To Mira, the ties between her Lord and her were those of love, the love that looked like this world’s. Not an inhabitant of this world, Mira discovers in it the frame for her Lord’s picture, in the world’s sensuous ways, her Lord’s ways, and in its idiom, the diction to communicate with Him. Not a symbolic or elemental merger, Mira desired, with her body, soul and all faculties, that her Lord, when He met her, rushed to her, smiled and embraced her – ‘Uthi hans kantha lagao’. In love, her form of devotion and its essence, Mira sought release from the cycle of birth and death : ‘Jana Mira Kun Girdhara milaya, dukha metan sukha bheri, Ruma ruma sata bhayi ura mein, miti gayi phera pheri’ – the moment Mira met Girdhara, sorrows vanished and happiness emerged, all agitations of mind and body extinguished, and the cycle of birth and death is destroyed.
Interestingly, Mira’s utmost poetic imagery and devotional idiom centre on marriage, particularly its bonds that tie the two together, resulting union and its delight, and separation and its pangs. She presents herself as her Lord’s virgin, bride, humble servant, one willing to live the way he liked … Mira seems to have discovered in marriage love’s essential idiom – formal and intrinsic; and, it is somewhat natural for it was an event of marriage that transformed the human-born Mirabai into the spiritual Mirabai; to some extent, the spiritual Mirabai was born out of an event of marriage. As the popular tradition has it, once when yet a child, Mira saw a marriage procession reaching her neighbourhood. A curious mind, she asked her mother what for so many richly bejeweled and costumed men riding horses and palanquins had come there. When told that it was a marriage procession and that the most richly bejeweled youth riding as splendidly saddled horse walking ahead of others was the bridegroom come to marry their neighbour’s daughter, Mira innocently asked her mother where was her groom. Mira’s mother smiled at her innocence and to amuse her picked the idol of Krishna and giving it to her said that he was her groom. Mira’s adolescent mind believed it. She recalled how, though not in a procession, her groom had likewise come. A few days ago a ‘yogi’ – ascetic, carrying this idol of Krishna, came to her house. With its mesmeric beauty the idol bewitched the child and she insisted to have it but the ascetic did not concede and went away, and the eyes of a sad Mira followed him till he was visible. But, a little later, the ‘yogi’ came back, gave the idol to Mira and left. It is said that no other than Raidasa, the ‘jogi’ heard a divine voice, after he had left Mira’s village, instructing him to go back and give the idol to the child.
This painting was created in the city of Kishangarh, Rajasthan.