Something has reached out and taken in the beams of my eyes.

There is a longing, it is for his body, for every hair of that dark body.

All I was doing was being, and the Dancing Energy came by my house.

His face looks curiously like the moon, I saw it from the side, smiling.

My family says: ‘Don’t ever see him again!’ And they imply things in a low voice.

But my eyes have their own life; they laugh at rules and know whose they are.

I believe I can bear on my shoulders whatever you want to say of me.

Mira says: Without the energy that lifts mountains, how am I to live?



In “All I Was Doing Was Breathing”, Mirabai describes one of her first encounters with Krishna, who is one of the loved and respected gods in Hinduism.

Although she writes in a way that shows a meeting of human lovers, the relationship is, a spiritual one, between the individual soul and God. Mirabai’s experience of Krishna had such a powerful effect on her that she keeps aside her normal life completely, believing that she could not live for a moment outside the presence of the god.

In the first line of “All I Was Doing Was Breathing,” the poet explains that she has been, knowing and she identifies at first only as “something.” The process is mysterious. The “something” quickly reaches out and absorbs into itself some essence of the speaker that comes from her eyes. The light from the eyes is presented as a touchable, or real, thing that can be taken in by another being.

In the second line, the poet reveals how she wishes for this “something,” although she does not say, that she has a desire for it. The phrase, “There is a longing” is impersonal, which suggests that the desire may be more universal than the desire of one individual. This desire may be part of life in which the limited creature wants contact with and absorption is infinite.

In this line, the poet also makes it clear that the object of her desire or want is the God Krishna, who is traditionally known as the “dark one” and is depicted in symbolic representations as having dark skin, like the color of a rain cloud.

She emphasizes her own inactiveness as if what happened to her was none of her own doing: “All I was doing was being.” It was the god who took initiative and passed by her house.

Another interpretation of this phrase suggests, that the poet was well prepared to receive the divine; she was in a state of spiritual readiness, in which she was simply aware of “being,” to the exclusion of all sense impressions and physical or mental activities. In this line, Krishna is considered as the “Dancing Energy.”

Further, the poet also says that Krishna used to smile as he passes her house. She saw his face, and she says that it looked like the moon. The image conveys the idea of Krishna’s cosmic outlook. This shows that he was so respected by everyone. The simple meaning of this line, however, would be that Krishna’s face sheds light, like the moon.

The poet explains that their family is worried about her excessive devotion to Krishna. They warn her not to see him again. Perhaps they are concerned that she would neglect her worldly duties and bring dishonor on the family. They talk about her, perhaps implying that she is mad.

The family has no control over her because she is now living in a different part of life, in which the old rules do not apply. Such rules even seem strange, something to be laughed at.

Further, she shows how confident she is in her new life and understanding. She has become least bothered and does not care about anyone and whatever they say about her. She is strong enough to bear any burden because she has surrendered her life to the Dark One- LORD KRISHNA.

The poet depicts that in the last line Mirabai has no choice now. Her entire existence depends on the god. Describing Krishna as “the energy that lifts mountains,” she knows that he is the foundation of her life. This is directly related to one of the stories about Krishna’s childhood.

As a boy, Krishna persuaded the people in the village of Vrindavan, which was suffering from a drought, to stop offering prayers and sacrifices to Indra, the god of the heavens who was responsible for rainfall. This angered Indra, who caused torrential rain to fall for countless days on the village.

Rivers burst their banks, houses collapsed, and the whole village turned into a lake of mud. Krishna, by holding up the Govardhana mountain, saved the lives of many people from drowning, with his little finger and used that little finger to protect the villagers from the rain.



माई री! मै तो लियो गोविन्दो मोल।

कोई कहे चान, कोई कहे चौड़े, लियो री बजता ढोल।।

कोई कहै मुन्हंगो, कोई कहे सुहंगो, लियो री तराजू रे तोल।

कोई कहे कारो, कोई कहे गोरो, लियो री आख्या खोल।।

याही कुं सब जग जानत हैं, रियो री अमोलक मोल।

मीराँ कुं प्रभु दरसन दीज्यो, पूरब जन्म का कोल।।



Mira Bai says to her friend-Sakhi: Mai, that she has taken the value of Shri Krishna. Some-one says that your love and affection has been quietly found without telling anyone while somebody says that she has bought her affection and love in front of everyone.”

I have taken the drums and the other without saying that they have been in front of everyone. Somebody says, “If you have taken the deal expensive, somebody says that you have taken cheaper.” Oh, Sakhi I have taken a maul by looking at the properties of the scales. If someone says black, a blonde, but I have opened my eyes and bought Govind thoughtfully.

I had to make it difficult to get Krishna, says Mira Bai. For me, it is a precious commodity whose price cannot be assessed. People just know that I have adopted Krishna. But I have not taken the same. Have thoughtfully opened their eyes. I say, “Lord, give me visions.” You have promised to take rebirth to give me visions. Now, you keep your word.

Kamya Shah


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