One more thing ! ......

Story of Sabari !

The story of Sabari starts with Ogre Kabandha whose hands have been severed by Rama and Lakshmana. Kabandha whose death at the Hands of Sri Rama was foretold realizes Rama is the one to give him final salvation after both his hands were cut off by Rama and Lakshmana. Telling Rama that he needs allies and Sugriva could be the one, Kabandha describes the way to reach Sugriva.Then he talks about the Pampa Lake and the Mount Rishyamuka and about a miracle in the Ashram there:

Kabandha talks about the miraculous powers of the sages there.

"The Rishis who resided there are no more. So great was their devotion that the sweat drops which fell on the ground from their body, as they brought water for their daily puja have sprouted in to unfading flowers shining like garlands .Theirservant woman belonging to a forest tribe is constantly engaged in Tapodharma (Spiritual Austerities). Sabari is eagerly waiting to greet You as a divine person and then ascend to higher worlds"

We are told that Sabari served for long Rishi Matanga in his ashram near Rishyamuka, and when he was ascending to heaven, he bade his disciple await the advent of Sri Rama who would come to her, bless her, and fulfill her tapas. Telling her the story of Sri Rama, the sage departed, leaving Sabarialone at the ashram.

Sabari continued her tasks at the ashram, keeping it ready for Sri Rama's arrival. She woke up everyday, wondering if this would be the day Sri Rama would arrive.

After completing her chores, she would make the place ready for Sri Rama's arrival, and collect fruits and berries for him to eat as if he did come.

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.

Thus, Sabari spent many years waiting for her lord who was on his way to her abode".

Thus the story of Sabari was introduced to Rama ( and us)

Both the brothers approach Sabari as told by Kabandha.

One look at her made Sri Rama realizethat Sabari had attained the highest stage of spiritual ripeness, 'Siddhahood'.

She honorsthem as guests and expresses her desire to depart to the spheres where her teachers are.

When Sabari sees Sri Rama, she says that she feels the purpose of her birth has been fulfilled only upon her seeing Sri Rama.

Sabari felt that her greatest desire had been fulfilled by meeting her lord, and, asking Sri Rama to give her salvation, she entered the fire.

As the old and emaciated lady wearing rags entered the fire, she was transformed into a beautiful young woman wearing silken cloth and many ornaments.

In this form, she gained deliverance at the hands of the lord, as Sage Matanga had foretold, and joined her lord and her guru in the heavens.

Sabari is extolled by the following adjectives:

Shramanim austere woman

Tapodhane ascetic woman

Siddha a lady who achieved Self Realization

Charubhashini a lady of pleasant talk

Siddha Sammata a fully realizedperson and also adored and accepted as such by other Siddhas (realizedpersons)

Tapasi austere woman

What higher qualifications than these can one acquire for earning the descent of Grace from the Divine?

The story of Sabari 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.