Referat Study Guide for Poetry of Mystical Love The notion of fusing sexuality with religious devotion strikes many readers as surprising, but it is in fact an ancient theme, common in a wide variety of mystical traditions. In all of them the union of human and divine is expressed through metaphors of lovemaking. Mirabai Source: From For Love of the Dark One: Songs of Mirabai, tr. Andrew Schelling (Boston: Shambhala, 1993), pp. 51, 89, 39, 48. The Hindu tradition contains many traditions of mystical eroticism. The world is created through a sexual act, Kali Durga embodies the combined activities of death and procreation, Kama is a famous god (the Sanskrit sex manual Kama Sutra is named after him), but perhaps the most widely-known figure connected with such images is Krishna, renowned for his love of the gopis. The 16th-century mystical poet Mirabai is famous for her life-long devotion to Krishna. She identified herself poetically with his consort, Radha, rejected the husbands who were forced on her, and wandered the land with a band of like-minded women, singing their songs of praise for their god lover. One tradition says that she spent some time at the court of Akbar the Great, the Mogul ruler of North India who lavishly supported the arts. Although Muslim by background, he was interested in all religious traditions, and tried to create a synthesis from Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism. However her fame developed, it has lasted to this day. Her songs are performed ...
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