Heart of Meera





Every song of Meera is soaked in devotion and speaks of the pangs of separation from her Lord and her pining for communion with him. The intense devotional content, lucid poetic expression and the exquisite melodies helped their oral transmission from generation to generation.

As biographer Anantrai Raval has put it: "Meera is one of the brightest stars in the galaxy of immortal poets and mystics of all time."
Below are poems/songs by Meera bai

Extra material at the bottom of this page: streaming audio Meera bhajans  & more

Story of Meera 

When will you come?


I send letters to my Beloved,
The dear Krishna.
But He sends no message of reply,
Purposely preserving silence.
I sweep his path in readiness
And gaze and gaze
Till my eyes turn blood-shot.
I have no peace by night or day,
My heart is fit to break.
O my Master, You were my companion
In former births.
When will you come?






That dark Dweller in Braj

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,
Thy slave.








The Lord of Fallen Fools

The plums tasted
sweet to the unlettered desert-tribe girl-
but what manners! To chew into each!

She was ungainly, low-caste, ill mannered and dirty,
but the god took the fruit she'd been sucking.

Why? She knew how to love.
She might not distinquish
splendor from filth
but she'd tasted the nectar of passion.

Might not know any Veda,
but a chariot swept her away-
now she frolics in heaven, esctatically bound
to her god.

The Lord of Fallen Fools, says Mira,
will save anyone who can practice rapture like that-
I myself in a previous birth
was a cowherding girl
at Gokul.







Why undertake fasts and pilgrimages?


O my mind,
Worship the lotus feet of the Indestructible One!
Whatever thou seest twixt earth and sky
Will perish.

Why undertake fasts and pilgrimages?
Why engage in philosophical discussions?
Why commit suicide in Banaras?
Take no pride in the body,
It will soon be mingling with the dust.

This life is like the sporting of sparrows,
It will end with the onset of night.
Why don the ochre robe
And leave home as a sannyasi?

Those who adopt the external garb of a Jogi,
But do not penetrate to the secret,
Are caught again in the net of rebirth.
Mira's Lord is the courtly Giridhara.
Deign to sever, O Master.
All the knots in her heart.




Life lasts but a few days only

We do not get a human life
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.




Life in the world is short

Life in the world is short,
Why shoulder an unnecessary load
Of worldly relationships?
Thy parents gave thee birth in the world,
But the Lord ordained thy fate.
Life passes in getting and spending,
No merit is earned by virtuous deeds.

I will sing the praises of Hari
In the company of the holy men,
Nothing else concerns me.
Mira's Lord is the courtly Giridhara,
She says: Only by Thy power
Have I crossed to the further shore.



The saffron of virtue


The saffron of virtue and contentment
Is dissolved in the water-gun of love and affection.
Pink and red clouds of emotion are flying about,
Limitless colours raining down.

All the covers of the earthen vessel of my body are wide open;
I have thrown away all shame before the world.
Mira's Lord is the Mountain-Holder, the suave lover.
I sacrifice myself in devotion to His lotus feet


Listen, my friend, this road is the heart opening,
kissing his feet, resistance broken, tears all night.

If we could reach the Lord through immersion in water,
I would have asked to be born a fish in this life.
If we could reach Him through nothing but berries and wild nuts
then surely the saints would have been monkeys when they came from the womb!

If we could reach him by munching lettuce and dry leaves
then the goats would surely get to the Holy One before us!
If the worship of stone statues could bring us all the way,
I would have adored a granite mountain years ago.




Unbreakable, O Lord,


Unbreakable, O Lord,
Is the love
That binds me to You:
Like a diamond,
It breaks the hammer that strikes it.

My heart goes into You
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.





My heart's music

Do not leave me alone, a helpless woman.
My strength, my crown,
I am empty of virtues,
You, the ocean of them.
My heart's music, you help me
In my world-crossing.
You protected the king of the elephants.
You dissolve the fear of the terrified.

