Meera who is also known as Mirabai or Meera Bai was a well-known mystic poet or saint belonging to the Bhakti Movement. Meera Bai attained the status of a Hindu saint by practicing devotion towards Lord Krishna.
In fact, Meera was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna. She called Lord Krishna by several names such as Girdhar Nagar, Prabhu Ji, SatGuru, and even as Krishna.
The most astonishing thing about this relationship with Lord Krishna is that Meera personified Krishna as her husband of her soul. She used to sing praises of Lord Krishna. She sang songs and danced in the name of Lord Krishna.
In fact, Meera Bai belonged to the royal family of Mewar. She was a princess. However, his in-laws never approved of her divine relationship with Lord Krishna. They were against her public singing and dancing. They opposed her love of God.
However, Meera sacrificed everything for her love and devotion to Shri Krishna. She renounced her family for the love of God and attained Moksha (Reunion with Krishna Consciousness) by following Bhakti Yoga.
It should be appreciated that Meera is considered equivalent to saints such as Kabir, Guru Nanak, Tukaram, Tulsidas and other well known Hindu saints belonging to the Bhakti Movement in the 15th and 16th Century AD.
In fact, Meera is one of the few woman saints in India that achieved immense heights in the field of devotion or bhakti towards God, the Almighty. She was successful in attaining huge popularity among the masses by about 1600 CE.
Mirabai was born in Rajasthan in the year 1498. He was brought up in the royal family of Merta. In the small age, she was deeply inclined towards Gods and religion especially Lord Krishna or Murli Manohar.
She was never concerned with social customs and traditional religious beliefs that were prevalent during her period. Meera can be described as a “fearless” character that went against the traditional beliefs and attained perfection in devotion.
Her songs and praises about Shri Krishna truly reflect her class of devotion towards Krishna. So, Meera became a blessed soul. In spite of accusations and denial by the general public and even the Royals, Meera never stopped her practice of Bhakti towards Krishna.
Until her last breath, Meera breathed Krishna and only Krishna. Such was her belief, devotion, and love towards the Supreme Power that manifested on Earth in the form of Krishna.
Although her in-laws persecuted Meera, she never gave up her Bhakti towards Krishna. That’s why she is a woman saint par excellence.
Her excellence in sainthood has been now duly recognized and credited by society. There are numerous folk tales and hagiographic legends that describe her greatness, love, and devotion to Krishna.
Thousands of poems have been written glorifying the devotion of Meera Bai towards Shri Krishna. These are popularly known as bhajans and have become popular across India. Also, many temples have been built in honor of Meera.
The most popular ones are found in the Chittorgarh fort. Meera has been the subject of many popular movies in the Indian cinema. Much literature can be found where Meera is the main subject.
So, there are thousands of admirers of Meera Bai not only in India but also across the world.
Let’s share with you a short but informative biography about Meera.
Meera Bai Biography
We must tell you that authentic records of Saint Meera Bai are not available. What’s available is only secondary literature that mentions her, wherein dates, events, and some moments. Meera was married to Bhoj Raj in 1516, who was the crown prince of Mewar. However, Meera was never inclined to marry her.
Her husband was seriously wounded in a war against Muslims of the Delhi Sultanate in 1518 and eventually died of battle wounds in 1521. After the death of her husband, within a few years, her father, as well as a father-in-law, also died during a war against the Muslims of Babur’s army.
Many instances are reported when Meera’s in-laws tried to execute her by giving a glass of poison telling her that it was nectar. They even send her a basket with a snake instead of flowers. However, it is mentioned that Meera was not harmed.
In some versions of these legends, it is mentioned that Meera was asked by Vikram Singh (he was crowned as the King of Mewar upon the death of Bhoj Raj) to drown herself. However, Meera finds herself floating on water.
It is also mentioned that Saint Raidas was her Guru however there is no historical evidence backing this claim.
The major historical records founded about Meera belong to the 17th Century that was written about 150 years after Meera’s death. However, these records say nothing about Meera’s childhood.
Many historians are of the opinion that her in-laws ultimately persecuted Meera. However, some say that political chaos and military conflicts lead to the untimely death of Meera.
In some accounts, it is stated that Meera left the kingdom of Mewar and went on for pilgrimage destinations. It is believed that during the last years of his life, Meera stayed in Vrindavan or Dwarka. She miraculously disappeared in 1547. Many miracles were reported in the life of Meera. However, there is no historical evidence backing this claim.
You should be kept in mind that the most important aspect of Meera’s life is her exceptional devotion to Krishna in spite of many hurdles that she faced in her life.
Meera is highly popular for his poetic creations dedicated to Lord Shri Krishna. Many of her poetic compositions are still sung today in various parts of India. Most of these songs are have devotional tone, but the essence and message are spiritual. One of her popular compositions that are widely accepted among people is, “Payoo Ji Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payoo.”
Meera has composed poems in the form of lyrical Padas that have been set in Rajasthani language. The most noted aspect in Meera’s poems is that Krishna is portrayed as a Yogi and lover.
Meera portrays herself as a yogini that prays for spiritual union with Krishna. The moods used in the poems are mostly of longing, anticipation, joy, ecstasy, and bliss.
Here, we share with you a popular composition of Meera Bai translated by John Stratton Hawley:
“My Dark One has gone to an alien land. He has left me behind, he’s never returned, and he’s never sent me a single word. So I’ve stripped off my ornaments, jewels and adornments, cut my hair from my head. Moreover, put on holy garments, all on his account, seeking him in all four directions.”
So, Meera’s poetry emphasizes complete surrender to Krishna. Most importantly, you experience rare joy with most of her poems.
Where was Meera Bai Born?
Meera Bai is believed to be an incarnation of Radha Goddess. She was born in 1498 CE in the village Kurkhi which is near Merta, a small state in the Marwar region of Rajasthan. Meera was the daughter of Ratan Singh Ranthor. She was the granddaughter of Dudaji of Merta.
The Ranthor was a great devotee of Vishnu. So, Meera Bai was brought up under Vaishnava influence. It was essentially a big factor which influenced Meera’s devotion to Krishna. It is said that Meera had great devotion towards Krishna from her early childhood. The religious tendencies emerged when she was only four years old.
Who was the Guru of Meera Bai?
Meera was a disciple of Guru Ravidas (Raidas).
When did Meera Bai Die?
There is no clear mention that when did Meera Bai die. However, it is estimated that Meera dies in the year 1546. It is even said that Meera Bai magically disappeared in the idol of Krishna. However, there is no clear evidence for it. Many consider Meera Bai death as a mystery.
So, Meera Bai entire life is devoted to Krishna Bhakti. Right from her childhood until her last breath when she united with the Krishna Consciousness. Meera’s life teaches us the path of “Bhakti.”