Meera was a princess. One day, When she was a young girl, she was looking out of the window, and she saw a wedding procession. The mother pointed out the bride and the groom to Meera. The child asked her who her groom will be and her mother playfully pointed to the beautiful idol of Krishna and said, ” He is the one for you!” Meera takes this to heart and Krishna becomes her best friend, soulmate and companion.
A few years later, an unexpected turn of events takes place. Meera’s sister’s hand is promised to two different kings by the brother and the father. To prevent the impending war between the three kingdoms Meera’s sister powders and swallows a diamond from a ring which her father gives her and sacrifices her life to stop the war. The Bhoja king, admiring the courage of the young princess asks for Meera’s hand in marriage for his younger brother in her sister’s place. The king obliges and Meera is married off in a daze. She tells her husband that you are my king but Krishna is my Lord.
In her innocent way, she brings major transformation in the kingdom. When they were about to sacrifice a goat as part of a custom to welcome the new bride, she very confidently proclaims that the divine does not accept such sacrifices and violence of any kind. She emphasizes that it is the duty of man to protect and preserve nature. She makes an offering of sweet kheer instead. While the rest of the family is shocked, the Bhoja raja admires her innocence, courage and compassion and changes the custom.
She had carried the Krishna idol whom she always considered as her Lord with her. Even though married, in her mind she was married to Krishna. The King’s sister is unable to understand the depth of her devotion and thinks that she is neglecting her duties towards the King because of the ‘other man’ in her life. At her behest, the Krishna idol was thrown into a well and Meera feels it immediately in her heart. The sister-in-law tells her that now your husband is your God ( pathi hi parmeshwar hai) and Meera replies saying, “God is my husband!” ( Parameshwar hi mera pathi hai).
Though raised as a queen, she does not mind the physical hardship or discomfort as she leaves the kingdom and goes in search of the divine. She meets several saints in the process. She spent time in their company, learnt from them. The company of the wise is essential to nurture and nourish devotion. When she came to Sant Raidas, he asks, “who are you?” She says, ” I am Meera.” ” where am I if Meera is there? And where is Meera if only I am there?” Replies the Saint. In a flash she realized that there is no two, that there is no separation from her Lord. You can never find your Lord in duality.
A guru is necessary even to uplift our devotion and bring freedom. Meera’s devotion was focused outwards on an idol. Only with the grace of her guru, she recognized that the divinity, her Krishna, is within her. You keep searching for the divinity outside till you meet your guru who turns everything around and puts you on the inward journey where you are not separate from the divine. This is the biggest gift from the guru. Raidas was a cobbler turned into a Saint. The Guru can come to you in any form. That is why the guru is a tattva, a principle, and not just the physical form. The guru principle is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. When you are connected to the Master, then you can feel his presence always with you, wherever you are, whatever you do. This connection uplifts you and is the indication of the presence of the Master within you. Whenever Gurudev goes to anyone’s house and they tell him, “please don’t go”, he says, ” I only come, I never go.” Even if you have not met him physically for years, just thinking of him, you feel his presence even thousands of miles away.
With a devotion that had ripened and matured, wherever she went, Meera’s voice evoked the depth of love and longing in all who heard her songs. It is said that even King Akbar came to her in disguise to hear her bhajans. However, as he was considered an enemy of their kingdom, Mira was imprisoned, forced to drink poison, yet nothing touched her. When she was freed, she went straight to the sanctum of the Krishna temple where she merged in a flash of light. Only the tanpura and her dupatta(stole) remained. There was no trace of her body. This extraordinary life is not possible if you are caught in the mundane.
Often people think that aggression is strength. But Meera showed how you can move through the toughest situations without losing the softness. Meera’s devotion is exemplary. Faith is the essence of devotion. Her devotion made her soft. Her faith was her strength. She never doubted that she will be united with her Lord.