Where can I go? Save my honour
For I have dedicated myself to you
And now there is no one else for me.


From The devotional poems of Mirabai. Trans. by Shreprakash Kurl





What should I turn back for?

Rana, to me your slander is sweet.
Some praise me, some blame me. I
go the other way.
On the narrow path, I found God’s
people. What should I turn back for?
I am learning wisdom among the
wise, and the wicked look at me
with malice.
Mira’s Lord is Giridhar Nagar.
Let the wicked burn in the kitchen fire






Nothing is really mine except Krishna.

Nothing is really mine except Krishna.
O my parents, I have searched the world
And found nothing worthy of love.
Hence I am a stranger amidst my kinfolk
And an exile from their company,
Since I seek the companionship of holy men;
There alone do I feel happy,
In the world I only weep.

I planted the creeper of love
And silently watered it with my tears;
Now it has grown and overspread my dwelling.
You offered me a cup of poison
Which I drank with joy.
Mira is absorbed in contemplation of Krishna,
She is with God and all is well!





There is no one else

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.





Drink the nectar of the Divine Name


Drink the nectar of the Divine Name,
O human! Drink the nectar of the Divine Name!
Leave the bad company,
always sit among righteous company.

Hearken to the mention of God (for your own sake).
Concupiscence, anger, pride, greed, attachment:
wash these out of your consciousness.
Mira's Lord is the Mountain-Holder,
the suave lover.
Soak yourself in the dye of His colour.






I am mad with love


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 jeweller 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.





O my companion


Sleep has not visited me the whole night,
Will the dawn ever come?
O my companion,
Once I awoke with a start from a dream.
Now the remembrance from that vision
Never fades.
My life is ebbing as I choke and sigh,
When will the Lord of the Afflicted come
I have lost my senses and gone mad,
But the Lord knows my secret.
He who deals out life and death
nows the secret of Mira's pain.







The rainy season is abroad
And the skirt of my dress is wet.
You have gone off to distant lands,
And my heart finds it unbearable.
I keep sending letters to my Beloved
Asking when He will return.
Mira's Lord is the courtly Giridhara:
O Krishna, O Brother of Balram,
Grant me thy sight.






In a sudden
In a sudden,
the sight,
Your look of light,
stills all,

The curd-pot
falls to the ground.

Parents and
all call a halt.

Prise out, they say,
this thing from your heart.
You've lost your path.

Says Meera:
Who but you
can see in the dark
of a heart? 




My heart

The dagger of love has pierced my heart.
I was going to the river to fetch water,
A golden pitcher on my head.
Hariji has bound me
By the thin thread of love,
And wherever He draws me,
Thither I go.
Mira's Lord is the courtly Giridhara:
This is the nature
Of his dark and beautiful form.






I have none to call my own

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.









Dye of Hari


I danced before my Giridhara
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






Keep your promise


Keep your promise
Take my arm
and keep up your promise!
They call you the refugeless refuge,
they call you redeemer of outcasts.
Caught in a riptide
in the sea of becoming,
without your support I'm a shipwreck!
You reveal yourself age after age
and free the beggar
from her affliction.

Dark One, Mira is clutching your feet,
at stake is your honor!






Turn Back ?

Turn Back ?
 This infamy, O my Prince,
is delicious!
Some revile me,
others applaud,
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.
Turn back?
Because the wretched stare and see nothing?
O Mira's lord is noble and dark,
and slanderers
rake only themselves
over the coals.     
From: For love of the Dark One:
songs of Mirabai / Andrew Schelling






Strange are the decrees of fate


Strange are the decrees of fate.

Behold the large eyes of the deer!
Yet he is forced to roam the forests.

The harsh crane has brilliant plumage,
While the sweet-voiced cuckoo is black.

The rivers flow in pure streams,
But the sea makes them salt.

Fools sit on thrones as kings,
While the wise beg their bread.

Mira's lord is the courtly Giridhara:
The king persecutes the Bhaktas.       

