Nama Article 8th April 2014
Sabari lived and looked after the hut where her Guru had lived. She chanted RamaNãma always with great faith and love. Every day she would clean her house, decorate it with mango leaves and 'kolam', collect lots of fruits and await the visit of Rama and Lakshmana. Years rolled by, but there was no sign of Rama or Lakshmana. But, Sabari did not feel dejected. Very eagerly she awaited the arrival of Rama and Lakshmana. She would call the children near by and ask them, "Are there two people carrying bow walking up to my hut?" The children would say laughingly, "Grandma! Why do you ask this everyday? Who are these people that you are waiting for? Our father and grandfather say that you used to put this same question to them when they used to play here as children!" Sabari would only give a smile in explanation.
However, one day the children spotted two handsome men carrying bow walking towards Sabari's hut. They ran to Sabari and said, "Grandma! Those two men with bow are at last coming here!" Sabari rushed out of her house to receive Lord Rama and his brother Lakshmana. She bowed down to them and invited them into her small hut.
The tall Rama and Lakshmana had to bend to enter this little hut of this great Guru Bhaktai. Rama enquired after her progress in her sadhana, "Oh! Sweet-tongued one! Is there any block to your dhyana? How is your japa? Have you conquered anger? Have you been able to lessen your food intake? How is the fulfillment of your discipline? Have you attained peace of mind?" Rama says that the basis for all the above is only the service ('susroosha') done to Guru. Sabari said joyfully, "Yes, my japa has borne fruit just as blessed by my Guru. He said that God would come and you have indeed come home, oh! Lord!" Rama said smilingly, "I am not God." Sabari, "You are indeed God because my Guru Madanga Maharishi has said so. You may speak untruth. But, my Guru will never speak anything but Truth." Sabari washed the feet of Rama and Lakshmana and then offered them the fruits that she had collected. All the while she kept speaking about the glory of her Guru, Madanga Maharishi.
Rama was wonderstruck by her Guru Bhakti. Rama had met so many Rishis during his wandering in the forest. All of them who were great 'tapsvis' had become speechless seeing the handsome Rama. All of them sought Rama's help in killing some asura or the other who was troubling them. Here, Sabari was neither astounded by Rama's personality nor did she seek any sort of help from him. She was only speaking continuously about the glory of her Guru. Sabari took them to her Guru's hut and pointed to the place where he used to sit and meditate, the place where he used to sit for food, etc. She pointed to the cloth that her Guru had used. It was still wet after all these years! She pointed to the garlands that he had worn. They were still fresh! She then said to Rama, "Oh! Rama! My Guru had said that I could join Him after your darshan. Please watch me join my Guru!"
Sabari then sat in a particular posture ('ãsana'), closed her eyes and chanting RamaNãma soon went to the place of her Guru!
Children! Guru Bhakti is the highest and it bestows the highest on one. A simple, ignorant Sabari born in a hunter family attained Moksha only through Guru Bhakti and God was only a witness to it!