Naath sakal saadhan main heena
Kinhi kripa jaani jan dina
So kachhu dev na mohi nihora
Jin pan raakheo jan man chora
While Sri Ram lived in Ayodhya and went to Janakpuri, (Seetaji's parental home)
people were drawn to Him because of His looks and character. During Sri Ram's 14 years of sojourn in the forest, His character of Mercy is
brought more to the fore-front. In a lot of cases Sri Ram has Himself gone to
the Nisaadhan devotees who loved and pined for Him.
He went to the hermitage of Sharbhang who kept staring at the eyes and face of
Sri Ram. Sharbhangji says to the Lord, " I was going towards Heaven when I heard that
You were headed towards my cottage, so I dropped the idea of going towards
Paradise. I was always:
Chitvat panth raheo din raati
i.e.. looking at the path through which my Lord will come.
Ab prabhu dekhi juraani chhaati
i.e.. Now that I have looked upon the Lord, the burning in my heart has been
replaced by immense peace and I wonder what good deeds I have performed to
deserve such great favors! Sharbhangji felt totally nisaadhan.
Atriji also tells the Lord, " I don't know what penance I have performed
that has resulted in the great honour of You coming to my cottage." Agasti feels the same way and so does
Shabri. Tulsidaasji says:
Nar bibidh karma adharma bahu
Mat sokaprad sab tyaagahu
Bisvaas kari kaha daas Tulsi
Ram pada anuraagahu
Which means: A lot of actions, a lot of opinions give rise to confusion and
pain. So surrender your actions and opinions to the Lord. Keep full faith in Him
and have love for the Lord's feet.
There was a great saint in Vrindaavan called Udiya baba. He was very well
respected. Once he was asked whether he was a believer of the Advait branch of
philosophy (which believes that there is only one God and everyone and
everything is but a reflection of "That One"). He answered: "I am a believer of Advait (Not two), I am not a believer in
any "branch". How can I believe in any branch, if the Lord is One and
everything is His reflection?" People have believed and propagated that which has proven beneficial to them.
Thus a man who has been cured by a certain medication will swear by it and
another man will swear by another medication which has cured him for the same
problem. The patients may fight about the merits of different medication, but
good doctors never do. In the above lines Tulsidasji says: "Drop all actions and opinions because
their ultimate aim is to love the Lord."
Once Swami Vivekanandji was asked, "What is poison?" He answered, "That which exceeds its limit is poison"
The intellect has been praised by our scriptures, specially by "The Geeta"
and yet Sri Krishna says, "Surrender your intellect to Me! Immerse it in
Sukh aur dukh
Joy and sorrow
Joy and sorrow is relative. The very same thing, person or circumstance that
brings joy to one, may bring sorrow to another. If you understand the above
theory you may stop hankering for a lot of things. For e.g.. Two people are
standing somewhere, and a third person comes by. Between the two people
standing, one likes the person that has just come and the other does not. The
person that has entered the scene is the same and yet he produces joy in one
person by his presence and sorrow in the other one. What I am trying to say is that we should know that the source of joy is within
us, and that that joy is solely dependant on us and not on any other person
and/or circumstance. You cannot get clothes from a kerosene shop. If you want joy at all times and under every circumstance, then go towards the
source of joy. Go towards the Almighty! Tulsidasji says:
Jatiheen adhajanma mahimukta kinha asibaari
Mahamand man sukh chahasi aise
Which means that man wanders hither and thither in search for happiness and
forgets the Lord who is verily the Fountainhead of Joy.
Shabri ka dheeraj
The patience of Shabari
One could call Shabari, a true picture of Nisaadhanta. She did not employ any
means to achieve the Lord. Her sole refuge was the Lord, she had full faith in
Him, One thing she did and that was to wait and wait! She was so much a picture of humility that she would not call her cottage an
"ashram" (a hermitage). She felt, "I have not performed any yajna (sacrifice). No sages recite the
mantras in my home nor do I have any live-in disciples. When Sri Ram honours my
cottage by His presence, then maybe, my cottage will become an "ashram".
But then, how will I recognize Sri Ram when He comes?"
