The story of Mira: Poison of faith

This is a real-life story. All the incidents narrated regarding Mira are true for those who have faith, and mere gossip for those who don’t! Photo: Images of Mira

NEW DEHLI, September 19, 2012  – The story I want to share today is not from ancient scriptures or Hindu mythology. It is a relatively recent story and sets perhaps the purest example of faith in the Lord. This is the life story of Mira, or Meera.

Mira was an Indian princess. Born in the late 1400s to a family devoted to Krishna, Mira imbibed a sense of love and faith for the Lord from very early childhood. She would worship the one idol she had of Krishna day and night, feed his idol with the choicest of delicacies, look after him and always stay with the idol of her beloved.

One day as Mira saw a marriage procession pass through the royal palace, she inquisitively asked her mother about her own wedding, about who her husband would be? As she continued pestering her mother with the same question repeatedly (after all she was a normal child), her mother pointed at the idol of Krishna and said, ‘he, he is your husband’.

That was not the end of Mira’s questions. That moment became the beginning of Mira’s quest for the Lord. For Krishna.

Mira's temple for Krishna

Mira’s temple for Krishna

Mira’s mother and the family forgot about this small incident and moved on. But Mira continued to believe that Krishna was her beloved, her husband.  She worshiped her little idol even more, she looked after him as devotedly as a traditional Indian wife would with her ‘human’ husband.

During her childhood, several incidents depicting Mira’s attachment to Krishna continued to occur. The family, seeing Mira’s obsession with Krishna’s idol, felt it imperative to digress her attention to other things. Once, it is believed, that they took away Krishna’s idol from Mira.

And on that day, it is said, that the Lord himself cried. Stories say that people actually saw tears running down from the eyes of Krishna’s idol. ‘He’ was returned to Mira after this episode.

As Mira grew a little older, she was married to a prince by her family. Among all the precious jewels, clothes and other items that were sent with Mira, she carried her most precious idol of Krishna with her.

Mira hardly spent time with her husband. She hardly contributed to household chores. She only worshipped whom she believed to be her husband, ‘Krishna’.

Her in-laws didn’t tolerate what was going on. Several restrictions were imposed on her, but to no avail.

And then, miracles started to happen.

It is believed that the in-laws conspired to kill Mira. Nails were planted in her bed, but as she lied on those, they converted to flowers and Mira survived. They put a poisonous snake in a basket for her. When she opened that basket, she saw only a garland of flowers.

It must be noted here that throughout this phase, the man she had been married to by the family empathized with her. He even opposed the family’s plans to kill her. He was also a kind of devout lover towards her, perhaps attracted to her charisma and devotion.

The final blow came when a family court was called to order on her ‘misbehavior’. She was asked to either apologize or face death. In death, she chose eternal union with Krishna.

Mira was given the punishment to consume a bowl of poison in front of the entire public so that a message could be sent out to all the dissidents.

When Mira drank from that bowl of poison, it turned into holy nectar and gave her what she had desired for all her life- immortality!

She left the palace that very moment. As she walked the streets singing her bhajans (devotional songs), thousands of people followed her, mesmerized by her voice and inspired by her courage.

The last those thousands of people saw was that she entered Krishna’s temple and closed the door from inside. When people opened the door some moments later, Mira was not there. She had attained immortality. She got Krishna and also, Krishna got her.

This is a real-life story. All the incidents narrated regarding Mira are true for those who have faith, and mere gossip for those who don’t! Mira wrote thousands of poems and devotional songs devoted to Krishna. Those songs have been sung through generations after that, and have also been translated into several Indian and international languages.

Mira is a subject of research for several scholars globally. For me, Mira is the epitome of faith.

By Mira:

That dark dweller in Braj
Is my only refuge.
O my companion, worldly comfort is 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 all day,
I have actually seen that abode of joy.
Meera’s lord is Hari, the indestructible.
My lord, I have taken refuge with you, your maidservant

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Manu Arya

If I knew the answer to ‘who am I’ I would not have had the need to write this bio. But until I do, I can just say that for me, everything in life hangs by a thread of faith and destiny. Add a pinch of hard work to that, and you’ll have your choice of life served on a platter to you!

It’s magic to be born and brought up in India of today. A society that offers a blend of traditional with the modern, mystic with logic, religion with secularism, and science with faith; India is the place to be! For several years, people from across the world have knocked at India’s doors whenever they needed a bit of soul-searching. But today’s soul-searching comes with a twist! While India is no more just a land of snake-charmers and elephants, it continues to offer its vibrant culture, traditions and history to the world in a modernized, re-packaged manner.  I welcome you to join me in my journey of soul-searching in the current times. I can guarantee you that even if we get lost, we’ll get somewhere!


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