Meera: Pinnacle of Devotion
Birthday of Women Mystic Meera Bai
31st October is the birthday of Meera Bai, a woman mystic from the 16th century. An ardent devotee of Lord Krishna, Meera Bai is legendary for her undaunting expression of love for Krishna, her disregard for social conventions and the consequent persecution by her in-laws. There are scores of bhajans (devotional hymns) attributed to Meera. Her life and folklore have been the subject of movies and popular literature.
Osho has spoken on Meera in His discourses. Osho says there is no proof for God, but there is enough proof in those people who have loved Him. There is proof that a Meera existed. And it is proof enough that there is God because we have seen a transfiguration happening in Meera; a transmutation – ordinary metal suddenly becoming gold.
Osho has spoken on the two chief paths to the Ultimate – love and meditation. Often people have asked Osho if they can synthesize the two and move on both the paths together. Osho says Don’t be worried about synthesis. Synthesis happens, it comes of its own accord; but you cannot make it. If you try to follow both paths, you will be in confusion. So, choose one path whichever feels closest to you. If you follow love, devotion, surrender, one day you will suddenly find you are full of meditation. If you follow meditation, one day you will find the beloved has come, he has knocked at the door.
Meera is a launching place for your pilgrimage. Her scripture is the scripture of love. Perhaps calling it scripture is not right. Take Narada’s BHAKTI SUTRAS — sutras of devotion — that is scripture. There one finds reasoning, method, fixed precepts. It is a system of devotion. Meera herself IS devotion. You won’t find systematic argument. Fixed logic is not found there. There lightning has struck the heart. In Meera, found nowhere else, is a natural expression of love. There have been other devotees, but they all pale before Meera; they become the background. Meera’s star is a very bright, shining star. Come, let us go toward this star. If just a few drops of Meera’s juice rain on your life, flowers will bloom in your desert. If in your heart just a few tears make rain clouds like Meera’s rain clouds, and in your heart a melody begins playing as it played to Meera, it is enough. One drop will colour you and make you new.
So don’t listen to Meera logically, intellectually. Meera has nothing to do with logic and intellect. Listen to Meera with feeling, with devotion. Look with the eye of trust. Push aside logic, leave it to crawl along the bank. For a little while, let yourself go completely mad with Meera. This is the world of the mad. This is the world of lovers. Only then can you understand, otherwise you will miss. First, a few things about Meera. Meera’s love for Krishna did not begin with Meera. Such a rare expression of love cannot begin just like that. The story goes back. This Meera is one of the GOPIS — devotees — who was with Krishna. Meera herself has declared it, but the scholars can’t accept it, as there is no historical proof for it. I accept what Meera says. I am not interested in measuring true and false. To me it is pointless whether it is history or not. Meera’s statement — my agreement; when Meera herself says it, the matter is finished. The question does not arise of someone else raising further doubts about it. And those who raise doubts like this, they won’t ever be able to understand Meera.
Meera says, “I was Lalita. I danced with Krishna in Vrindavan, I sang with Krishna. This love is ancient.” Meera insists, “this love is not new.” And it entered Meera’s life in such a way that it is clear from the very beginning that the pundits were wrong and Meera was right. Meera was little, some four or five years old, when a SADHU was a guest at her house. When this monk got up in the morning, taking out his idol — a statue of Krishna hidden away in his bag — to set it up to worship, Meera went completely mad. DEJA VU happened. A memory from a previous existence came. That statue was such that picture after picture began opening. That statue became a catalyst — and once again the story began. It shocked her. Krishna’s form returned to her memory. Again that dark face, those wide eyes, that crown of peacock feathers, the flute-playing Krishna — Meera went back thousands of years in her memory.
She started to cry. She began begging the sadhu for the statue. But the sadhu also had great affection for his idol. He refused to give it; he traveled on. A whole day passed. She ate no food, and drank no water. From her eyes tears flowed — on and on she cried. Her family was alarmed, now what can be done? The sadhu has gone, where can he be found? And will he give it up? Very unlikely. And this statue of Krishna was certainly very lovely — the rest of the family felt it too. They had seen many idols, but in this one there was something alive, there was something alert, the aura of this statue was something more. Certainly someone had carved it with love, not just for trade. Someone had carved it with feeling. Someone had put his total prayer, his full worship into it; or someone who had once seen Krishna had carved it. But the statue was such that Meera was gone, she simply forgot this world. For her the idol must be brought back to stay, if not she will die. This is the beginning of VIRAH — deep longing for God — at the age of four.
That night the sadhu saw a dream. Far away in the next village he slept. A dream in the night — and Krishna was standing there. He said, “Return the statue to whom it belongs. You have kept it for many years, this was a guardianship, but it is not yours. Now don’t carry it on unnecessarily. You go back and give the statue to that girl. It is hers, give it back. It is hers; your caretaking is over now. You have arrived where you were to deliver it, now the matter is finished.” The idol is for the one whose heart contains love for it. Who else? The sadhu was scared. Krishna had never shown himself to him before. For years he had been praying and worshipping to this same idol — flowers were offered, bells were rung. Krishna had never appeared. He became very frightened. He fled back in the middle of the night. Arriving at midnight he woke everyone up and said, “You must forgive me, I have committed a great wrong.” He fell at the feet of that little girl, gave her the statue and went back.
