Shabari Jayanti

Shabari Jayanti is dedicated to Shabari devi who was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. She attained Moksha by worshiping Lord Rama throughout her life.Shabari Jayanti is observed on Krishna Paksha Saptami in the month of Falgunas per Indian lunar calendar. Shabari Jayanti is celebrated with devotedly onTuesday 1st March 2016. Shabari Jayanti is of great significance to the KolCommunity. 

Shabari was a hunter’s daughter who belongs to the Nishadha tribal community. She met Sage Matanga
Maharshi at the foot of the Mountain Rishyamukha, and accepted him as Guru, serving him with devotion. She was told to remain in hermitage till Rama came and by His arrival she was going to attain the moksha. She worshiped Rama for several years and waited for him in ashram.

Lord Rama and Lakshman visited Shabari’s hermitage, while searching for Sita, after her abduction by the demon Ravan. Rama went to Shabari’s ashram because of her sincere devotion. On seeing Rama, Shabari who was waiting for Rama all those years became ecstatic and fell on his feet.

Shabari offered the berries she had meticulously collected for Rama. Lord Rama ate the same fruit happily that had been tested by Shabari herself, in case the fruit should be sour or bitter. She wanted to give the good and sweet berries to Rama. The thought never came to her that she should not taste it before it was offered to a deity. But Lord Rama proved that it is not the value of the offering that matters but devotion of the devotee who offers it.

She is the one who told about Sugriva and led Rama and Lakshman to visitSugriva and Hanuman for searching Sita. As per the Ramayana, Shabari was an intellectual saint.

Lord Rama pleased with Shabari’s devotion and blessed her. Rama givesShabari a discourse on the Navavidha bhakti (nine kinds of devotion).

Shabari

In the Ramayana we have the classic example of Shabari, who is an embodiment of unqualified & unassuming devotion to Rama.

Shabari comes very close to the heart of Sri Rama; her only life ambition was to see Lord Rama once in her life time. Shabari was an elderly woman ascetic in the later versions of the Hindu epic Ramayana. She is described as an ardently devoted woman who received Rama’s darshan and blessing due to her Bhakti to him.

The Legend

Shabari was a hunter’s daughter and belong to the Nishadha tribal community. The night before her marriage, she saw that thousands of goats and sheep were brought by her father, which were going to be sacrificed for the marriage dinner. Moved by compassion, during the early hours of the morning, she renounced the world and ran away to meet a Master. After days of traveling, she met Sage Matanga at the foot of the Mountain Rishyamukha and accepted him as guru, serving him with devotion.

Years passed by; Rishi Matang became old. When he was on his death-bed, he called Shabari near him and said, “Look, O devotee of Ram, your tapasya-austerities – and spiritual longing for Ram would not go in vain. Sri Ram is sure to visit this ashram. This I can say on the basis of my spiritual power.”

“Therefore, after my departure, I plead you to wait for Ram’s arrival. Hence take charge of this ashram and live in peace as a devotee of Ram. Your efforts would be rewarded in due course of time.”

Saying thus, the sage sitting in lotus posture attains Mahasamadhi. As per her guru’s words, Shabari waits for the arrival of Ram.

Arrival of Rama

On their way southwards Ram and Laxman passed through much difficult terrain. The forests were sparsely populated. Occasionally, one encountered an ashram of a sage with a small village around it. One such ashram belonged to rishi Matang whose heart grieved for the lowly and downtrodden.

In his ashram, tribal devotee of Ram, Shabari, used to stay. Everyday Shabariwould go out of her ashram, with the help of a walking stick and pluck berry fruits for Lord Ram. She would pluck a fruit, first taste it, and if it was sweet she would put it in her basket and discard the bitter ones. She wanted to give the good and sweet fruits to Ram. The thought never came to her that she should not taste it before it was offered to a deity. But in true bhakti, faults are not seen by God. Thus collecting a few fruits, Shabari went back to her ashram and eagerly anticipate Ram’s arrival. Shabari is commonly used as a metaphor for an endless wait for God.

She used to keep the place clean and tidy. She spent hours removing the thorns from the bushes along the path and the stones on the path, so that her beloved lord wouldn’t be hurt. And along with that she also performed her jaap -repeating the holy name of GOD, did her ritualistic worship by offering flowers etc., and sang many songs in the glory of the Lord. Her chosen ideal was Ram for meeting whom she was waiting for a long time.

