Transformation of Consciousness: Decoding Conceptual Metaphors in Mira Bai

- Amrita, - Anisha


Mira Bai, a saint-poet of North India is an important figure in medieval Hindi literature. Her bhajan-s (songs) profoundly represent the transforming of consciousness working through conceptual metaphors which fall in the realm of religious poetry wherein target domains are generally abstract. Since, the working of the mind is more powerful than anything else, consciousness has become the central issue in modern philosophy of mind and metaphysics. Can we try to gauge abstract ideas and consciousness? What do we need to make such ideas explicit? What happens when the line between the abstract and the real becomes blur or transparent, especially with respect to spiritual experience? It is here that metaphors step in providing us glimpses into representational relation between mental processes, state of mind and the material world. Therefore, this present paper attempts to study conceptual metaphors which are replete in Mira Bai’s poetry conforming to her spiritual journey. The paper is divided into three sections viz. Mira Bai, Understanding Conceptual Metaphor, A Study of Mira Bai’s Selected Poetry.

Keywords: Mira, Metaphor, Religious poetry, Mapping

Full Text:



Alston, A.J. (2008). The Devotional Poems of Mrbi: Translated with Introduction and Notes. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas Publishers Private Limited.

“Animal Symbolism: Meaning of the Cat”. (16 July 2015).

Aristotle. Poetics. (14th April 2010). Trans.S.H.Butcher. .

Behari, B. (1937). The Story of Mira Bai. Gorkhpur: Gita Press.

Black, M. (1962). Models and Metaphor. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Bly, Robert and Jane Hirshfield. (2004). Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems. Boston: Beacon Press.

Cazeaux, C. (2007). Kant, Cognitive Metaphor and Continental Philosophy. Routledge.

Chaturvedi, P. (2008). Mrbi ki Padval. 22nd ed. Ilhabad: Hindi Sahitya Samalan.

Constable, J. (2001). (Ed.) I.A. Richards and His Critics Vol:10. London: Routledge.

Cuddon, J.A. (1998). The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. Penguin Books.

Doniger O'Flaherty, Wendy. (1986). Dreams, Illusion, and Other Realities. New York: University of Chicago Press.

Gibbs, R. W. (1994). The Poetics of Mind: Figurative thought, language, and understanding. UK: Cambridge University Press.

Jakobson, R. (1960). Closing Statements: Linguistics and Poetics, Style in language, (ed.) T.A. Sebeok, New-York.

Kittay, Eva F. (1987). Metaphor: Its Cognitive Force and Linguistic Structure. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kovesces, Z. (2010). Metaphor: A Practical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kumar, K. (2004). Mr: The Emancipated Soul. New Delhi: Harman Publishing House.

Lakoff, G., and Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we Live By. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Lakoff, G. (1993). “The Contemporary Theory of Metaphor”. Metaphor and Thought. Ed. Andrew Ortony. USA: Cambridge University Press. 202-251.

Lakoff, G., and Johnson, M. (1980). The Metaphorical Structure of the Human Conceptual System. Cognitive Science, 4, 195-208.

Levi, L. (1997). Sweet on My Lips: The Love Poems of Mirabai. New York: Cool Grove Press.

Mehta, S.S. n.d. (---). A Monograph on Mirabai; The Saint of Mewad. Bombay: General Books.

Ortony, A. (1993). Metaphor and Thought. 2nd ed. UK: Cambridge University Press.

Richards, I.A. (1936). The Philosophy of Rhetoric. London: Oxford University Press.

Richards, I.A. (1974). “Pseudo-Statements”. Twentieth Century Criticism: The Major Statements. Delhi: Light and Life Publishers.

Sharma, Pt. Sh. (1962). Bhmahavirachit Kavyalamkara. Patna: Bihar Rashtrabhasha Parishad.

Sethi, V.K. (2009). Mira: The Divine Lover. 4th Ed. Punjab: Radha Soami Satsang Beas.

“Thoughts on Some Things – Symbolism: The Ocean”. (16 July 2015).

Shelestiuk, Helen V. (2006). Approaches to Metaphor: Structure, Classifications, Cognate Phenomena. Semiotica 161–1/4. 333-343.

Swinney, D. (1981). The Process of Language Comprehension; an approach to examining issues in cognition and language. Cognition 10. 307-312.

The Poetics: Aristotle on the Art of Poetry.

Weber, Edmund. (15th Sep. 2009). “Hindu Feminism Part 1: The Emancipation of Mirabai.” .


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.