WOMEN BHAKTA SAINTS

MAHADEVIYAKKA

I have Maya for mother-in-law,

the world for father-in-law;

three brothers-in-law, like tigers;

and the husband’s thoughts

are full of laughing women;

no god, this man,

And I cannot cross the sister-in-law.

But I will

give this wench the slip

and go cuckold my husband with

Hara, my Lord.

My mind is my maid:

by her kindness, I join

my Lord,

my utterly beautiful Lord

from the mountain peaks,

my lord white as jasmine,

and I will make Him

my good husband.

 

For hunger,

there is the town’s rice in the

begging bowl.

For thirst,

there are tanks, streams, wells.

For sleep,

there are the ruins of temples.

For soul’s company

I have you, O lord

white as jasmine.

 

 

 

Other men are thorn

under the smooth leaf.

I cannot touch them,

go near them, nor trust them,

nor speak to them confidences.

Mother,

because they all have thorns

in their chests,

I cannot take

any man in my arms but my lord

white as jasmine.

 

 

 

People,

male and female,

blush when a cloth covering their

shame

comes loose.

When the lord of lives

lives drowned without a face

in the world, how can you be

modest?

When all the world is the eye of the

lord,

onlooking everywhere, what can you

cover and conceal?

 

 

 

MIRABAI

 

Friend, the arrow of his glance struck

my eyes;

Its point pierced my heart (and) his

sweet image entered my soul.

For a long time I have been staying

(here) watching the road, standing

at my house.

My life clings to (my) dark beloved,

(he is) a life-giving herb.

Mira says I am sold into the hands of

Giridhar, but people say I am loose.

 

 

Mine is the lifter of mountains, the

cowherd, and none other.

O sadhus! there is no other--I have seen

the whole world.

I left brothers, I left kindred, I left

all I had.

Sitting near the sadhus, I lost worldly shame.

I looked at the devotees and I was one with

them; I looked at the world and wept.

With tears I watered love’s creeper

and it took root.

I churned the milk, drew out the ghee

and threw away the whey.

Rana sent a cup of poison; I drank it

and stayed ecstatic.

Mira’s attachment is strong--what was to

happen has happened.

O friend, I cannot live without the

delightgiver.

Mother-in-law fights, my sister-in-law

teases,

The Rana remains angry.

They have a watchman sitting at the door,

and a lock fastened on it.

Why should I give up my first love,

the love of my former life?

None else pleases me.

 

Mira danced with ankle-bells on her feet.

People said Mira was mad; my mother-in-law

said I ruined the family reputation.

Rana sent me a cup of poison and Mira

drank it laughing.

I dedicated my body and soul at the feet of Hari.

I am thirsty for the nectar of the sight of him.

Mira’s lord is Giridhar Nagar; I will

come for refuge to him.

 

 

 

Mine is the dark one, who dwells in

Braj.

Friend, marriages of this world are

false, they are wiped out of

existence.

Wed my indestructible one, whom the

serpent, death, cannot devour.

My beloved dwells in the heart, I’ve

seen the source of all bliss.

Mira’s God, indestructible joygiver,

your slavegirl seeks your feet.

 

 

 

I have found a guru in Raidas, he has

given me the pill of knowledge.

I lost the honor of the royal family, I

went astray with the sadhus.

I constantly rise up, go to God’s

temple, and dance, snapping my

fingers.

I don’t follow the norms as an oldest

daughter-in-law, I have thrown

away the veil.

I have taken refuge with the great

guru, and snapped my fingers at

the consequences.

 

 

 

Rana, to me your slander is sweet.

Some praise me, some blame me. I

go the other way.

On the narrow path, I found God’s

people. What should I turn back for?

I am learning wisdom among the

wise, and the wicked look at me

with malice.

Mira’s Lord is Giridhar Nagar.

Let the wicked burn in the kitchen fire.

 

 

 

Mira’s God is the lifter of mountains.

I don’t like your strange world, Rana,

A world where there are no holy men,

and all the people are trash.

I have given up ornaments, given up

braiding my hair.

I have given up putting on kajal

(collyrium), and putting my hair up.

Mira’s Lord is Giridhar Nagar; I have

found a perfect bridegroom.