Jul 11 2012

Mirabai – Unbreakable

Published by at 8:49 am under Poetry

Unbreakable, O Lord
by Mirabai

English version by Jane Hirshfield

Unbreakable, O Lord,
Is the love
That binds me to You:
Like a diamond,
It breaks the hammer that strikes it.

My heart goes into You
As the polish goes into the gold.
As the lotus lives in its water,
I live in You.

Like the bird
That gazes all night
At the passing moon,
I have lost myself dwelling in You.

O my Beloved —

— from Holy Fire: Nine Visionary Poets and the Quest for Enlightenment, Edited by Daniel Halpern

/ Photo by spoon /

A bit of bhakti by Mirabai for us today…

We humans are curious creatures, moved by emotions, yet frightened by their unmanageability. Emotions are messy, so we try to control them, even suppress them. But life without feeling becomes life without meaning. Intellect and will, divorced from emotion, leave us cold and bone dry, like a frost-damaged tree with too little sap.

One of the great insights of the bhakti masters: Emotional energy is the great, untapped resource in our spiritual lives. Don’t fight it, harness it! Direct it! Awaken passion! Let it carry you with giddy speed into the arms of the Beloved.

In delight, feel the nearness of the Beloved. In sorrow and loss, feel the ache that returns your gaze to the Beloved. Let every emotion charge you, magnetize you, tune you to that sweet presence that is ever near.

When the flames of love are fanned to full force, the lover is no longer seeking to “possess” the Beloved; rather, the lover is lost in the Beloved’s beauty…

Like the bird
That gazes all night
At the passing moon,
I have lost myself dwelling in You.

Suddenly, there are not two, but One. Union. Yoga.

Mirabai, Mirabai poetry, Yoga / Hindu poetry Mirabai

India (1498 – 1565?) Timeline
Yoga / Hindu : Vaishnava (Krishna/Rama)

Mirabai is one of India’s most beloved poet-saints. Her devotional poetry — directed toward Giridhara, a form of the great God-man Krishna — is so intensely personal that it borders on the erotic while, at the same time, it remains transcendentally spiritual.

Mirabai was born into a noble Rajput family in Northern India. She was married to the crown prince of Mewar, but she made it clear that her love was for Giridhara alone.

Many of the tales of Mirabai’s life focus on her struggles with her husband’s royal family. They apparently did not approve of her constant devotion to God to the neglect of her husband and family. And her preference for the company of wandering holy men was not considered proper for a princess. These conflicts grew to such a point that it is said they attempted to kill her, once with a deadly snake, another time by poison, but she was miraculously saved both times.

When her husband died, Mirabai refused to throw herself on his funeral pyre and eventually took up the life of a wandering mendicant and poet, immersing herself in her love for God alone.

More poetry by Mirabai

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Mirabai – Unbreakable”

  1. franon 11 Jul 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Thanks, wonderful photo! I will get lost in the beauty of all around me.Sseeing it as a reflection of the divine and allowing the diamond to shatter recent angers, mistrusts.
    I like the imagery it makes the thoughts tangible and therefore easily recalled for my mind.
    Peace fran

  2. ila kumaron 11 Jul 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Here Mirabai is submitting her Love to the God….unbreakable …. one…. unseperable from the person who is praying to him.
    This love is not made up for flesh or blood-made body , this is subtle love….real love ! one and only one ! And at the same time it inlights all of us.

    These feelings are very ancient and evernew, only fact that can we catch it ? feel it ?
    If yes , then only it will come to us , touch to us.

    Generation to generations are thankful to Mirabai’s sayings , we too.

  3. yohannanon 11 Jul 2012 at 4:02 pm

    ”Chaikhana is like a home for Mirabai and Chaikhana fells so much at home in Mirabai!”.A true Love story!

  4. MOHINDERon 11 Jul 2012 at 4:08 pm

    MEERA BAI the only saint of the century who merged in Krishna,Radha Rani focussed on him. Nobody else but MEERA could see Krishna as she was absolutely aware of Him.
    Krishna represented to her the very spirit of existence.
    Listen to Meera with feeling,love and devotion.

  5. charlie wishonon 11 Jul 2012 at 4:12 pm

    I love it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Ivan

  6. chitraon 12 Jul 2012 at 7:58 am


    I thank you very much for posting a poem by Meera, who was such an ardent lover
    of Krishna…
    I know I can never match her love for krishna… but my devotion towards him is
    something i cherish within me.
    Please post more of Meera Bai’s poems .. if you will… just for me

  7. ebrahimon 12 Jul 2012 at 10:46 am

    O my Beloved —

    The question was posed –
    How is it that you would return to a non-existent god?

    and the reply given was –
    as you asked the question you answer it.

    There is another beauty in mirabai’s poetry, where the dialogue switches between the speaker and the one spoken too. as in mirabai’s the beloved comes home. this is done seamlessly due to the reality of the beloved and lover being one, yet the tongue is speaking with different expressions. subtle is the play of words.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply