Part dance, part chant, O My Friends What Can You Tell Me Of Love, is a reflection of 16th century Indian Hindu mystic poet and saint, Mirabai’s, devotion to her Lord Krishna. A Rajput princess, Mira would escape the castle at night and join other Krishna devotees in town. Persecuted by her in-laws for her beliefs, she eventually left her home to set out on a pilgrimage, dancing from one Indian village to another. Her devotion to Lord Krishna is extolled in the many bhajans, or sacred poems, attributed to her. Mira is still popular throughout India, where millions have memorized her poems, and her poetry has been translated and published worldwide.
O my friends,
What can you tell me of Love,
Whose pathways are filled with strangeness?
When you offer the Great One your love,
At the first step your body is crushed.
Next be ready to offer your head as his seat.
Be ready to orbit his lamp like a moth giving in to the light,
To live in the deer as she runs toward the hunter’s call,
In the partridge that swallows hot coals for love of the moon, In the fish that, kept from the sea, happily dies.
Like a bee trapped for life in the closing of the sweet flower, Mira has offered herself to her Lord.
She says, the single Lotus will swallow you whole.