Within Thy Body
Within your body the gong resounds
In sweet strains of Eternal Song.
Within your body of ten doors,
Days and nights rumbles the Sound of drum.
In your body are gardens with rare blooms,
But a honeybee alone will seek their fragrance.
Within your body burns a flame
In resounding waves of brilliant Light.
The Lord’s glory, O Mira,
The Saints alone do know;
To His Eternal Home
Freely they come and go.
Tr. V. K. Sethi
*Mira (1498-1548?), sometimes called Mira-bai, was born to a royal family in Rajasthan, and was said to be soft-spoken, mild mannered, kind, charitable, and extraordinarily beautiful. At eighteen she was married to a Prince, and presumably led a happily married life for some ten years. Then, within a year, she suffered the loss of her husband and her father in battles, and of her grandfather, wounded in battle but subsequently poisoned by intriguing courtiers. These shocks opened her eyes to the transience of life, and prepared her for the spiritual search. She then came in contact with Ravidas, the cobbler saint of the Shabd [‘sound current’] yoga path. Her soul blossomed from this instruction, but her family were horrified by her devotion to an untouchable and her abandonment of the priestly rites of traditional religion. They tried incessantly to discourage her, and even tried to poison her, not once but twice. In the end, she left her home in Chittor a few months before it was stormed by Bahadur Shah. Of the remaining years of her life, little is known with certainty.