Mira Bai (1499-1546)

The Legendary Krishna Devotee, Minstrel, & Saint

Mira Bai
Mira Bai Adorning the Idol of Krishna with a Garland. ExoticIndia.com

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.

Childhood

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 learned 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 every day 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.

Based on a biography retold by Swami Sivananda

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Das, Subhamoy. "Mira Bai (1499-1546)." ThoughtCo, Oct. 16, 2017, thoughtco.com/mira-bai-bio-1770333. Das, Subhamoy. (2017, October 16). Mira Bai (1499-1546). Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/mira-bai-bio-1770333 Das, Subhamoy. "Mira Bai (1499-1546)." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/mira-bai-bio-1770333 (accessed November 19, 2017).