(Who was Shabari and her devotion towards Lord Narayana)

Date : Feb 28, 2024


Dear Devotees : Namaskara.

| Sri MannMoolaRamastu Mannmathe Moolamahasamsthhaana Mantralaya Sri Rayaramathe||


Who was Shabari and her devotion towards Lord Narayana is described in Mantralaya(1079).


Shabari occupies a significant place when it comes to trust and belief in Lord Narayana. Today, let's explore Shabari's story more deeply.

Shabari was born into a family of hunters, but her soul longed for peace, meditation, and the company of spiritually inclined individuals. She sought refuge with the revered sage Matanga Rushi, who became her spiritual guide.

She dedicated herself wholeheartedly to serving Matanga Rushi with unwavering devotion. As the sage grew older Shabari cared for him tenderly, akin to a parent looking after a child. Impressed by her selflessness, Matanga Rushi blessed her with the assurance that she would witness Lord Narayana in this lifetime.

From that day until Shabari's encounter with Rama, she woke up every morning with enthusiasm and positive energy.

Every day, Shabari engaged in a ritual of meticulous cleanliness around Matanga Ashrama. With careful attention to detail, she would clean the pathway leading to the ashrama, ensuring that every trace of dirt and debris was removed. Taking extra care, she would sprinkle water to refresh the surroundings, and then meticulously sanitize the area using cow dung, a traditional method known for its purifying properties.Once the cleansing process was complete, Shabari would transition into a spiritual practice, reciting the sacred Stotra dedicated to Lord Narayana. With devotion in her heart, she would chant the verses, connecting with the divine presence she revered.But Shabari's devotion didn't end there. After her spiritual practice, she would adorn the surroundings with colorful Rangolis, delicately arranging leaves and flowers to create a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere around the ashrama. This act of decorating was not just a physical embellishment but a symbolic gesture of her reverence and dedication to the divine presence she believed resided within and around the ashrama. Through her actions, Shabari expressed her unwavering commitment to cleanliness, spirituality, and the worship of Lord Narayana.Shabari wanted the surroundings of Matanga Ashrama to be ready at all times because she believed that the Lord might visit at any moment

Afterward, Shabari would venture alone into the forest, where an abundance of fruits awaited her. Methodically, she would inspect each tree, plucking a fruit from it and carefully assessing its sweetness and flavor. Only after this meticulous examination would she select the fruits from the trees deemed to bear the most delicious offerings.Once she had gathered enough fruits, she would gather them and make her way back to her humble hut. There, she would begin her vigil, eagerly awaiting the presence of Lord Narayana. In the midst of her anticipation, she would fill the air with the melodies of numerous hymns, her chants echoing through the tranquil surroundings of the forest.

For over a decade, Shabari faithfully followed this routine, exemplifying to all of us the true meaning of patience and unwavering trust in the Lord. She began this waiting in her youth and continued it faithfully into her old age.

One auspicious day, Lord Sri Rama and Lakshmana arrived at the entrance of Matanga Ashrama. As they stepped inside, Lord Narayana, ever observant, took note of every meticulous arrangement made by Shabari. Everywhere Lord looked, He witnessed the boundless love and devotion that Shabari held for Him.

Shabari, blessed with a pure heart and mind, immediately recognized Lord Rama as the embodiment of Narayana and Lakshmana as the divine Shesha Devaru. This divine recognition was a testament to the grace of the Lord, allowing Shabari to perceive the human form of Rama as the ultimate divine presence of Narayana.This contrastingly highlights instances from the Mahabharata, where negative forces like Duryodhana and the Kauravas failed to recognize Krishna as Lord Narayana, despite His divine interventions. It underscores the profound truth that the recognition of the divine requires the grace and blessings of the Almighty.

In her old age, Shabari warmly welcomed Lord Rama, grasping His hand in devotion and inviting Him to sit on a beautifully adorned chair. Overwhelmed with emotion, she humbly fell at Lord Rama's feet, tears streaming down her face. Using her tears, she reverently washed His feet, then fanned Him with a gentle breeze created by circling a fan made of leaves.Moved by her genuine devotion, Lord Rama inquired about Shabari's well-being, expressing that He had come specifically for her. With joyous gratitude, Shabari offered the fruits she had gathered to both Lord Rama and Lakshmana. Lord Rama accepted her offerings with the tender care and attention that a mother gives to her child.

Finally, Lord Narayana, pleased with Shabari's selfless service, asked her what she desired. Filled with immense happiness, Shabari humbly requested the ultimate liberation, Moksha. Granting her wish, Lord Narayana bestowed upon Shabari the highest position of spiritual liberation, allowing her soul to attain eternal peace and fulfillment.

Shabari, a figure of great spiritual depth, is spotlighted by Acharya Madhwaru in the Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya. This work delves into Shabari's identity and the reasons behind her remarkable soul. Let’s see who was Shabari

Shabari, originally an Apsara residing in the celestial realm of Indra, was endowed with divine knowledge of art and dance. However, during a dance performance, she displayed arrogance in the presence of Lord Indra. In response, Goddess Shachi Devi, Lord Indra's consort, became angered by Shabari's behavior and cursed her to be reborn into a tribe of hunters on Earth.

Lord Rama, recognizing that Shabari was originally an Apsara who had been reborn due to a curse, understood her innate devotion and uplifted her through his divine grace.

Both Shabari and Lord Rama exemplify profound teachings that resonate deeply with spiritual seekers.

Firstly, they highlight the concept of "Jeewa Sawbhava," which refers to the inherent nature of the soul. As elucidated by Sri Madhwacharyaru, this principle suggests that the soul's journey towards its spiritual destination remains steadfast, regardless of one's earthly circumstances or origins. Shabari's life epitomizes this idea, as despite being born into a hunter's family, her innate spiritual inclination led her to embrace a life akin to that of a sage. This illustrates how the essence of the soul transcends societal labels and backgrounds, guiding individuals towards their spiritual purpose.

Furthermore, both Shabari and Lord Rama demonstrate the importance of unwavering faith in attaining the grace of the divine. Their stories emphasize the necessity of having absolute trust and devotion in the divine, believing that the Lord will always protect and guide us, regardless of the challenges we face or the time it takes to receive blessings. This notion encourages practitioners to cultivate a deep sense of surrender and faith, understanding that divine intervention operates beyond human comprehension and timeline.

In essence, the teachings of Shabari and Lord Rama serve as timeless reminders of the soul's inherent journey towards spiritual evolution and the transformative power of unwavering faith in divine grace.

In his writings and teachings, Sri Raghavendra Swamy, residing in Brindavana alongside his physical form, emphasizes the importance of praying to Lord Narayana. He advocates for cultivating a mindset that constantly reminds us that when the divine presence is with us, there is no need for worry

The devotion towards Sri Raghavendrateertharu is the ultimate truth and is the most simple and effective way to reach Sri Hari  - "NAMBI KETTAVARILLAVO EE GURUGALA"! “Those who have complete faith in this Guru will never be disappointed.”