint, a philosopher, a poet and a sage. She was a versatile genius and a magnanimous soul. Her life has a singular charm, with extraordinary beauty and marvel.


Precise information about the life of Mirabai is hard to verify. However with the help of her poetry, and the writings of others; historians have pieced together the different elements of her life.





A key moment in the life of Mirabai was her arranged marriage to Prince Bhoj Raj. The Prince was the eldest son of a very influential Hindu family. The marriage gave Mirabai a very high social status. However Mirabai felt little, if any attraction, to the worldly comforts and pleasures of the Palace. Whenever she had the opportunity, Mirabai would escape from her daily duties to spend time in prayer and meditation on her beloved Krishna. Her soul felt a spontaneous and overwhelming love for Sri Krishna. Her poems speak of the unbearable pangs of separation she felt when she could not contemplate and see her Krishna.









I AM MAD



Unfortunately her spiritual intensity and religious inclinations were not in any way liked by her husband’s family. In fact, they sought to actively stop her spending time praying to Krishna. They felt her only duty was to her husband and the good image of the family. Members of the family started to spread malicious gossip and create physical hardships; but no matter what they did, they could not undermine the unwavering devotion and love that Mirabai had for Sri Krishna. On the death of her husband things only seemed to get worse. The remaining family tried to get Mirabai to commit Sati. Sati is the practise of voluntary suicide, which at the time was quite common amongst Hindu widows.


However, Mirabai refused, saying she was betrothed to Sri Krishna, and he alone was her real husband. After this incident, life got increasingly intolerable for Mirabai, so with the advice of various Sadhu’s she left the palace to live as a wandering sannyasin on the streets of Vrindaban. (Vrindaban is a city associated with Sri Krishna’s early life when he lived amongst the Gopi’s).



Only he knows the bitterness of love
Who has deeply felt its pangs.
When you are in trouble
No one comes near you:
When fortune smiles.
All come to share the joy.
Love shows no external wound.
But the pain pervades every pore
Devotee Mira offers her body
As a sacrifice to Giridhara for ever.
- Mirabai




Mirabai’s saintly reputation spread throughout northern India and people looked upon her as an incarnation of Radha. Her devotional bhajans were infectious in their capacity to offer spiritual upliftment. Mirabai composed hundreds of poems in a simple, unpretentious style. They are full of intensity and transcendental spirituality. Through her poems / bhajans she expressed, with a powerful intensity, the spiritual fervour of an aspirant mad with the love of God. Her poems also reflect the strange fate she was born into:


Fools sit on thrones as kings,
While the wise beg their bread.
Mira’s lord is the courtly Giridhara:
The king persecutes the Bhaktas.
- Mirabai (Strange are the decrees of fate)




Mirabai is the most respected and loved poetess in the history of India. Many were inspired, by her example, to follow the devotional path of Vaishanvism.


Source: http://www.poetseers.org/the-poetseers/mirabai/poems/o-my-mind/








UNBREAKABLE


Unbreakable, O Lord,
Is the love
That binds me to You:
Like a diamond,
It breaks the hammer that strikes it.



My heart goes into You
As the polish goes into the gold.
As the lotus lives in its water,
I live in You.



Like the bird
That gazes all night
At the passing moon,
I have lost myself dwelling in You.



O my Beloved Return.





DO NOT LEAVE ME ALONE

Do not leave me alone, a helpless woman.
My strength, my crown,
I am empty of virtues,
You, the ocean of them.
My heart’s music, you help me
In my world-crossing.
You protected the king of the elephants.
You dissolve the fear of the terrified.



Where can I go? Save my honour
For I have dedicated myself to you
And now there is no one else for me.







LIFE IN THE WORLD

Life in the world is short,
Why shoulder an unnecessary load
Of worldly relationships?
Thy parents gave thee birth in the world,
But the Lord ordained thy fate.
Life passes in getting and spending,
No merit is earned by virtuous deeds.



I will sing the praises of Hari
In the company of the holy men,
Nothing else concerns me.
Mira’s Lord is the courtly Giridhara,
She says: Only by Thy power
Have I crossed to the further shore.







LISTEN



Listen, my friend, this road is the heart opening,
kissing his feet, resistance broken, tears all night.



If we could reach the Lord through immersion in water,
I would have asked to be born a fish in this life.
If we could reach Him through nothing but berries and wild nuts
then surely the saints would have been monkeys when they came from the womb !



If we could reach him by munching lettuce and dry leaves
then the goats would surely get to the Holy One before us!
If the worship of stone statues could bring us all the way,
I would have adored a granite mountain years ago.







NOTHING IS REALLY MINE

Nothing is really mine except Krishna.
O my parents, I have searched the world
And found nothing worthy of love.
Hence I am a stranger amidst my kinfolk
And an exile from their company,
Since I seek the companionship of holy men;
There alone do I feel happy,
In the world I only weep.



I planted the creeper of love
And silently watered it with my tears;
Now it has grown and overspread my dwelling.
You offered me a cup of poison
Which I drank with joy.
Mira is absorbed in contemplation of Krishna,
She is with God and all is well !








I HAVE FOUND

I have found, yes, I have found the wealth of the Divine Name’s gem.
My true guru gave me a priceless thing.
With his grace, I accepted it.
I found the capital of my several births;
I have lost the whole rest of the world.
No one can spend it, no one can steal it.
Day by day it increases one and a quarter times.
On the boat of truth, the boatman was my true guru.
I came across the ocean of existence.
Mira’s Lord is the Mountain-Holder,
the suave lover, of whom I merrily, merrily sing.






IN A SUDDEN


In a sudden,
the sight,
Your look of light,
stills all,

The curd-pot
falls to the ground.

Parents and
brothers
all call a halt.

Prise out, they say,
this thing from your heart.
You’ve lost your path.

Says Meera:
Who but you
can see in the dark
of a heart ?






THE SAFFRON

The saffron of virtue and contentment
Is dissolved in the water-gun of love and affection.
Pink and red clouds of emotion are flying about,
Limitless colours raining down.

All the covers of the earthen vessel of my body are wide open;
I have thrown away all shame before the world.
Mira’s Lord is the Mountain-Holder, the suave lover.
I sacrifice myself in devotion to His lotus feet.






O MY MIND


O my mind,
Worship the lotus feet of the Indestructible One!
Whatever thou seest twixt earth and sky
Will perish.



Why undertake fasts and pilgrimages ?
Why engage in philosophical discussions ?
Why commit suicide in Banaras ?
Take no pride in the body,
It will soon be mingling with the dust.



This life is like the sporting of sparrows,
It will end with the onset of night.
Why don the ochre robe
And leave home as a sannyasi ?



Those who adopt the external garb of a Jogi,
But do not penetrate to the secret,
Are caught again in the net of rebirth.
Mira’s Lord is the courtly Giridhara.
Deign to sever, O Master.
All the knots in her heart.








6 comments:

  1. Excellent way of telling, and nice post
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    Replies
    1. I am glad that my post was helpful for you. Wishing you success with your presentation.

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  2. thanks a v fine narration of love--its depth the passion

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks gor a v nice narration of love,,its death,power and intensity

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is enchanting.....to read and feel in the heart..

    ReplyDelete
  5. Can anyone give the meaning of the Bajan 'badal Delhi Dari ho'

    ReplyDelete