Mirabai: Holi with Krishna

As we play Holi with colored powder and water to welcome joy and friendliness in our lives, we should recognize that for bhakti saints like Mirabai, the festival and its colors have a special meaning — they symbolize the complete immersion of a jiva in the Lord’s bhakti.

In one of her poems,1 Mirabai aspires to play Holi with Krishna in her own way. She requests Krishna to color her veil (a metaphor for the mind) in his dark-bluish shade (of devotional spirituality). She insists that the dye (of bhakti) be permanent and is ready to wait for an entire lifetime if Krishna takes that long to take seat in her heart.

Needless to say, Krishna does not take so long to color her. In other poems, Mirabai admits that she has been fully adorned in the Divine’s color2 and can not be dyed in any other shade.3

Mirabai, in another poem,4 senses that the spring season (metaphor for material joy in life) is short-lived and encourages the human mind to play a more meaningful Holi with colors of morality and contentment while spraying love for the Divine. Only then can we appreciate the limitless colors of Krishna’s love drizzling through the sky.

Happy Holi!

[1] Shyam Piya More Rang De Chunariya

[2] Mai Sanware Rang Rachi

[3] Mira Lago Rang Hari

[4] Phalgun Ke Din Char Re, Hori Khel Mana Re

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