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‘Time and Again’ is the first release from my upcoming album, ‘Songs of the Mystics’.
Born in the last days of the 15th Century, Mirabai was very different from the children around her. First of all, she was the princess of a wealthy Rajasthani Kingdom. However, when she was quite young, a sadhu passed by and gave her a small statue of Krishna, which she cherished until the day she left this material world. With that simple gift, Mirabai’s life was transformed, as was her heart – no more childish games and no more interest in the luxuries of the palace. She became completely enraptured and devoted to her beautiful Lord, Govinda.
The details of Mirabai’s life are intertwined with legends, miracles and mystery, but some facts are verified. As she grew, so did her love for Krishna, a love as sensual as it was spiritual. She wrote hundreds of songs describing her stormy, but blissful, relationship with her Beloved. Reviled by her husband and her family, Mirabai finally left the palace and wandered through India as a yogini sadhu, singing her passionate songs of love wherever she went. Finally, as old age began to inhabit her body, she settled in Vrindavan, the holy village where Krishna lived as a youth. Mirabai is revered throughout India as a folk hero and a Bhakti saint. She gave up everything for her mystic lover. Her songs are sung at village gatherings and at the grandest concert halls. She is Bhakti incarnate.
Though scorned by the presiding culture of 16th century India, Mira’s passionate devotion to her Lord, and her complete disregard for social mores, became a clarion call to the poor and marginalized masses, and to all women. She was, indeed, a mystic Revolutionary!
‘Songs of the Mystics’ will include reimagining of songs and poems by many of the Bhakti saints, but we thought it appropriate to start with one of Mirabai’s songs. Her message and mood are timeless and resonate even today in the hearts of all.
The Hindi verse, ‘Meera Kahe Prabhu Giridhara Nagara, Hey Govinda Hey Gopala’, calls out: ‘Oh Lord of Mira, Govinda, Gopala, lifter of the mountain’. One might paraphrase this as: ‘Oh my Beloved, please lift this insurmountable mountain of suffering and separation, that I may be yours forever!’
‘Time and Again’ was composed by Jai Uttal and Nubia Teixeira, based on a song of the 16th century Indian Bhakti poetess, Mirabai.