Mira and Krishna

Mira and Krishna

Mira was so deeply in love with Krishna that, day and night, she thought of none else. Her parents married her to a Rajput prince hoping that she would change; but she refused to accept her wedded husband as her man. She openly admitted her love for Krishna and declared that she was as good as married to him.

All this was scandalous among her people in those times. But Mira was so firm in her resolve that no amount of opposition succeeded in bending her. After years of struggle she gradually became relieved of family resistance and was free to move around in pursuit of her goal.

Mira wanted so urgently to meet Krishna that she began traveling to places associated with his life mentioned in the epics (Brindavan, Dwarika, Mathura). A close friend once suggested a visit to Dwarika on the sea coast in Gujrat. In those days such journeys were not easy for one had to go in a caravan of bullock carts and horses and be prepared to face bandits and other hazards. So, after necessary preparations Mira set out to go to Dwarika, about a thousand kilometers away from her native Udaipur.

One late evening during this trip she arrived at a large city. Local people directed her to a Dharamshala (an inn) to spend the night. It was attached to a Krishna temple and the mahant (title of the local person in charge of a Dharamshala) was a highly respected elder of the city.

Mira wrote down a brief introduction and asked the doorman to seek the permission of the Mahant to stay in the inn as a guest for two or three nights. The gateman went inside and delivered the note. The Mahant asked and the gateman described the visitor as a young princess dressed like a saintly recluse. He gave other details about the entourage that he had learned or guessed.

Considering everything it appeared to the Mahant that he should avoid the mad sounding princess. He sent word that according to the prevailing policy of the establishment he could not entertain a single woman. To underline the excuse he said that since he himself was a single male resident in the premises it was improper to allow a single female visitor.

On hearing this Mira said: "but to my understanding there is only one male in the universe and that is Krishna. All of us, male or female, are gopis (Krishna's beloveds)… Our goal is to become one with Krishna; our lover. Physical male or femaleness is irrelevant…. Why then should your Mahant be concerned about such a trivial matter?"

The Mahant was hearing Mira's discourse from behind the closed door, and being an ardent devotee of Krishna he was able to comprehend the deeper meaning of what Mira was saying. As he heard her wise and knowing words he became curious about the strange visitor. The depth of Mira's devotion and the clear truth in her word made him speechless. He realized that he should not fritter away a rare opportunity to meet and serve a great saint. He opened the gate and personally escorted Mira and her companions into the Dharamshala.

March 4, 2006