Sunday, April 24, 2011

Meera-Prem Diwani -II

    Lord Krishna
Meera brings along with her the idol of Lord Krishna and installs it at her quarters in her new home. She continues with her Krishna Bhakti despite threats from her in-laws. Her husband though does not like it first, learns about her devotion and appreciates her. He goes on a pilgrimage with her to many places including Pandharipur. He like to listen to her devotional songs or bhajans and takes up canting of Lord's name. He even builds her a very beautiful temple for Krishna at Chittorgarh.

See the temple and also the fort of Chittorgarh.

Meera never had any interest in leading a life of ordinary married women. She was spiritually inclined and loved only lord Krishna. However she did not neglect her duties, attended to them and after completion, she used to go to the temple of Lord Krishna, to worship, sing and dance. At first the temple was meant for queen Meera. 

Many devotees, sadhu and sant (sages) hearing her soulful rendering want to visit the temple. So the temple is opened for the public. Many devotees, commoners, sadhu and sant used to frequent the temple. Interaction with these great saints increased the spiritual inclination in Meera more and more. 

Meera's mother-in-law, sister-in-law (Udabai) and other ladies of the palace did not like it at all. They did not understand the feelings or devotion of Meera. They were of the opinion that a lady after her marriage has to attend to her in-laws and her husband only. Her mother-in-law forced her to worship Durga and would taunt her often. Her sister-in-law too would complain against her to her brothers. They did not like Meera to go freely and mingle with men, sadhu and sant as Rajput women maintain purdah system and were strictly confined to their homes-especially the royalty. They put many restrictions on her. They complain against Meera saying that Meera's behaviour was tarnishing the image of their family,clan and that of Rajputs'. But Meera remained steadfast and unfazed.

This made the ladies of the palace even more enraged. Meera’s sister-in-law conspired against her and began to defame her by spreading many stories. She informed Rana Kumbha that Meera was in secret love with some one, she goes to the temple to meet her lover, and that she would show him the person if he would accompany her to catch them red handed. Meera's husband loved her a lot and had trust in her pious nature. So he refused to believe these concocted stories or rumours. 

However his sister was very persistent with her accusations. As this went on and on Meera's husband began believing these scandals and one day he rushed into his quarters in great anger, with sword in hand to kill Meera,  A relative of the Rana counselled him and pacified him. He advised him to enquire into the allegations carefully with a calm mind for finding out the truth. Out of sheer jealousy the ladies might have spread rumours against her to defame her. He pointed out that Meera was a great devotee of the Lord Krishna , very pious natured and for this reason he had married her.  Kumbha calmed down.

However his sister urged him to punish Meera for her illicit relationship (allegedly). So he accompanied his sister to the temple. He broke open the door, rushed inside and found Meera alone in a trance talking and singing to the idol.

He could find no one so he demanded that Meera should show him her lover who she meets daily. Meera points out at the idol of Krishna and replies, "There He is -My Lord, My Lover—who has stolen my heart". Rana is ashamed that he listened to his sister's concocted stories and returns back.

Meera continues her devotion and keeps on meeting the saints who visit her from far of places hearing about her great devotion and her melodious singing. She renounces all luxuries and wears simple clothes and no jewellery. Her songs, in simple language of Braj, sung soulfully, set to beautiful melodious music, attracted the listeners and transported them to a spiritual plane. Her singing and her devotion became very famous in North India and were much talked about. She was known as Meera-Prem Diwani (mad with Love) and as an incarnation of Radha.
The ladies of the palace unable to bear this(in those days ladies from royal families and of good lineage were not supposed to mix with or talk freely with men outside their families) floated rumors that Meera was mixing very freely with sadhus or saints and talked ill about her. They kept on torturing her through their malicious gossips, carrying tales to her husband and through other activities.

Meera does not like these interruptions or the restrictions on her devotion. She seeks the advice of Goswami Tulasidas, by writing a letter to him, who advises her to leave those who don't believe in Ram or Shyam and seek the Lord.

But Akbar's visit to Meera was the turning point. Akbar the famous Moghul Emperor, was a very powerful ruler and rival of the Rajputs especially Rana. But he was interested in various religious paths. He had heard about Meera's devotional and melodious singing. So Akbar and his famous court musician Tansen came in disguise to Chittor to hear her songs. They went and sat in the temple and listened to her soul - stirring songs to their heart’s content. Before his departure, Akbar touched the feet of Meera and placed a necklace made of precious gems in front of the Krishna's idol as a gift. 

This news reaches the Rana Kumbha. He became furious and angrily tells Meerabai, that she brought disgrace to the family by meeting their arch rival Akbar and accepting a gift from him. So he orders her to drown herself in the river and never show her face in future. 

Meera obeyed the king's(her husband's) orders and proceeded to the river to drown herself. She sang chanting Krishna's name as Giridhari, Govinda and Gopala and dances in ecstasy on her way to the river. 

When she enters the river, a hand from behind grasps her and embraces her. It was none other than her beloved Giridhari. She faints on him. After a few minutes when she opens her eyes, Lord Krishna smiles and gently whispers "My dear Meera, your life with your mortal relatives is over now. You are absolutely free. Be cheerful. You are and have always been mine. Go to Brindavan where you can peacefully seek me"

She obeys the divine guidance and leaves her home for Brindavan-where lord Krishna spent his child hood and youth.

She travels bare foot on hot sands of the desert, singing and dancing in ecstasy. Where ever she goes she is welcomed with great love and affection as well as devotion. Her fame spreads far and wide. her singing and her bhajans become popular with the common folk as well as the learned.

To be continued......

Update -2-4-2015:

This post has been modified slightly (the last paragraphs) for a more clearer picture of Meera Bai's life.  

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