Exploring the Life of the Famous Poet Mirabai Through Her Literary Works
Topic: Exploring the Life of the Famous Poet Mirabai through her Literary worksMirabai, a sixteenth century poet, is perhaps the most remembered and quoted woman in Indian history. She was not only a poet, but also a singer who was regarded as a saint; her legacy lives on even today with numerous versions of her songs featured in contemporary cinema, plays, and art. Mirabai’s prominence as a historical figure for feminist freedom was even recognized by Mahatma Gandhi as a symbol who chooses her own path and forsakes a life of luxury in an attempt to gain liberation. However, there is a lot disagreement about the details of her life, thus it is essential to explore the events in the life of Mirabai by interpreting her literary works rather than solely relying on hearsay in order to gain a more broader in-depth perspective. Born a princess in the Rathod Dynasty based out of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Mirabai lost her parents at a tender age which diverted her attention from humanly relationships into something more inanimate: a little murthi of Lord Krishna. According to the legend, when Mirabai’s mother was combing her hair in the balcony, she noticed a parade of a bridegroom. Fascinated by this procession, young Mira asked her mother whom would she marry; Due to a lack of a better answer, her mother pointed to a little murthi of Lord Krishna, claiming ‘he’s your bridegroom’. And from that moment on, Mirabai regarded Lord Krishna as her beloved husband all through her life, which is evident through the poem The Arrow of his Glance which entails her childhood memory of how she first came in contact with Lord Krishna.
The arrow of his glance struck my eyes;Its point pierced my heart (and) hisSweet image entered my soul.Soon, childhood infactuation turned into adolescent obsession-like love: she started holding the murthi very close to her heart, worshipped it, pronounced mantras in front of it, sang songs and even danced in front of it. Moreover, her form of worship was influenced by a number of her male relatives who were devotees of a mystical form of Hinduism called Bhakti. In the Bhakti tradition, one approached god through pure love, without any restrictions on earthly categories such as caste, color, or gender. The way in which young Mira took inspiration from Bhakti devotees and worshipped the murthi with such joy and pure love is depicted in the poem I Do Not Care About Social Norms. Dancing and Dancing I will please his eyes;My love is the only truth.I cannot forget, not even for a moment,The beauty of my lover.I am dyed in Hari’s colour.The time of adolescence in her life is evident from her poem above, which portrays how Lord Krishna’s murthi become her object of desire, almost like her singular goal in life was to eternally love and worship her bridegroom (Lord Krishna). Another event that is particularly striking in the life of Mirabai is her marriage with Prince Kumar Bhojraj, the heir apparent to the throne of the famous warrior Rana Sanga of the House of Sisodiya. This union came into the light in an attempt to make a temporary alliance by typing a knot between the two most powerful kingdoms of the Rajputs in order to face the almighty Moughal Empire. Thus, Mirabai was sent off to the House of Sisodiya against her wishes, ‘The dark one is my husband now’ (It’s True I Went To The Market). However, Mirabai was dedicated to Lord Krishna and her spiritual ideologies and did not compromise the Truth under any circumstances, ‘Life in the world is short, why shoulder an unnecessary load of worldly relationships?’ (Life In The World Is Short). This idea of undying faith in Lord Krishna and the forced union through marriage is explicitly conveyed through the poem Torn In Shreds.