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Shabari-An Earnest Disciple

Updated on June 8, 2015

Experts from Ramayan

A modern print, of  Shabari feeding half eaten berries to Shri Ram
A modern print, of Shabari feeding half eaten berries to Shri Ram | Source

Shabari-An Earnest Disciple

Shabari: An Earnest Disciple

Shabari was a tribal by birth belonging to hunter’s family of the Nishadha Community. Seeing the sacrificial preparation in lieu of her wedding, she out of compassion for the animals ready for sacrifice, renounced the world in the early hours of the morning, and left her father’s house in search of a Guru.

Her quest led her after days of search, to the foot of Mount Rishyamukha, where she found Sage Matanga. She accepted him as her revered Guru, and devoted her life to his service.
After years of devotion, before departing the world and attaining Moksha, by the virtue of her service he blessed Shabari, “Lord Rama shall make His divine presence here. He shall come looking for His Beloved wife Sita, and you shall wait for His arrival. Your purpose will be to guide Him towards his path. You will serve His Lotus feet and with bowed head ask Him to impart you with Enlightenment from His own lips and thus you shall attain nirvana."

The words uttered from the Guru’s mouth never goes unattained, and thus Shabari’s wait for Shri Ram’s arrival started. Her meditation knew no bounds. For twelve years, she scrubbed and cleaned her ashram every day. She would clean up as far as half a kilometre of from her hut and decorate the path laying down freshly plucked flowers. She would pluck berries; taste each one for sweetness before collecting them in her basket, singing to herself that today her Ram shall arrive.

The saints and other Holymen leaving nearby took her lightly, and would often laugh at her plight. Years, passed, but her patience never deterred, she went on her task with the same devotion day after day seeking waiting for her Lord Shri Ram to arrive.
Lord Shri Ram, finally came seeking Shabari. She, as having waited to do all these years, went on to serve Her Ram with utmost love. It was seeing her devoutness in the half eaten berries, her misty eyes, her twelve years of dedication and her chanting of His name that convinced Lord Shri Ram to impart her with the Enlightenment of The Nine-Fold Form of True Devotion, “Navada Bhakti”.

The path of Devotion is not easy, Shabari, was a great ascetic and her patience and devotion knew no bounds. There is not much difference between the devotion of an ardent devotee and madness. To the worldly-wise, she might come across as having lost her mind but only a true devotee could see that she was devoid of any arrogance.
Shabari only walked in accordance to Her Guru’s pledges, His speech, the messages and morals and in complete intent of following the path shown by sage Matanga.


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