Audiobooks by Mirabai

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The Bhakti Poet Saints Audiobook

The Bhakti Poet Saints

Author: Guru Nanak, Kabir, Mirabai Narrator: David Shaw-Parker, Ghizela Rowe, Laurel Lefkow Release Date: January 2021

Whilst Europe endured the Dark Ages in the 6th & 7th Centuries devotees of Shiva and Vishnu in Southern India were creating the Bhakti Movement. Some of these exponents, as in our volume, were bestowed with the title of saint but some had the additional title of sant, swami or goswami.Broadly speaking, Bhakti poetry, as in Hinduism itself, is divided into 'Nirguna', the idea that the divine is formless as exampled by Kabir and 'Saguna' which interprets the divine as having physical form as captured by Mirabai. The rapid spread, of the Bhakti movement, with its theme of love and devotion to God, proffered by these rebellious poet saints, did, over the following centuries, meld with much needed Hindu reforms and went to the heart of human existence. These 'God possessing' rather than 'God fearing' poets rejected hierarchies and intermediaries in their spiritual devotion and were critical of rules, regulations and ritual observances administered by Brahmin priests in the sacred but elitist court and temple Sanskrit. Their poems, in their local language, emphasised personal devotion as a route to salvation with kind deeds and a humble life rather than ritual mediation, stretched the fabric of society. They were all from lower castes and many were women giving the movement an egalitarian spirit that helped reinforce the message that god's love was all-encompassing for every person willing to surrender to the divine. Furthermore, their verse was accessible, simple, innovative with new poetic forms and often expressed in songs with a fierce passion and ecstasy that demonstrated the movement's focus on inner, mystical and authentic devotion and humility. Impromptu performances with provocative outbursts of singing and dancing in unconventional settings or public gatherings evolved into poetic presentations and community recitals as the rapid popularity of the movement spread. Although the language is every day and simple, many verses carry undercurrents of complex ideas, philosophical and psychological dilemmas, nuance and humour

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The Poetry of Mirabai Audiobook

The Poetry of Mirabai

Author: Mirabai Narrator: Eve Karpf, Ghizela Rowe, Libby Brunton Release Date: October 2020

Mirabai was a Rajput princess born to the Rathore clan in 1498 in Kudaki, Rajasthan in northern India. Despite being one of the most significant saints in the Bhakti tradition and an immensely popular Hindu mystic and religious poet, very few facts are actually known about her life including her date of birth. It is clear that her mother died when she was very young and she was greatly influenced by her father, also a worshipper of Krishna. From a young age Mirabai's devotion to Krishna was absolute surrender and complete devotion. It was only with great reluctance that she entered a marriage, arranged by her uncle, to Prince Bhoj Raj of Chittor in 1516. The marriage ended after 5 years with the death, in quick succession, of her husband and then father-in-law, who was her protector. Her now public display of faith, mainly demonstrated by attending religious meetings, or Satsangs, with their devotional singing and dancing, brought persecution by her remaining in-laws who insisted she stop. On hearing that her brother-in-law, Vikramaditya, the then king of Chittor, might harm or even kill her, she fled.She travelled through northern India expressing her love for Krishna with some 1300 bhajans or sacred songs, usually composed with a simple rhythm and a repeated refrain. Her use of everyday language, infused with a sweetness of emotion and charm brought her a growing respect and popularity It is popularly believed that she spent her last years as a pilgrim in Dwarka Gujarat and miraculously merged with the image of Krishna in 1556.

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