As Rajasthan is known as the Land of the Kings the state’s history majorly deals with a large number of kingdoms and dynasties that once ruled it. However, it’s not just the kings and their tales of bravery that are worth knowing. Rajasthan has also served as an abode to many fearless women like Rani Padmini and Princess Mirabai.
Here we are talking about the story of Jodhpur’s Princess Mirabai and her devotion for Lord Krishna. It’s not just history but even the mythological narratives talk about the deep love of Mirabai for her lover Lord Krishna. There are many devotional songs on Mirabai that mention about her undying devotion for Krishna. In fact, she was one of those who ignited the Bhakti Movement in Rajasthan.
Let’s have a glance at the brief version of Mirabai’s story:
Princess Mirabai was the granddaughter of Rao Dudaji, the third son of Rao Jodhaji who established the kingdom of Rathod Dynasty in Rajasthan with Jodhpur as its capital. Mirabai was the daughter of Rao Dudaji’s son Ratnasingh and the princess of Zola Rajput Sultan Singh, Vir Kuvari. She was born in a village near Merta in 1498 CE. Presently, Merta is 60 kms west of Ajmer in Rajasthan.
At the age of just 4 years, Mirabai saw a marriage procession and innocently asked her mother, “Who will be my bridegroom?” To this, her mother pointed towards an idol of Krishna and said Lord Krishna will be your bridegroom. Since then the princess manifested a deep devotion for Krishna.
Mirabai was between 5 and 7 years of age when her mother died and soon after her father Ratnasingh died in a battle against Mughals. Thus she was left with her grandfather Rao Dudaji. She used to play in his lap and was loved by all ministers and advisors.
Since her mother said that she would marry Krishna, she used to think of Lord Krishna as her husband. One day she saw a saint worshipping an idol of Lord Krishna and insisted that she wanted to have the idol. Fulfilling her demand, Rao Dudaji urged the saint to give the idol to her and also to teach her about worshipping Lord Krishna. Since then, she never kept the idol away from her.
When Mirabai was just 16 years old she was married off to Rana Sangram Singh’s son Kumar Bhojraj as an alliance between the two Rajput kingdoms so that they could battle against the Mughals. Since Mira already considered Krishna as her husband, she refused to accept Bhojraj and didn’t even allow him to touch her. Despite this, they enjoyed a great friendship and Bhojraj also appreciated Mira’s poetic talents and also fulfilled her wish to have a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna within the palace.
However, Bhojraj also died in 1526 and after that things began to get worse for Mira. There were several attempts to kill her but every time she was saved by the divine power of Lord Krishna. When all the attempts failed, her in-laws sent her to her parental home. However, as the situation had got worse because of the ongoing battle, Mirabai headed towards Vrindavan.
After spending some time reviving the Gopi-Leela she left for Dwarka in Gujarat where Krishna used to rule once. Mira’s family sent some Brahmins to take her back home but she refused to oblige. By that time she had detached herself from all worldly affairs. It’s said that Lord finally absorbed her at the Dwarka Temple around 1557 CE.
Mirabai led all her life praising and singing songs for Lord Krishna. She used to play Ektara, donned saffron clothes, gave up all the ornaments and led a life of a saint. She composed several devotional poems and sang them to express her passionate love for Krishna. Many of her poems are still translated into several languages.