Beyond The Beaten Track: Offbeat Poems From Gujarat (Heritage Collection)

Open Your Heart to Light a Lamp (Mirabai)

O my brother grand like the sea
open your heart and light a wick.

In this body are orchards
and the peacock dances and calls.

There is a lake in this body
and the swans trumpet in felicity.

In this body are marts
where you can trade without bounds.

Lord Giridhar’s1 virtues Mira affirms
grant me refuge at saints’ feet.

1 Krishna

આ દિલ તો ખોલીને દીવો કરો (મીરાંબાઈ)

તમે જાણી લો સમુદ્ર સરીખા મારા વીરા રે,
આ દિલ તો ખોલીને દીવો કરો રે.
આ રે કાયામાં છે વાડીઓ રે હો જી,
માંહે મોર કરે છે ઝીંગોરા રે.
આ રે કાયામાં છે સરોવર રે હો જી,
માંહે હંસ તો કરે છે કલ્લોલા રે.
આ રે કાયામાં છે હાટડાં રે હો જી,
તમે વણજવેપાર કરોને અપરંપારા રે.
મીરાં કહે પ્રભુ ગિરિધરના ગુણ હો જી,
દેજો અમને સંત ચરણે વાસેરા રે.

Category in Beyond The Beaten Track

Human and Divine

Appreciation

Mira’s songs are generally full of simple supplications and expressions of intense feelings. In this poem, however, Mira seems to lure a prospective devotee of God with the promise of great affluence – if only one opens the heart and lights a lamp to see the Lord!

About The Author

Mira (late 15th century or early 16th century; died sometime between 1546 and 1554) was a Rajput princess of the Rathod principality of Medata. She was born in the township of Koodki. Her mother died early, and she was raised by her grandfather. She was raised in a Vaishnav family, and from childhood she had an irresistible attraction for Krishna. She married a prince of the Mewad royal family in 1517. But she considered herself married to Krishna, and hobnobbed with saints of various descriptions. This caused huge opposition to her from her family members, including an unsuccessful attempt to poison her on the king’s command (after her husband had died). Around 1535, she moved from Mewad in what now is the state of Rajasthan to Vrindavan (according to legend the place where Krishna grew up), and then to Dwarka on the west coast of Saurashtra, and seems to have resided in a temple dedicated to Krishna. Legend has it that she disappeared into Krishna’s icon. Mira, and others in her name, have composed nearly 1400 songs in Rajasthani, Gujarati, and Vraja Bhasha that are still sung by millions because of their brevity, graphic quality, ardour, and simplicity.