Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 3:06 AM
Shrouded in melancholy that day, the devotees watched with anxious eyes the parting of their beloved, the soul that gave them joy and blessed them with the sight of the Lord, now going with a divine message to meet the Lord from whom she had been living apart for so long. Born in the race of the Rajaputas, whose women boasted of the custom of `Jauhara' and who had for their ideal unshaken fidelity to their husbands, she showed to the world that she would stand by the behests of her husband, implicitly obeying them, however terrible the consequences might be. This she felt was the ideal of a wife in Hindu society, and she wished to be no exception to it. Prompted by the idea of obeying the mandates of the Rana, whose ignorance and hauteur were responsible for such a hasty and foolish order, the servant for, so does every Hindu wife delight to call herself made her way towards the river, which was to become holy by the last embraces of the Lord's devotee who had come to offer her holy frame to it. And, as she started on the pilgrimage, she bent low to her cherished idol, pressed it to her bosom, then individually caressed her companions, that had shared the joys and pangs of the nightlong vigils, waiting for the coming of the Divine Bridegroom, and borne ungrudgingly the ridicule of their masters. For the last time she sang those beautiful songs that had brought solace to many a bruised soul and pacified many a broken heart the very songs that have been sung by many a pilgrim on the path that leads Home. The meeting over, the farewell approached, after which the pilgrim started. This time the beloved idol lay not in a temple made of brick and clay, not within the structure that could be the boast of human agency, but in the temple of the heart, on a safe pedestal which the great Architect had prepared for Himself. Thus she started, with all her thoughts fixed on one object, that object being none else than the Lord Himself.
Today the world's scaffold was again to be smeared by the sacred blood of the great devotee of the Lord. The martyr's tomb was again to be erected on the soil of this ungrateful world. The world's ingratitude was again to be painted on the canvas of the Universe. The lessons of their forefathers' sins were again to be taught to their descendants. Her tormentors the blind knaves did not realize that they were in sheer ignorance perpetrating once again the heinous crime those centuries before had been enacted by their brethren on a different stage and in a different clime on the Son of God.
The world seems to rejoice in such devilish acts of her sons. It seems to grow fat on the blood spilled of such pure souls, else how to account for these inquisitions and tortures that mark the advent of every holy saint! These are the murderers who wish to stifle the spirit that seeks to emerge forth from below the covers of dirt and mud that it has taken over itself by ages' sleep, by drowning itself in the quagmire of sensuality. Little do these people realize that these manifestations of divine love in Bhaktas are not the expressions of a maniac, but are the dramas enacted by His own children on the unholy stage of the earth to purge it of its sins and serve as object-lessons to the many yearning devotees that pray to the Master for help. Their acts are not the hallucinations of a madman, but they are the vital sparks of eternal flame for ever ablaze. It is a queer tragedy of human life that the two the Lord and the Satan should exist side by side in the same castle. But it is a stern reality. Reality must play in the lap of unreality. The servant, however rebellious, has by years of devotion to the Lord earned for himself the boon that he should be permitted to carry on his work of mischief unbridled amongst the impostors. But when he exceeds the limits prescribed, the Lord Himself comes to the rescue.
In this burning ghat there is a temple, and therein sits my Lord. For what else should one call this world where the choicest jewels in man love, beauty, chastity, dignity and fortitude lie smothered at the hands of these fiends in the shape of hatred, anger, desire and pride. But there is the solace that, when untold misery becomes rampant, He comes:
"Whenever there is decay of righteousness, 0 Bharata, and there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I myself come forth."
"For the protection of the good, for the destruction of evil-doers, for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I manifest myself from age to age."
The mischief of Satan is proverbial. Here it appeared in the form of wrath in the Rana, who denounced the beloved Mira and gave her the peremptory mandate "drown thyself in the river and never henceforth show me they face." How patiently she bore the verdict! Fully did she follow the divine lovers' practice to show forbearance under torture for the sake of their Beloved to a degree unsurpassed in human history? Complete surrender of the body and extreme recklessness about it and laying it down at the altar of love is considered as the highest form of sacrifice in the world. But the Lord's devotee has yet a higher ideal.
He considers the sacrifice of the body as the lowest order of offering, the devotee can make to the Lord. The standard with which the actions of the two are to be judged is, therefore, different. In the sphere of the world it is apparent that the beloved must be convinced that the lover has genuine affection for her, while she on her part must display rank carelessness in respect of her body and abhorrence for the rules of society. If such tests are applied in the base worldly love, what finer tests must not an aspirant in the region of divine love volunteer himself for; what fiery ordeal must he not pass through; what agonies must he not patiently bear before he can cross the threshold and get entrance into the portals of that more sublime region where love reigns supreme and the pleasures of which place know no surfeiting by excess. No mathematical calculation can give its idea; no formula can explain it. From her youth Mira- had been equipping herself for this region. She had experienced that the meeting had drawn closer; and as she wended her course towards the river, a beautiful smile played on her lips, and with the same old melody she sang old songs in her characteristic joyous tune, but this time with a greater vigour, as she was conscious that she had been freed from the physical bondage. In her ecstatic mood she would jump high in the air and cry out "Govinda, Govinda, Govinda," and sometimes she would weep and repeat "Govinda, Govinda, and Govinda." Thus she reached the river wherein she was to drown herself in compliance with her husband's wishes. There she stood on the banks of the river, a statue in meditation, resplendent in its virginity, enrapturing in its dignity and shining in its glory. All the elements seemed to stand in awe, while the bosom of the river heaved visibly, none could say why whether in joy at the thought of her receiving a celestial being into her lap, or in sorrow at the ingratitude of the world, at its subjecting such a fair creature to physical pain. Mirã stood in a contemplative mood, thinking of the distant regions. It was now evening and the sun shed its last rays to kiss the feet of the universal beloved and then went low, not to rise again for the day. In an instant the conch and bells started their music in the temple in the distance. At their sound Mira was reminded of her hour of worship. The thought of sitting for devotion irresistibly came into her mind. She looked for a seat, and at once felt that the best place was the lap of the Lord Himself. There was no time to waste. With all the vigour at her command, she prepared to jump into the river, and, as the feet were just about to leave the ground, a hand from behind grasped her. Mira looked behind and whom else would she see but her beloved ri Krsna, who stood smiling at her in His proverbially childish fashion. Mira fainted. She had found the lap of the Lord, as she had desired, wherein to pray, as the evening had approached and the hour of prayer had come.
Mira opened her eyes. The Lord smiled and said, "Your life with your mortal husband is over. Now you are mine. Go now and henceforward seek Me in My kingdom in the bowers of Vraja and in the lanes of Brindaban. A final clasp: a last embrace: now I go. Watch how I fly!"
Writer - Bankey Behari