Mira: The Five-Coloured Garment

The sixteenth century Punjabi mystic and poet Mira was a devotee of a yogic path using sound and the vibrations of sacred names to attain liberation.  For more about her life, see this earlier post.  The ‘five-coloured garment’ refers to the five melodies of the Divine Sound current; the ‘alcove’ mentioned in the first verse suggests the narrow space between the eyebrows; the words ‘surat’ and ‘nirat’ refer to the soul’s faculty of seeing and hearing. At the conclusion of the poem, ‘this house’ indicates the body, the temporary abode of the soul.

I am infused in the Lord’s hue, O friend.
Pray, get my garment dyed in five colours
So I may go and play in the arbour.
Within the alcove I will meet my Master;
Shedding all falsity, I’ll sing in joy.

The sun will perish, so too the moon;
Earth and sky will exist no more;
Air and water will also go:
The Eternal alone will there be.

Of surat and nirat make the lamp,
And let thy longing be the wick;
In this lamp pour the oil from love’s mart,
Day and night it will keep burning bright.

They write letters whose spouses are afar;
My Beloved resides in my heart,
I need go nowhere to search for Him.

I live not with my parents,
Nor with my in-laws.
Ever do I live in the Word
My Master blessed me with.

Not mine, not thine is this house, O friend;
Mira lives absorbed in the Lord’s hue.

from Mira The Divine Lover
Tr. V. K. Sethi

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