I have obtained the precious wealth that is the Lord!

This invaluable treasure is from my true guru.

Out of compassion, he has given this to me.

I have obtained the asset of many lifetimes and lost everything of this world.

–Mirabai

Mirabai was a 16th century woman mystic poet from Rajisthan who is considered one of the stalwarts of Bhakti tradition in the sub-continent. She wrote, composed hundreds of songs in her devotion to Lord Krishna. As was the hallmark of the Bhakti movement, she transcended the traditional roles, divisions along the lines of class, gender, caste and religion to express her love for divinity. She forsook the traditional role of a Rajputi women, for example, by not committing Sati when her husband died and identified herself as a spouse of Krishna instead; singing, dancing in his love. Reports suggest that her in laws made multiple attempts to kill her to avoid the shame she was bringing to the family. However, she remained safe. It is also reported that on the advice of Tulsidas, another great poet of Bhakti movement, she left her marital home and became a wanderer to escape the imposed restrictions. She died in 1546.

Mirabai may not be a Muslim, but her devotion for divine love stirs many parallels with the Sufi movements of Islam. Similarly, the restrictions, troubles she had to face in trying to live a life she wanted to is something still prevalent in our patriarchal society. Perhaps, we have a lot to learn from her poetry, life.