By Bhudeb Chakrabarti
I have always enjoyed listening to this beautiful, mystical bhajan, dedicated to Lord Krishna, which invariably soothes the soul and removes the effects of discord or disharmony.
The bhajan was composed by Meerabai, one of the greatest Women saints, philosopher and poetess in India. A proponent of the Bhakti movement, Meerabai defied social convention in order to embrace her love for the divine Krishna. She chose a spiritual path for herself, and pursued it with courage and resolve, in spite of stiff opposition and insurmountable obstruction posed by the orthodox society.
On the occasion of Janamasthami (the birth of Lord Krishna), here’s a look into the life of Meerabai, whose name is synonymous with devotion and love.
Born into the royal family of a place called Merta in Rajasthan,in about 1500, Meerabai was blessed with a god gifted voice. Her tuneful songs in praise of ‘Giridhari Gopal’ (Lord Krishna) attracted people from far and afar, who came in large numbers to hear her sing.
The news of Meerabai spread to the nook and corner of Rajputana. It was a matter of time that it finally reached Chittor. Maharana Sangram Singh of Mewar sent the proposal of the marriage of his eldest son Prince Bhojraj with Meerabai. Following her marriage with the Prince, Meerabai moved to Chittor.
With support from her husband and father-in-law, both of whom had a liberal outlook, Meerabai pursued her religious inclination and continued to worship Krishna. Misfortune struck when Meerabai lost her husband after a brief marital life. Soon after, her father-in-law also passed away.
Prince Vikramjit Singh, the younger brother of Meerabai’s husband, who now became the Maharana of Mewar, objected to Meerabai’s worship of her ‘Giridhari Gopal‘. Failing to stop her from worshiping, he expelled her from the Chittor Fort.
Undeterred by her present state of penury, Meerabai made her way to Vrindavan, walking the whole distance on foot. There she composed and sang the bhajans in praise of Lord Krishna. People came to Vrindavan from many places to see and hear the saintly poetess.
Meerabai longed to spend the final days of her earthly sojourn in Dwaraka in the worship of ‘Ranchhorji‘ (another form of Krishna). She walked the distance from Vrindavan to Dwaraka on foot, on the way singing hymns in praise of Lord Krishna. No amount of difficulties could shake her faith in the lord.
Legends say that Meerabai left for the Heavenly Abode of her Lord approximately in 1547, and her mortal body is merged with the deity ‘Ranchhorji’.
Throughout her life, Meerabai had complete faith in the grace of the God and kept up her eternal quest of the Lord with perseverance and determination, surrendering herself completely to God.
Saint Meerabai’s name is immortalized for her supreme devotion and her life is a source of inspiration to today’s women to overcome the obstacles in their path and empower themselves for their growth and fulfillment.
I end the post with this quote.
Music is the highest art and, to those who understand, is the highest worship. ~Swami Vivekananda
Jagat Shiromani temple, in the town of Amer is also known as Meera Bai temple. Some people claim that this is the only temple by her name, though the claim cannot be verified. It is said that idol of Krishna worshiped by Meerabai, can be found in this temple. During the Mughal invasion of Chittogarh, the idol was carried safely by Jaipur ruler to save it from destruction. Jagat Shiromani temple is surely worth a visit!
To find more about the temple check out the post here in JAIPUR THRU MY LENS !!
Image Source: Wikipedia
This article is contributed by Bhudeb Chakrabarti, Dy IG (Retd) CRPF. He has commanded several Operational and Administrative functions in the force and has imparted training to gazetted officers of CRPF and other central & state police forces.
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