16th Century, Rajasthan
Meera, born in the royal Rajput family of Merat. At 18, married to Raja Bhoj, the crown prince of Mewad. As a child, she watched a marriage procession and asked her mother who her husband was. Her mother, pointed to the statue of Krishna, never thinking how seriously Meera is going to take that. That day on, Krishna became her friend, her lover, her husband, her world, her life. The princess having everything at her say, knew nothing, needed nothing, other than being in thoughts of Krishna, whom she adored more than anything else in the world. Having married and moved to Mewad with her husband, Meera still considered Krishna as her lover, her husband. Lost in the divine love of Krishna, Meera forgets her lawfully wedded husband, forgets her family, and forgets the whole world. Doesn’t care for what she’s supposed to do and what she’s expected to do. She was accused of crossing the “Kul ki maryada”, having brought shame to the family. She was taunted, tortured n accused every time. Meera still couldn’t keep herself from thinking about & being lost in the love of her beloved krishna. She started referring him as her husband, publicly, through her poems (Meera, has composed about 5000 poems, and is considered as one of the Asia’s greatest poets) which aroused the rage & anger among the royal family of Raja Bhoj. Just imagine this is the 16th century, a married woman adores a man, other than her husband (Of course, Meera was lost in the love of Lord Krishna.. but for the society, her thinking about another man, be it a God, is a Sin!!)
Within 4 years of her marriage, her husband was killed in a battle. Meera, a born rebel, refused to commit Sati, only to face the rage of her in-laws and the society. Many attempts on her life were made by her in-laws, her brother-in-law, the new king of Mewad, sends her a glass of poison.
To this, Meera sings:
“Vish ka pyala, Ranaji ne bheja, peevat Meera haasi re ||”
(From the famous peom – “Pag ghunghroo baandh Meera nachi re|| “)
Its then, that Meera leaves the house of her in-laws. She then seeks shelter at her father’s place, ironically, where once again she’s rejected and insulted.
“Log kahe Meera huee baawri, baap kahe kulnaashi re||”
Actually speaking Meera was a silent rebel. It’s definitely not easy for someone to go against the wishes of one’s family, or society, especially when everyone else looks up to you. She was a princess, she was accountable for every move she makes, and she was answerable to her subjects. She didn’t say anything but her belief was enough for people to believe she’s a threat to the society, a shame for the family, for its hollow pride, for its image. Can’t imagine how did she manage to be so different from others, in that era, when a man thought for a woman, she wasn’t even supposed to think for herself! She was born & brought up to think she can’t lead her life, the way she wants but the way the man of the family wants. She can’t have her own decisions, she can’t think for herself. It takes a lot of courage to live a life such as this. How did Meera manage to stand up for what she believed, even when her own family was against her? Even when they disowned her? Even when they wanted to kill her? And come to think of this, who would think your own family plans to poison you? In spite of knowing, in her hands, she holds her death; she picks us the glass of poison, just for her love for Krishna!
Meera is, of course, one of the greatest poet & saint Hindustan is blessed with, what I adore most about her, is her brave spirit, in spite being a woman (of the 16th century), she did what she believed, she lived for what she believed, she rebelled for what she believed, she died for what she believed, no matter how many hurdles her path had, no matter her own people didn’t stand by her side. Now that’s what I call a perfect life, no sorry, no regrets. You are accountable for your life; you are responsible for your decisions. Hats off to that courage, to that dedication, to that spirit!