Simple hearted, poor, and belonging to lower caste, Shabari did not know much about running the ashram. Soon everyone left her. The birds, the flowers, the shrubs and occasional domesticated animals became her friends. But she had full faith in the words of her Guru Matang. When he had said Sri Ram would come to that ashram, she could not disbelieve those words.

Hence Shabari used to clean the place early in the morning, collect fruits, and would wait looking at the distant road for her Ram to come. Every day this was her routine. Every day she thought “Ram would definitely come today!” In these days of eager wait and expectation of seeing her Ram, she forgot all about her rituals, worship, japa or songs! She forgot about day and night, month and year as well as the seasons.

These long years of wait turned Shabari into an old woman. Her eye-sight became dim and the hearing was affected. She had no remorse. She continued to keep her tiring body busy in her routine of cleaning the ashram and collecting fruits for Ram.

One day, at last, Sri Ram arrived in the ashram. Pleasure of Shabari knew no bounds. The long- awaited desire was fulfilled. Falling at the feet of Ram she said, “O Ram, I cannot describe your kindness in words. When so many greatsadhaks (rishis and munis and yogis), cannot seek your Grace even in many births, you have come to me so soon.”

So saying she washed the holy feet of her chosen ideal and offered him berries which she had collected from the forest that morning. And the beauty of the relation between the true Bhakta and the Lord was such that Ram was happy in eating the same fruit that had been tested by Shabariherself, lest the fruit should be sour or bitter!

Laxman, with tears rolling down his cheeks, was silently observing the pure love between God and the devotee. Until now he used to think that there was nobody on the earth or heaven who loved Ram as dearly as he did. But today,Shabari proved him wrong.

When tears dried down in the eyes of Shabari, when her voice was not choking, when she lifted her eyes from the holy feet of Ram, then Laxmanbowed down at the feet of Shabari and said, “O mother, your love for Ram will be remembered for ever in this world. I bow down in reverence to the great devotee of Sri Ram.”

Pleased with Shabari’s devotion, Rama blesses her with his vision. Rama notices the donas or bowls of handmade leaves in which she had offered the fruits and is impressed by the hard work Shabari has gone through to make them and hence blesses the tree, so that the leaves naturally grow in the shape of a bowl.

Then Shabari inquires about the purpose of their hard journey. Ram recounts the sad tell of kidnapping of Sita, etc. Reflecting upon the facts,Shabari directs them to go further southwards to Pampa lake and toKishkindha where the monkey king Sugreev and the great Ram-devotee monkey Hanuman would be of great help in their search of Sita.

The Ramayana says that Shabari was a very bright and knowledgeable saint.

Nava-Vidha Bhakti as explained by Rama

Finally, Rama gives Shabri a discourse on the navavidha bhakti (nine kinds of devotion) through which a jiva can reach the Lord and concludes by clarifying that devotion leads to the experience of the Divine which, in turn, leads to emancipation: “I am here because you are endowed with bhakti. And my darshan will unquestionably lead to your liberation.”

Such pure devotion is expressed in nine ways. First is satsang or association with love-intoxicated devotees and righteous people. The second is to develop a taste for hearing my nectar-like stories. The third is service to the guru. Fourth is to sing My kirtan, Japa or repetition of My Holy name and chanting My bhajans are the fifth expression. To follow scriptural injunctions always, to practice control of the senses, nobility of character and selfless service, these are expressions of the sixth mode of bhakti. Seeing Me manifested everywhere in this world and worshipping My saints more than myself is the seventh mode of bhakti. To find no fault with anyone and to be contented with one’s lot is the eighth mode of bhakti. Unreserved surrender with total faith in My strength is the ninth and highest stage. Shabari, anyone who practices one of these nine modes of My bhakti pleases Me most and reaches Me without fail. That which is most difficult for the greatest yogis was easily attained by you, Shabari, because of your sincere devotion.

The story of Shabari teaches us the merits of unflinching devotion to the lord.

It shows us that no matter what our caste or creed is, it is always possible to attain the Lord through pure devotion.

Shabaridham and Pampa Sarovar, Dangs, Gujarat

Shabaridham

Located on a hill called ‘Chamak Dungar’ off 4 km from village Subir on Ahwa-Navapur road, this temple of Shabarimata is a place where Lord Rama met Shabari, a Bhil woman. Legend goes that Shabari offered tasted berries to Lord Rama at this place. Three stones on which Lord Rama, his brother Laxman and Shabari are said to have sat are still worshipped. Present temple with statues of Rama, Laxman and Shabari was constructed in 2004.

Shabaridham Temple
Idols of Shabari, God Ram, Laxman
Idol of Shabari

Pampa Sarovar

Pampa lake near village Jarsol, around 6 km from Shabaridham, is a fresh water lake on the banks of river Pampa. Mythological belief is that Matang Rishi, guru of Shabarimata, established his ashram on the banks of Pampalake.

Pampa Sarovar
Pampa Lake

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TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012

Lumbini – The BirthPlace of Lord Buddha

“After I am no More ,O Ananda,men of Belief will visit the four Places with Faith,Curiosity and Devotion.Lumbini Where I was born,Bodhgaya where i attained enlightment,Saranath where I gave the first Sermons, and Kusinara where I Shall Pass into MahaParinirvana.”
    –  Lord Buddha

As the birthplace of the lord Buddha – the apostle of Peace and the light of Asia was Born in 623 BC  – the scared area of Lumbini is one of the holiest places of one of the world’s great religion,and its remain contain important Evidence about the nature of Buddhist Pilgrimage centres from a very early period. Lumbini,in the South-western Terai of Nepal,evokes a kind of holy sentiment to the millions of Buddhist all over the world,Like Jerusalem to Christians and Mecca to Muslims.
Lumbini is the Place where Lord Buddha,was born.It is the place which Should be visited and seen by a person of Devotion and which should  cause awareness and apprehension of the nature of impermanence.The site and its sorroundings area is endowned with a rich natural setting of domesticable fauna and Favorable agricultural environ.Historically,the regions is an exquisite treasure -trove of ancient ruins and antiquities ,dating back to pre-christian era.The Site,Described as a Beautiful garden in Buddha’s time,still retains its legendary charm and beauty.

The birthplace of the Gautam Buddha ,Lumbini,is one of the four holy places of Buddhism.It is said in Parinibbana sutra that Buddha himself identified four places of future pilgrimage: the sites of his birth,enlightment,First Discourse, and death.All these events happened outside in nature under trees.There is no particularly significance on this,other tha it perhaps explains why Buddhist have always respected the environment and natural law.
Lumbini is Situated  at the foothills of Himalayas in Modern Nepal.In the Buddha’s time,Lumbini was beautiful garden full of green and shady sal trees.The garden and its tranquil environment were owned by both the Shakyas and clans. King Suddhodhana ,father of Gautam Buddha,was of Shakya Dynasty and Belonged to Kshatriya(Warrior Caste). Maya Devi ,his mother,gave birth to child on her way to her parents home in Devadaha while resting in Lumbini under a sal tree in the month of May,642 BC.The Beauty of Lumbini is Described in Pali and Sanskrit Literature.Maya Devi ,it is said,was spellbound to see the natural grandeur of Lumbini.While she was standing,she felt labour pains and catching hold pf a dropping branch of a sal tre,she gave birth to baby.
           In 249 BC,when the Indian Emperor Ashoka visited Lumbini,it was flourishing Village.Ashoka Constructed four stupas and a stone pillar with figure of horse on top.The stone pillars beads an inscription ,which in translation runs as follows:’King Piyadasi(Ashoka),beloved of devas,in the 20th year of the coronation,himself made a royal visit,Buddha Sakyamuni having been born here;a stone railing was built built and stone Pillar erected to the Bhagavan having been born here,Lumbini village as taxed reduced and entitled to the eight part’.

Lumbini remained neglected for centuries.In 1985,Feuhrer ,a famous German archaeologist ,Discovered the great pillar while wandering about the foothills of the churia range.Further exploration and excavation of the surrounding area revealed the existence of brick temple and Sandstone sculpture within the temple itself,which depicts the scenes of Buddha’s birth.
It is Poined out by Scholars that the temple of Maya Devi was constructed over the foundations of more than one earlier temple or stupa,and that this temple was probably built on an Ashokan stupa itself.To the south of the Maya Devi temple there is the famous scared bathing pool known as Puskarni.It is believed that Maya Devi took a bath in this Pool before the delivery.By the side of Ashoka Pillar a river which flows south-east is locally called ythe OI.In 1996,an archaeological dig enearthed a ‘flawless stone’ placed there by Ashoka in 249 BC to mark the Precise location of the Buddha’s birth more than 2600 years ago.
Source – Image nepal,Unesco,Clt,whc,srishaligram.com,

Source : http://srishaligram.com/gautam-buddha

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