The Heat Of Midnight Tears

Listen, my friend, this road is the heart opening,
kissing his feet, resistance broken, tears all night.

If we could reach the Lord through immersion in water,
I would have asked to be born a fish in this life.
If we could reach Him through nothing but berries and wild nuts
then surely the saints would have been monkeys when they came from the womb!
If we could reach him by munching lettuce and dry leaves
then the goats would surely get to the Holy One before us!

If the worship of stone statues could bring us all the way,
I would have adored a granite mountain years ago.

Mirabai says, "The heat of midnight tears will bring you to God." Note: The poem above was written by Mirabai, a famous North Indian bhakti poet. She was born near Ajmir into a Rajput family in 1498. She married the crown prince of Mewar who died in battle five years later. Mirabai then devoted her life to praying to Krishna, adopted the ways of the sadhus (holy men), and rejected aristocratic norms. Her songs or ragas were written down after her death in about 1550. This poem was translated by Robert Bly in the book, "Women in Praise of the Sacred" edited by Jane Hirshfield.

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