mirabai1Mirabai (1498-1557) was a great saint and devotee of Sri Krishna. She is the most famous of the women bhakta poets of North India. She was the only daughter of Cheif Ratan Singh in the city of Merta. Her mother died when she was about 7 and was raised by her grandfather.

She had an arranged marriage to Bhoja Raj- an heir to the throne of the famous warrior Rana Sanga of the House of Sisodiya. They had no children. She had very little interest in her husband as she considered herself married to Krishna. When her husband died in battle, her family became very hostile towards her detached demeanor and her obligations to her in-laws (who had significantly raised her social status.) Her brother-in-law went as far as to lock her in a room, put iron nails in her bed and even poison her.

Her male relatives had wanted her to commit sati- a practice in which widows light themselves on fire for the purposes of martyrdom after the death of a husband- but Mirabai refused.

After this- she is said to have danced her way from one village to the next on a religious pilgrimage. She spent the remainder of her life devoted to her religious beliefs, writing poems, dancing and singing. She wrote over 1300 sacred songs known as bhajans.

“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”