In Hinduism there are many paths of devotion. One can choose a convenient path to reach the Lord. Female saints like Meera, Andal, Akkamahadevi and many more kept the spiritual knowledge and the paths of the ancient seers alive. One common factor amongst these three women was that they accepted the Lord as their husband or bridegroom and devoted their lives to Him.
One of such great souls was Meera or Mira also known as Meera Bai. She was the exponent of Prem Bhakti-spiritual love or devotional love. She was a great devotee of Lord Krishna, loved Him intensely and took Him to be her husband and Lord. She wrote beautiful love poetry or rather songs set her own tunes. She sang them melodiously immersed in her love for her Lord. Such was her power of singing and her songs that whoever listened to her were mesmerised.
Even today her songs known as Meera Bhajans are very popular and sung with great devotion.
It is difficult to write about her details exactly as there are many stories, many versions, and some facts and may be some fiction. I have tried my best to give as accurately as possible from the available information.
She was born in 1504 AD at Chaukari village in Merta a small state in Marwar District of Rajasthan. Some say she was born in Kurki in Plai district in 1498. It is difficult to give the exact year and place as there seems to be no historical evidence.
The place was ruled by the Rathores. Her father’s name was Rana Ratan Singh. She lost her mother at an early age and was raised by her grandfather Rao Duda.
Rathores were great devotees of Vishnu. Like in any Rajput families, her education included knowledge of Vedic scriptures, music, and also war fare. She grew up amidst an atmosphere of total Krishna bhakti or devotion, which was responsible in moulding her thoughts to complete devotion towards Lord Krishna.
When she was just four years of age, she happened to watch a marriage procession. She asked her mother innocently, "Mother, who will be my bridegroom?" Her mother, half in jest and half in earnest, pointing towards the idol of Lord Krishna replied, "My dear child, Lord Krishna - Neela Megha Shyama-this handsome black one – will be your bridegroom". This was etched on Meera's tender mind and heart.
As Meera grew up, her desire to be with her Krishna grew intensely day by day and she firmly believed that Lord Krishna would marry her. As time went by, she was firmly convinced that Krishna was to be her husband. She was completely devoted to lord Krishna.
Meera was very gentle, soft spoken and was gifted with a melodious voice. Since she was from a religious family, she would sing in praise of Lord. She was one of the most extraordinary beauties of her time and the fame of her beauty spread far and wide to many princely states. Many kings and princes vied to marry her.
Rana Sangram Singh(Rana Sangha), the powerful King of Mewar, approached Rao Duda for MiraBai’s hand in marriage to his son Bhojraj (also known as Rana Kumbha or KumbhaRana).
Rana Kumbha had seen Meera and fell in love with her beauty and wanted to marry her for her beauty, pious nature and divine intent. Rao Duda also agreed to it. However, Meera could not bear the thought of marrying a human being as all along she considered Lord Krishna as her husband. She pleads and argues. But her family forces her to the marriage as it was by then very difficult to guard a beautiful daughter against the princes and kings who wanted to marry her even by waging a war.
She agrees to the marriage out of her respect to her grandfather. She marries Rana Kumbha in 1518. She was hardly 14 years of age. But child marriages were common in those days and 14 was considered to be much older age.
She leaves for Mewar(Chittorgarh) with the Rana Kumbha her husband. She discharges all her duties to her in laws and her husband as any wife would.
To be continued........