From:       The devotional poems of Mirabai:
translated with introduction and notes, A.J. Alston








If you want to offer love

Do not mention the name of love,
O my simple-minded companion.
Strange is the path
When you offer your love.
Your body is crushed at the first step.

If you want to offer love
Be prepared to cut off your head
And sit on it.
Be like the moth,
Which circles the lamp and offers its body.
Be like the deer, which, on hearing the horn,
Offers its head to the hunter.
Be like the partridge,
Which swallows burning coals
In love of the moon.
Be like the fish
Which yields up its life
When separated from the sea.
Be like the bee,
Entrapped in the closing petals of the lotus.

Mira's lord is the courtly Giridhara.
She says: Offer your mind
To those lotus feet.    


From: The devotional poems of Mirabai /
translated with introduction and notes, A.J. Alston






Shyam is my husband now


Sakhi, I went to the market and bought Shyam.
You claim at night, I claim by light of day.
Actually I was beating a drum while I bought him.
You say I paid too much; I say too little.
Actually, I put him on a scale before I bought him.
What I paid was my social body, my town body, my family body,
and all my inherited jewels.
Mirabai says: Shyam is my husband now.
Be with me when I lie down;
you promised me this in a former life.







...remembered his promise

My Beloved has come home with the rains,
And the fire of longing is doused.
Now is the time for singing, the time of union.
At the first thunderclap,
Even the peacocks open their tails with pleasure
and dance.
Giridhar is in my courtyard, and my wandering heart has returned.
Like a lilly blossoming under the full moon's light
I open to him in this rain: every pore of my body is cooled.
Mira's separation and torment are over.
He who comes to those who love
has remembered his promise.







I am true to my Lord

I am true to my Lord!
O sakhis, there is nothing to be ashamed of now
Since I have been seen dancing openly.

In the day I have no hunger
At night I am restless and cannot sleep.
Leaving these troubles behind, I go to the other side;
A hidden knowledge has taken hold of me.

My relations surround me like bees.
But Mira is the servant of her beloved Giridhar,
And she cares nothing that people mock her






Where are you Krishna?


My mind is in Mathura
And my body wanders in Brindavan.
And eyes overflow like the river Yamuna

Where are you Krishna?
Every part of me is crying like a gopi
You are but the life of everything here in Brindavan

In this season when rain stirs up everything
Let your name stir up my love for you
Please come and steal from me everything else.

You are all what I wish to see, face to face!
Where are you Krishna?
This is your servant, crying out to you.

Grant me your presence, oh Love of my life.
Kind hearted God, beauteous and full of grace.
Grant me your presence soon.

You who charms everyone's heart,
Don’t you see I have surrendered right away?
Grant me Your presence soon.




poems of Meera [Mira]





Extra material:


Stamp On Meera

The stamp on Meera is one of the four commemorative stamps in the saints 
and poets series issued by the Department of Posts on 1 October 1952. The stamp is in the denomination of two annas (2A); colour orange red; watermark multistar; perf. 14; and was printed in the India Security Press, Nasik.

There is also a pictorial cancellation on special cover which shows Meera dancing in ecstasy. This was issued on the 8th July 1977 at the Rajasthan Philatelic Exhibition-- RAJPEX-77, held in Jaipur.






Meera Bai Temple

Meera1.jpg (53570 bytes)
Meera Bai Temple - Also known as the Charbhuja temple; 400 years old; evidences how total surrender helps attain godly qualities; how deep faith converts poison to 'Amrit'.
Bhanwal Matta Temple - 25 km away from Merta City; carries a very interesting story that when thieves were found to be under threat of life they remembered mother by heart; mother appeared for their rescue; temple was got constructed under obligation; the thieves who escaped vowed never to commit theft again; mother takes two  a half cups of wine from a true seeker.







