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Unveiling the Forgotten Story of Bhaktimati Karamaiti Bai of Vrindavan

(Vrindavan Today) – Unveiling the Forgotten Story of Bhaktimati Karamaiti Bai of Vrindavan

2023.06.27 (Vrindavan Today News): When we think of Indian saints and devotees, names like Meera and other prominent figures often come to mind. However, there is a hidden gem among them, whose story has been overshadowed by the passage of time. Her name is Bhaktimati Karamaiti Bai, and her tale sheds light on the lives of women devotees in Vrindavan.

In the 16th century, Karamaiti Bai made a profound decision that set her apart from the societal norms of that era. Unlike Meera, she did not compose poems, nor was she a queen. Her path towards devotion was not shaped by widowhood or any particular circumstances. Karmaiti Bai, as a young girl, made a significant decision on the night of her gauna—a traditional ritual marking a girl’s transition to married life.

Having made this life-altering choice, Karamaiti Bai dedicated herself to a secluded existence in Vrindavan. Although her story survives today in a few pages of the Bhaktamal, a collection of saint biographies, her memory lived on in Vrindavan society until the 18th century. Priyadasji, in his commentary on the Bhaktamal, provides ample details about her life. It is said that Karamaiti spent many nights sitting on a tree near the secluded Brahmkund in Vrindavan. Even when her father and the king of Khandela came to bring her back home, she steadfastly refused to leave Vrindavan. In response, the king had a cottage built specifically for her in Vrindavan, where she could continue her spiritual journey undisturbed.

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