While dasa pantha and sharanas were the key players in Karnataka, Alwars and Nayanars dominated Tamil Nadu, whereas in the North, it wasn’t so much the dominance of a sect, as it was individuals who took upon the whole responsibility of shouldering the spiritual revolution. The role of women in these movements was more or less over shadowed, or sidelined. However, inspite of several challenges, some women, made such marks for themselves as the supreme devotees of their lords, that the world had to stand up and acknowledge their stature. Meera Bai, belonged to this clan of devotees, who carved a niche for themselves by not only showcasing instances of epitomizing devotion, but also of social reforms.
The contribution of Meera Bai to the world of music is immense in that, her bhajans have spanned the years and continue to enthrall the aesthetic listeners and devotees alike. They are rich in emotions of love and devotion, that transports everyone to a domain far beyond the conception of the mundane mind.
The following is a wonderful song sent to me by Usha (immense thanks to her for also making this limp blog come back to life! It is such readers, who really give me the enthusiasm and drive to get back to writing. So thanks once again Usha).
P.S:- Once again for the benefit of those who cannot read Hindi, I am posting the lyrics in English, followed by the meaning. I am not very well aware of the language used in these Bhajans, so if there is any misappropriation in the deduced meaning, kindly do excuse me, and also do correct it.
maane chaakar raakho jee.. girdhaari laal chaakar raakho jee.
Oh! Lord the one who lifted the Mountains (Giridhaari) keep me as your servant.
chaakar rahasoon baag lagaasoon nit uth darsan paasoon
vrindaavan ki kunj-galin mein Govind leelaa gaasoon
I shall be your servant and tend to your gardens. I shall have the blessed opportunity of getting up every morning and seeing you. I shall dance and sing your various adventures in the blessed streets of vrindavan.
chaakaree mein darasan paaun sumiran paaun barachi
bhaav bhagati jaageeri paaun teenon baataa sarasi
I shall have your divine view every time while serving you, and think of you lovingly all day long. All through the day, through the 3 time spans of morning, afternoon and nightfall, the feelings of bhakti shall remain awakened in my being.
mor mukut peetaambar sohe gale vyjantimaala
vrindaavan mein dhenu charaave mohan muraliwaala
He is adorned with the crown lined with the feathers from the peacock, the golden hued dress around his waist, and his neck decorated with the garland of vyjayanthi flowers. Thus dressed, the most beautiful one with a flute in his hand, graces the cattle in the vrindavan.
Unche Unche mahal banaaun bich bich raakhoon baari
saanwariya ke darsan paaun pahar kusumbi saari
I shall construct huge palaces of vast expanses, and dressed in a red hued saree, I shall go to see my beloved (Lord Krishna).
jogi aaya jog karanku tap karane sanyaasi
hari bhajan ku saadhu aaye brindavan ke vaasi
An ascetic has come to perform his rites, and a yogi to meditate, saintly people have arrived to sing the praises of Lord Hari, and so have the residents of vrindavan.
meera ke prabhu gehar gambheera hrude raho jee dheera
aadhee raat prabhu darasan deenho jamunaji ke teera
O! Lord of Meera! So majestic and royal, reside in my heart forever thou who are of great intellect. (Do heed to my prayers) and bless me with your visit on the banks of the river Yamuna.
The entire song beautifully captures the emotions of Meera bai, who sees herself as only a servant for her Lord! The love she bore for Lord Krishna is evident in every word, and especially in the way she describes her wish to see her Lord adorned in a colored saree. Rarely do we find such supreme love for the divine spirit, which elevates the devotee to transcend all social borders, as it happened in the case of Meera Bai, or our own Akka Mahadevi from Karnataka.
Thanks again to Usha for sending me the lyrics… and hopefully I shall be able to get to write more often. That’s it for today.. signing off…. shall be back with more… Ciao 🙂