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St Teresa devoted much of the rest of her life to travelling around Spain setting up new convents based on the ancient monastic traditions. Her travels and work were not always greeted with enthusiasm; many resented her reforms and the implied criticism of existing religious orders. She often met with criticism including the Papal Nuncio who used the rather descriptive phrase “a restless disobedient gadabout who has gone about teaching as though she were a professor.” St Teresa also had to frequently contend with difficult living conditions and her frail health. However, she never let these obstacles dissuade her from her life’s task. She eventually died on October 4 at the age of 67. Girl bathing Easily distracted by cats and wine poster. A fellow sister describes the hours just before the death of St Teresa:She remained in this position in prayer full of deep peace and great repose. Occasionally she gave some outward sign of surprise or amazement. But everything proceeded in great repose. It seemed as if she were hearing a voice which she answered. Her facial expression was so wondrously changed that it looked like a celestial body to us. Thus immersed in prayer, happy and smiling, she went out of this world into eternal life.
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Mirabai was a great saint and devotee of Sri Krishna. Despite facing criticism and hostility from her own family, she lived an exemplary saintly life and composed many devotional bhajans. Historical information about the life of Mirabai is a matter of some scholarly debate. The oldest biographical account was Priyadas’s commentary in Nabhadas’ Sri Bhaktammal in 1712. Nevertheless, there are many oral histories, which give an insight into this unique poet and saint of India. On one occasion, when Mira was still young, she saw a wedding procession going down the street. Turning to her mother, she asked in innocence, “Who will be my husband?” Her mother replied, half in jest, half in seriousness. “You already have your husband, Sri Krishna.” Mira’s mother was supportive of her daughter’s blossoming religious tendencies, but she passed away when she was only young.
Her new family did not approve of her piety and devotion to Krishna. To make things worse, Mira refused to worship their family deity Durga. She said she had already committed herself to Sri Krishna. Her family became increasingly disproving of her actions, but the fame and saintly reputation of Mirabai spread throughout the region. Often she would spend time discussing spiritual issues with Sadhus, and people would join in the singing of her bhajans. However, this just made her family even more jealous. Mira’s sister-in-law Udabai started to spread false gossip and defamatory remarks about Mirabai. Girl bathing Easily distracted by cats and wine poster. She said Mira was entertaining men in her room. Her husband, believing these stories to be true, tore into her room with sword in hand. However, he saw Mira only playing with a doll. No man was there at all. Throughout these hysterical slanders, Mirabai remained unmoved by both the criticism and praise of the world.
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Mira’s fame spread far and wide, and her devotional bhajans were sung across northern India. In one account, it is said that the fame and spirituality of Mirabai reached the ears of the Moghul Emperor Akbar. Akbar was tremendously powerful, but he was also very interested in different religious paths. The problem was that he and Mirabai’s family were the worst enemies; to visit Mirabai would cause problems for both him and Mirabai. But Akbar was determined to see Mirabai, the Princess — Saint. Disguised in the clothes of beggars, he travelled with Tansen to visit Mirabai. Akbar was so enamoured of her soulful music and devotional singing that he placed at her feet a priceless necklace before leaving. However, in the course of time, Akbar’s visit came to the ears of her husband Bhoj Raj. He was furious that a Muslim and his own arch enemy and set eyes upon his wife. He ordered Mirabai to commit suicide by drowning in a river. Mirabai intended to honour her husband’s command, but as she was entering the river, Sri Krishna appeared to her and commanded her to leave for Brindaban where she could worship him in peace. So with a few followers, Mirabai left for Brindaban, where she spent her time in devotion to Sri Krishna. After a while her husband became repentant, feeling that her wife was actually a real saint. Thus he travelled to Brindaban and requested her to return. Mirabai agreed, much to the displeasure of the rest of her family.