Mira saw her entrancing Blue God everywhere—in rocks, forests and blossoms, in storm, thunder and lightning, in animate and inanimate things. Fearless and ascetic, graceful and elegant, Mira was saint, philosopher, singer and poet, and one of India’s most versatile geniuses.
Uncaring of her critics, Mira danced wildly on the streets of Vrindavan. Averse to the ritualistic worship so entrenched in the Indian psyche, she focused on Krishna—who was husband, friend, family and Guru to her. Shielded by his love, she forsook royal extravagance for a beggar’s life on the bustling streets of ancient Vrindavan. Wars erupted around her, and human consciousness sank to its nadir, yet nothing could stop this Queen from her simple devotions.
This is why, centuries after her miraculous passing, her poem-songs continue to infuse people with courage and unconditional love of the Divine; they express both her yearning to merge with Krishna, as well as the ecstasy of divine union. Her songs melt the angry wounded human heart into surrender; they inspire not because she was a skilled wordsmith, but because they were tender outpourings of a heart dedicated to the Divine. Even atheists have been profoundly moved by Mira’s potent language of love.
Mine Is Gopal
Mine is Gopal, the Mountain-Holder; there is no one else.
On his head he wears the peacock-crown: He alone is my husband.
Father, mother, brother, relative: I have none to call my own.
I’ve forsaken both God, and the family’s honor: what should I do?
I’ve sat near the holy ones, and I’ve lost shame before the people.
I’ve torn my scarf into shreds; I’m all wrapped up in a blanket.
I took off my finery of pearls and coral, and strung a garland of wildwood flowers.
With my tears, I watered the creeper of love that I planted;
Now the creeper has grown spread all over, and borne the fruit of bliss.
The churner of the milk churned with great love.
When I took out the butter, no need to drink any buttermilk.
I came for the sake of love-devotion; seeing the world, I wept.
Mira is the maidservant of the Mountain-Holder:
Now with love He takes me across to the further shore.
I danced before my Giridhara
Again and again I dance
To please that discerning critic,
And put His former love to the test.
I put on the anklets
Of the love of Shyam,
And behold! My Mohan stays true.
Worldly shame and family custom
I have cast to the winds.
I do not forget the beauty of the Beloved
Even for an instant.
Mira is dyed deeply in the dye of Hari.
This infamy, O my Prince
Some revile me,
I simply follow my incomprehensible road
A razor thin path
but you meet some good people,
A terrible path but you hear a true word
Because the wretched stare and see nothing?
O Mira’s Lord is noble and dark,
rake only themselves
over the coals
I am mad with love
And no one understands my plight.
Only the wounded
Understand the agonies of the wounded,
When the fire rages in the heart.
Only the jeweler knows the value of the jewel,
Not the one who lets it go.
In pain I wander from door to door,
But could not find a doctor.
Says Mira: Harken, my Master,
Mira’s pain will subside
When Shyam comes as the doctor.
That dark Dweller in Braj
Is my only refuge.
O my companion,
Worldly comfort is an illusion,
As soon you get it, it goes.
I have chosen the Indestructible for my refuge,
Him whom the snake of death
Will not devour.
My Beloved dwells in my heart,
I have actually seen that Abode of Joy.
Mira’s Lord is Hari, the Indestructible.
My Lord, I have taken refuge with Thee,
Unbreakable, O Lord
Is the Love
That binds me to You:
Like a diamond
It breaks the hammer that strikes it.
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.
Just for the asking.
Birth in a human body
Is the reward for good deeds
In former births.
Life waxes and wanes imperceptibly,
It does not stay long.
The leaf that has once fallen
Does not return to the branch.
Behold the Ocean of Transmigration.
With its swift, irresistible tide.
O Lal Giridhara, O pilot of my soul,
Swiftly conduct my barque to the further shore.
Mira is the slave of Lal Giridhara.
She says: Life lasts but a few days only.