Mira Bai (1499-1546)
Mira Bai is widely known as an
incarnation of Radha, the consort of Lord Krishna. She was born in 1499 in a
small village called Kurkhi in Marwar, in the state of Rajasthan, India.
Mira’s father Ratan Singh belonged to the Ranthors of Merta, who were great
devotees of Vishnu.
Mira Bai was brought up amidst strong Vaishnava culture that paved her path
to the devotion of Lord Krishna. When she was four years of age, she
manifested a deep religious keel, and learnt to worship Sri Krishna.
How Mira Became Attached to Lord Krishna:
Once seeing a ceremonially dressed bridegroom in a marriage procession,
Mira, who was only a child, innocently asked her mother, “Mother, who is my
bridegroom?” Mira’s mother pointed towards the image of Sri Krishna and
quipped, "My dear Mira, Lord Krishna is your bridegroom". Since then child
Mira began to love the idol of Krishna very much, spending time in bathing,
dressing and worshipping the image. She also slept with the idol, talked to
it, sang and danced about the image in ecstasy.
Marriage and Scandals:
Mira’s father arranged for her marriage with Rana Kumbha of Chitore, in
Mewar. She was a dutiful wife, but she would go to the temple of Lord
Krishna everyday to worship, sing and dance before the image daily. Her
in-laws were furious. They planned many a conspiracy against her, and tried
to involve her in many a scandal. She was persecuted in various ways by the
Rana and his relatives. But Lord Krishna always stood by the side of Mira.
Journey to Brindavan:
Finally, Mira wrote a letter to the renowned saint and poet Tulsidas and
asked his advice. Tulsidas replied: "Abandon them even though they are your
dearest relatives. Relation with God and love of God alone is true and
eternal; all other relationships are unreal and temporary". Mira walked
barefoot through the hot deserts of Rajasthan, and reached Brindavan. Mira’s
fame spread far and wide.
A Life of Love amidst Trouble:
Mira’s earthly life was full of troubles, yet she kept up an undaunted
spirit by the strength of her devotion and the grace of her beloved Krishna.
In her divine intoxication, Mira danced in public unaware of her
surroundings. An embodiment of love and innocence, her heart was the temple
of devotion for Krishna. There was kindness in her look, love in her speech,
joy in her discourses, and fervor in her songs.
Mira’s Teachings and Music:
She taught the world the way to love God. She rowed her boat dexterously in
a stormy sea of family troubles and difficulties and reached the shore of
supreme peace—the kingdom of love. Her lyrics infuse faith, courage,
devotion and love of God. Her Bhajans still act as a soothing balm to the
wounded hearts and tired nerves.
The Last Days of Mira:
From Brindavan, Mira proceeded to Dwaraka, where she was absorbed in the
image of Lord Krishna. She ended her earthly existence at the temple of
Ranchod in 1546 A.D. Mira Bai will always be remembered for her love for God
and her soulful songs.