I am true to my Lord

by Mirabai

English version by F. E. Keay


I am true to my Lord,
O my companions, there is nothing to be ashamed of now
Since I have been seen dancing openly.

In the day I have no hunger
At night I am restless and cannot sleep.
Leaving these troubles behind, I go to the other side;
A hidden knowledge has taken hold of me.

My relations surround me like bees.
But Mira is the servant of her beloved Giridhar,
And she cares nothing that people mock her.

-- from Women Writing in India: 600 BC to the Present: Volume 1, Edited by Susie Tharu / Edited by K. Lalita

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

When spiritual ecstasy is strongly upon you, often there is an energetic heat in the belly that feels delightful. This warmth is nourishing and filling. You may go some time without wanting to eat solid food, since food's physicality and the process of digestion typically disrupt that sense. This is why Mirabai says she has no hunger.

And the energy coursing through the body, particularly along the spine can be quite intense, giving you a sense of "restlessness." This is not the same as physical agitation, though for some it can feel uncomfortable or static-y. At times that electrical charge can disrupt sleep, making you feel like a light bulb stuck in the on position.

Mirabai equates these feelings with being a lover so close to her Beloved that it is almost painful.

But then Mirabai finds herself "leaving these troubles behind" and goes to "the other side;" that is, she lets go of even the subtle, energetic consciousness of the body, emerging on the other side of the experience, the other side of awareness of the manifest world.

There, "a hidden knowledge has taken hold" of her. In the deepest ecstatic states, there is a profound sense of "knowledge." This is not the knowledge of information, of accumulation of data; it is more a sense of knowing, without an object that is "known." It is pure knowledge; what in the west would be called gnosis. Yet this knowledge or knowing is not something you have or do, it is more of a state that comes upon you, that surrounds you; it takes hold of you in a living, loving embrace.

In this state, the discordant bee-like buzzing of the discontented world around her means nothing. Mirabai is one with her Beloved. And, by participating in her poem, so are we.



Recommended Books: Mirabai

Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry To Touch the Sky: Poems of Mystical, Spiritual & Metaphysical Light Songs of the Saints of India The Winged Energy of Delight
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I am true to my Lord