Shabri then remembered her Sadguru Matanga's words. He had told her that Sri
Ram had big attractive eyes, broad arms and a garland that came down right to
His feet. So she would be able to recognize Him! But now she was impatient to see Him! She
would think of Him constantly!
The Upanishads claim that patience is an important requisite for a Spiritual
pilgrim. It takes lifetimes to get a glimpse of the Lord.
When Vibhishanji invited Sri Ram to come to his home after the victory over
Lanka, Sri Ram said:" I will not go to anyone's "home" yet.
Shabri dekhi Ram grah aaye
Which means that Shabri saw Sri Ram entering her home.
Tahi de-i gati Ram udaara
Shabri ke ashram pagu
Note the word "ashram". Sri Ram enters Shabri's ashram.
Aiso ko udaar jag maahi
Which means that the Lord is All Merciful. He elevates the status of His
disciples by His grace and presence. He calls Shabri's home, an ashram. When Shabri saw Sri Ram she fell at His feet.
A woman has full right over a man's feet. Some people consider that derogatory.
One must remember that a man's full support rests on his feet, so in fact the
feet enjoy a high status among the parts of a human body. Also just like man needs the support of his feet to stand, so a man needs
the support of a woman in taking care of his children , home and spiritual
While we are talking of Shabri and her nisaadhanta - it seems evident by the
above episode where Sri Ram enters Shabri's home, that she knows how to perform
- To wash the Lord's feet.
- To make the Lord sit.
- To offer
flowers and fruit.
She claimed that she neither had any knowledge of the Vedas nor of any other
Scriptures. She added that were she to even have the knowledge of the above then
: "How could I praise or describe the Lord enough!?" The Lord heard the nisaadhan devotee's prayer however, and came to her.
Shabri could not help crying out: "Main adham hoon!" which means:
"I am worthless" three times.
In an auction when an auctioneer calls out the price that the article is going
for three times, the deal is clinched. Three times is the ultimate. So it is in the
In the Ramayana when an issue is emphasized, it is said 3 times. Shabri calls herself worthless
three times, maybe to bring home the point that she
knows nothing, that she is nisaadhan. She feels helpless and considers herself a
woman belonging to a low caste. The Lord's nature is such that, whenever man becomes egoistic about his looks,
status, etc. He shatters his ego. Sometimes a blow is inflicted upon a devotee
so that he does not become conceited in the future. This is in fact the Lord's
grace and is not an indication that the Lord is not merciful. Vishwamitra chose to be born, a learned high caste Brahmin, maybe thinking that
that is the way to achieve the Lord. The irony is, that the Lord chose to be
born in a Kshatriya (warrior) family, which is considered lower than the Brahmin
Vishwamitra, (a Brahmin), had to go to King Dashratha's door, (a Kshatriya), to
request him to allow Sri Ram to accompany him (Vishwamitra) to the forest to
annihilate the rakshasas. A Brahmin possesses knowledge about the Scriptures and knows the greatness of
the mantras, hence the Scriptures enjoin the respect of Brahmins even though
they may not have great personal and spiritual abilities. If you have faith in
the truth of the Scriptures, as imparted to you by the Brahmin, you will benefit
by the knowledge, and your very faith will ferry you across the Ocean of Samsara
(delusions). Even though Shabri claims that she is worthless, because of her low caste, Sri
Ram eats the fruit that she has previously tasted. Then He says:
Kaha Raghupati sunu bhaamini baata
Maanau ek bhagati kar naata
Jaati paanti kul dharma badaai
dhan bal parijan guna chaturaai
Bhagati heen nar sohai kaisa
Binu jal baarid dekhiya jaisa
Sri Ram claims that love and devotion is what matters. Caste, knowledge wealth,
strength, cleverness is as unproductive as a cloud without water. A devotee full of love for the Lord does not ask for liberation
Liberation runs after a true devotee ready to serve him. Narsee Mehta, a true
devotee asked to come to earth again and again, to serve the Lord repeatedly. Though it is believed that there are certain rituals which are meant for men, or
women, or a certain caste; in the case of Shabri, it boils down to the fact that
one need not belong to any caste or/and creed. All that is required to achieve
the Lord is a heart full of faith and love.