STREAMING AUDIO - Meera bhajans








VIRAHA in Bhakta Meera’s Songs


More than four fifths of Meera bai’s songs have the thread of VIRAHA woven through them. This condition as reflected in Bhakti yoga may be defined as – “ a state in which the devotee who has already undergone peak divine experiences finds himself at a loss, due to a feeling of separation from proximity to the divine. He thus experiences anguish due to discontentment and an intense longing for union.
The joy of possessing her giridhar nagar is revealed in mere tho giridhara gopala
Purab janam ki preeti hamari indicates to us that her connection with her savariyan has been made long ago, through previous births. Boldly she declares that, this connection was severed by none other than her piya. Surely she would not break this relationship – jo tum todo piya ,mai nahin todun. In her view there was none else to be attached to ! What did Krishna do to her before he left her? In the song dekhyo koi nanda ke lala she says
“ Oh heli, have you seen the flute player, son of Nanda ? He has taken off with my mind, and sealed my body with the lock of loneliness. He has filled my ears with his message and has removed the lining from my bed. He has maimed me with the arrow of separation and torn my heart. Without him my life is shattered, the eyes shed copious tears. Where is he? Fulfill me with his presence. I have abandoned food and drink, yet my affliction abandons me not. I keep calling out to the beautiful coiffured one- Mohan! Mohan! Gardens and woods Have I searched in vain for I have not found life’s dearest one. Oh heli, unite Hari to me and thus save Meera’s life .”
Tan man dhan sab arpan kinun, chadi che kul ki laj. Meera ‘s involvement with her antaryamin has made her give up all royal comforts , all womanly decorations and ornaments that sustain that the body- mind equipment of a human being. On top of it all she has cast aside her family’s and her Rajput traditions, thereby incurring shame.
The exposure to many sampradayas serves only to design her own upasana. She describes her sadhana as intense as the dhyan of the chakor bird on the moon, as skillful as the natva on the dori, (the dancer on the tightrope) as persistent and repetitious as the sant chanting ramnam and as obsessive as the murakh(fool) with thoughts of meri, meri ( mine, mine). Inspite of it all the lack of the continuous presence of her prabhu is intolerable to her. Having given me ambrosia, why give me poison she says –amrit payi kai vish kyon dijai. Which village’s tradition do you observe? Certainly you are Selfishness’s Friend – kun gavun ki reet, ap garaj ki meet.
Her agonizing condition is often compared to that of a fish without water, a moth singed by the flame and like a yellow leaf that has fallen to the ground. Pana jyun peeli bhayi, log kahe pind rog- People think that she has contracted jaundice judging by her withered pale looks. This pining continues into her middle age where she describes herself as a termite infested wood with no sap- lakdi ko dhun kha jata hai. Searching for Krishna, traveling from place to place, visiting all his holy haunts she no longer has any vital strength. She is a ripped boat and Krishna alone can fasten her, or else she would drown. Nav phati prabhu, pal bandho- she cries.
A threatening posture is taken on by Meera when she throws a challenge to bhakti. She threatens to let her hair get matted, smear her body with ashes, and wearing the mala of white bones, thus she will beg for alms from place to place, in search of the nirguna Brahman. Bina syam sakhi,mai jatadhari, seyli anjan rekh, suved varan angkanta raje, bhisha mangun des, karungi alakh alekh. Further she shaves her head and wears the ochre robes, all for his sake! Khor kiya siru kes, bhagva bhekh dharyan te karan, dudya charyon des.
She has given up her honour as a noble Rajput princess yet she considers herself as the chaste wife of Krishna. She has subjected herself to ridicule, hatred and anger yet where is her husband she asks? Mai patibarata nari, kahn te na pati jown. Where can she go in respect without him by her side?
In the songs where she identifies with the gopis, her virah shows sometimes in the form of jealousy. She figures that Krishna is busy with other gopis. During the month of Chaitra she feels despondent and says “ as my beloved has gone to a foreign land with whom shall I play Holi? Kon sang khelun holi, piya gaye pardes.
