Dr. Mahendra Bhanawat of Udaipur, renowned authority on folkculture, gave expression to many new aspects, not known till now, on the works and personality of Mira Bai and Akka Mahadevi at the Jaipur Literature Festival on Saturday, January 22, 2012.
He said that Mira’s bhakti was one of complete surrender to the Lord Krishna, merging bodily with the Lord and immersing herself in the ocean of the Lord’s complexion. An interesting coincidence was that the event took place just a day earlier than the 414th death anniversary of the great Saint on Magha Amasya.
Dr. Bhanawat was of the opinion that there were two significant aspects of Mira’s life. One is the intellectual, while the other is that of a common man. Whereas one demands the authenticity of Mira’s ‘padas’, the other one deeply immersed in ‘bhakti’ creates new ‘padas’ and sings and dances on them.
Mira journeyed in search of Krishna whereas, added Bhanawat, he kept travelling through six states on the same trail in search of Mira. He said that whatever Mira said casually, later on got established in her ‘padas’.
Participating in the event, Yatindra Misra of Delhi said that this was the first time he had done research on Akka Mahadevi’s poems. He read aloud in Hindi and English her poems, ‘I watch the path for his arrival, and if he doesn’t come I fade away. Look at the strange path of love, if you shoot an arrow...” Misra added that this 12th century poetess lived only for 25 years.
In the opinion of Suman Kesri of Delhi, the messages of this great poetess are still relevant, because if the goal is ‘bhakti’ how can the means ever be violence. She recited the ‘pada’, ‘Mira ri mohe apani lagan laga ja’. Suman made a comparison of the two poetesses.
The programme was convened by H.S. Shivaprakash of Delhi. Also present in the program were Dr. Nand Bhardwaj, Ila Arun, C.P. Dewal, Dr. Sanjeev Bhanawat, Dr. Srikrishna, Pushpa Goswami, Ruchira Bhanawat and other Indian and foreign scholars.
A question-answer session was held at the end of the day’s event.