They said she was insane. They said she was wrong. She was criticised, punished, abandoned and outcast by society – yet, she never faltered. Her love was pure and divine as Lord Krishna himself. She loved him completely and purely, more than herself. She had so devoted her heart to worshipping him – that she left no place in it for hate or self-pity. She dedicated her life to his love. She might have appeared alone and pitiful to some, but she was protected by the divine. Earthly, materialistic values held no importance to her. She was unique and her heart – enriched with pure, unadulterated love for Lord Krishna; made her divine as well.
The story of Mirabai is popular – she was born a Rajput princess. It is believed that her life revolves around the late 1400s. When she was 5 years old, one of her sisters got married. It set her little mind thinking, and one day, while her mother was braiding her hair, little Mira asked her mother”Who will I marry”. She wouldn’t let the matter go until her mother gave her a definite answer. So the queen gestured towards Lord Krishna’s idol and said ”Here is your husband. Run along now”. From that day, Mira believed it truly in her heart that the Lord was her husband. Later she was married off to another Rajput king. She performed all the duties that were required of her as a wife and a daughter-in-law. But she continued to believe that she was married to Lord Krishna, and prayed to him religiously. In his glory, she wrote many poems and songs, and often sang them on the streets. She danced to the tunes of her heart, unabashed, with a mind that was crystal clear.
However, her in-laws and her husband did not like her behaviour. They reprimanded her, tried to suppress her, and even tried to kill her. But she was protected by her Lord, and she remained unharmed and unbroken. Ultimately, she left the palace, to devote herself completely to god. She became a sanyasin, and travelled to many places, singing her songs, completely free of all earthly desires and needs. People thought she was crazy – some took pity on her and gave her food. Her heart, sparkling with true love soon, gave her a glow and resplendence that was soon noticed by many. Soon, people realised that this woman was no ordinary beggar, and neither was she crazy. She was a great sage, and someone to be respected and loved. They flocked to her for advice, help and blessings. She gave generously, and held no grudge. She felt that it was her duty to do what her Lord expected of her, and thus gave herself to the service of the people. One day, she prayed at a temple to Lord Krishna to take her away, as she no longer needed to live on the earth anymore. It is said that a divine light came out of his idol, covering her completely and she disappeared forever.
Our ancient culture teaches us many useful values, which sadly, are overlooked by the so called “moral police”, who use our culture as an excuse to meet their political ambitions. It, above all, teaches us the definition of love – which is to love completely, with all our heart, without any expectations or conditions. But how many of us do this? Mirabai had to suffer so many hardships – her life certainly was difficult. Yet, her love for the lord only grew each day. Not once did she get dejected and question her lord, not once did she ask lord to save her, or put her into a more comfortable place. But would we ever do that today? She was strong and powerful, yet she was always gentle and kind. How many people today are like that? The minute we get any amount of importance or financial security, we start behaving like conceited spoilt brats, whose just-can’t-be-bothered-with-other-people’s-problems attitude can be felt from a distance.
Mirabai taught us that true love is unconditional. It can only grow by nurturing it and letting it grow. So the next time you are upset with someone dear, remember Mirabai, and what she stood for. If we want love in our life, we first need to understand what love is. True love can only come to those who are, by nature, loving, and who are willing to sacrifice everything for love.