When virah intensifies , Meera herself proclaims that she has a malady or disease which no one can diagnose or cure. Only Hari the cause of this can understand- Ko virahini ko dukh jane ho. Jo ghat viraha soi lakh hai, ke koi harijan maney ho. Her unbearable condition has destabilized her sensory systems- Panch indri bas nahi mori, katin virah ki peed. None of the physicians that her family arranges for her can do any good. The physicians are foolish as they cannot diagnose her turbulent heart- i>Bhavel baid bulayiyan ri, mhari banh dikhaya. Murakhi baid maram nahin jane, karak kalej mahi. Meera begs the physician to go home for she alone knows the severity of her state.- tum ghari javo baid, mere pir bhari hai. Only the one in whose hand life and death is , he alone understands Meera’s malady- miran pida soi janai maran jivan jin hath.
From sorrow to frustration her condition turns to a madness. She no longer can take advise from well wishers. She develops an allergy as it were to sights and sounds that most love. The sight of the rain clouds, the pelting rain, the blooming of flowers, the drone of the bees, the cooing of the papiha and kokil are all abhorrent to her. She feels cruel to the papiha that utters ‘ piya, piya’ reminding her of her absent beloved. She threatens to snip its beak and rub salt on its wounds- chanch katavun papiha rey, oopar kalo re lun. Her unpredictable mind is described as an elephant in rut. Ultimately she resigns her condition where having promised he returns not, as due to fate. Bereft of knowledge, and respect with only the bag of attachment, determined never to abandon Hari, it is karma alone that remains. She has to exhaust her karma no matter how she feels
A sense of being tapped and abandoned overwhelms her. Gali tho charo band huin, mai hari se milun kaise jaun. Uncha nicha mahal piya ka, mhasun chadyo na jai. “ All four roads are blocked, she says. How shall I meet hari? The mansion of my beloved has such ups and downs, I can no longer climb.” We get the picture of a solitary woman of determination, navigating the boat of love all alone in the vast unfathomable ocean of virah. Virah samudra chadi gayo piv, neh ki nav chalaya. Chod math jajyoji maharaj, mai abala, bal nahin gusai.
An interesting twist is seen in her attitude when she calls Krishna a yogi unfit for a relationship. Her warning is that one would only incur sorrow if one were to bond with a yogi. Yogis do not follow any tradition, law or custom. When they are with you their familiarity is not to be trusted. Their walking away from you is as easy as plucking a chameli flower. Ath na dase, jat na dase, jogiya se preeti kiya dukh hoi. Hil mil bat banavat, chameli ke phula todat. To this same yogi she pleads- jogi mat ja, mat ja-yogi don’t go, don’t go! Tey bina deh udeh- indicates that she is dead to the world anyway and now she is practically dead without Him. She says “ Build my funeral pyre with sandal wood, Krishna and kindle it yourself. When my mortal frame is consumed, may you smear your body with those very same ashes”.
Is He not the saviour who rescued Draupadi and Gajendra rescuing them from calamities? Then certainly he will fulfill his role as the saviour of mankind. Indeed he will save that Meera who from childhood cared only for her Gopala, the reservoir of bhakti, from Merata, that beacon of light for all women, the dasi who lies at His feet in total surrender. Through her songs we shall all be saved! In chalan wahi des she beckons us all to join her in her final journey.
“ Let us all go to that land where we shall have our Beloved. It matters not how we get there. We may be in colorful silken clothes, or dressed in ochre robes. The parting of our hair may be lined with pearls. We may let our hair form matted locks. It matters not how we get there. Listen oh Ruler, this Shri Giridhar Nagar is Meera’s Lord.”

Source: A segment from a discourse on
Meera Bai-Lives of Saints Series- by Vasanti Mataji
Feb 1,2002 , Westchester,Ca

Story of Meera
Meera Bai (also known as Mira) was one of the foremost exponents of the Prema Bhakti (Divine Love) and an inspired poetess of North India. She is regarded as an incarnation of Radha....click here to visit next page on Meera Bai

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