This event, happening at the age of four or five, reopened her vision. Again the love flowed, again the journey began. Thus a deep relationship with Krishna was started again by this Meera in this lifetime. This small, accidental event, happening when she was four or five years old… and a revolution happened. Meera remained ecstatic, as if she’d drunk liquor. By the time Meera was thirty-two or thirty-three years old, all those who had been important in her life until then had died. Everyone that her affection went out to, that she had loved, they all died.
Those who have written books about Meera, they all say, “unfortunately.” I can’t say that. I will say, “most fortunately,” because for me there is no such feeling toward death that it is necessarily some form of curse. It all depends on you. Meera used it rightly. Wherever love was torn out, each and every vessel of love gone, she offered this love of hers up to God. The last stage was staying with her father. Her mother died, her husband died, her father died. There were five deaths passing in a continuum. All her attachments in the world were broken.
She made good use of it. She turned broken worldly attachments into detachment towards the world. And the love that became freed from the world, she offered up to the feet of God. She submerged herself in the passion-song for Krishna. And these deaths did one more fortunate task — she was shown one thing, that everything in this universe is momentary. If the beloved is to be sought, seek in the eternal. Here nothing is yours. Don’t go astray here, don’t lead yourself astray. Here everything touched will go away. Here death, and death only, increases. This is a graveyard. Don’t get any idea of dwelling here. No one has ever remained here. All that she’d seen with her own eyes… Thirty-three years old is not very old. She was young. So many deaths happened in her youth that the thorn of death showed her totally, clearly, that life is momentary.
And then her mind turned away from all this. Turning away from this one can turn towards the divine. First Meera danced only at home, before her Krishna statue. Then love began to rise like a flood, and the house could not contain it. Then she danced in the village temples, in the sadhu’s SATSANGS. Then love started rushing in such a flood that she was no more conscious. She drowned, she became absorbed, she became filled with Krishna. Naturally, as she was a lady of the royal household, of a respected family, trouble came to the family…It became difficult for Meera to remain in her village, so she left Rajasthan…
Years later the political situation changed in Rajasthan; the kingship changed and the youngest son of King Sanga ascended the throne, Udaysingh Mevar. He was King Sanga’s son and the father of King Pratap. Udaysingh had great feeling for Meera. He sent innumerable messengers to Meera to bring her back: “This is our disgrace. This is Rajasthan’s disgrace that Meera wanders from village to village, moving here and there. This stain will always remain on us. Let her come back. Bring her back. We ask forgiveness for our mistakes. That which has happened in the past is gone.”
People went, pundits were sent, priests were sent to explain and convince, but Meera always gave the explanation, “Now where to come or go? Where should I go now, giving up this temple of my life’s love?” She was ecstatic in the Ranchhordasji temple.
Still Udaysingh tried very hard. He sent a group of one hundred men and said, “Bring her back no matter what. If she doesn’t come, give her a threat. Tell her you’ll fast sitting at the door of the same temple.” And they gave the threat. They insisted, “You must come, if not then we’ll die right here.” Then Meera said, “This again; if I am to go, then I will go and ask my love. Without his giving permission, I cannot go. So, I’ll ask Ranchhordasji.” She went inside and the story is very lovely, very surprising, very significant. She went inside and it is said she never came out again. She disappeared into Krishna’s statue. This too couldn’t be historical, but it should be, because if Meera cannot merge into Krishna’s statue, then who can? And she had dissolved Krishna so deeply into herself, couldn’t Krishna at least let her be merged into himself? If not then the whole foundation of devotion will be broken. Then the trust of the devotee will be broken. Meera has dissolved Krishna so deeply into herself, then Krishna too has a responsibility.
Be aware, don’t take this as a fact and sit thinking over it. This is truth and truth is very different from fact. Truth is far above facts. Just what is there in facts? Not worth two cents. Fact is not the limit of truth. Fact is that which man’s small intelligence can understand. It is a fragment of truth; truth is vast. If you ask me, I say it is so. Is has to be. If not, the devotee’s trust is wrong.
Meera must have said, “Now what’s your feeling, shall I go now? Where will I go? Either come with me or take me into you.”
Ultimately that which you love, you become. Love with care and understanding. Make your friendships with awareness. Because this friendship is no ordinary matter. Meera’s friendship was with Krishna, and if finally she merged into his image then to me this seems to be completely right. It must be so. It is just so.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of public discourse by Osho. It has been translated from the Hindi discourse series Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo.
Discourse series: Early Talks Chapter #9
Chapter title: Women Mystics
Osho has also spoken on women mystics like Daya, Lalla, Sahajo, Mallibai, Magdalen, Rabiya, Teresa in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- And the flowers showered
- Showering without clouds
- Books I have loved
- The Last Morning Star
- The Perfect Master
- The Razor’s Edge
- The Sword and The Lotus
- Turn On, Tune In, and Drop the Lot
- Come, Come, Yet Again Come
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha Vol.8
- The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
- I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
- Come Follow To You Vol.1
- Tao: The Three Treasures Vol.2
- Beyond Enlightenment