||Ramacharit Manas||

|| Sri Rama's preaching to Sabari||

|| Navadha Bhakti (Nine Stages of Devotion) ||

A Turaga Presentation.



||om tat sat||

Sri Rama's preaching to Sabari, the Navadha Bhakti (Nine Stages of Devotion)

रामकथा कै मिति जग नाहीं।
असि प्रतीति तिन्ह के मन माहीं।।

Ramacharitamanas, I.33; 2
There is no limit to the stories of Sri Rama in this world. Wise Men are convinced in their heart that
नाना भाँति राम अवतारा।
रामायन सत कोटि अपारा।। Ramacharitamanas, I.33; 3
Sri Rama has embodied Himself forth in diverse ways and the Ramayana, though consisting of a thousand million verses, is yet infinite.

Sabari was known by the name of the wild tribe (Sabaras) to which she belonged.
Though low-born, she had already acquired some celebrity for her Piety and Devotion; hence the poet has chosen to call her abode a hermitage (a name ग्enerally applied to the abode of sages and hermits).
This can easily serve as an illustration of the catholicity of the great Hindu
religion, which, though rigid in social matters, does not fail to give proper
Recognition to individual merit and virtue.
The whole of this episode is a great eye-opener in this respect.
Sri Rama and Lakshmana arrive at Sabari's hermitage.
Sabari is beside herself with Devotion for the Lord.
After accepting her hospitality, the Lord expounds to her Navadha (Nine Forms) Bhakti, which is more or less, on the line of Adhyatma Ramayana:
First Form of Bhakti: Fellowship with Saints
Second Form of Bhakti: Fondness for the Lord's Leelas (Divine Acts)
Third Form of Bhakti: Humble Service of Guru's Lotus Feet
Fourth Form of Bhakti: Singing the Glories of the Lord
Fifth Form of Bhakti: Mantra Japa with Steady Faith
Sixth Form of Bhakti: Sense-control coupled with nobility of character
Seventh Form of Bhakti: Equanimity of Mind with Devotion towards to the Lord
Eight Form of Bhakti: Contentment with Whatever One Gets
Ninth Form of Bhakti: Guilelessness (Simplicity), Straightforwardness
सबरी कें आश्रम पगु धारा।।

सबरी देखि राम गृहँ आए।
मुनि के बचन समुझि जियँ भाए।।
When Sabari saw that Sri Rama had called at her abode, she recalled the words of the sage (Matanga) and was glad of heart.

सरसिज लोचन बाहु बिसाला।
जटा मुकुट सिर उर बनमाला।।

स्याम गौर सुंदर दोउ भाई।
सबरी परी चरन लपटाई।।

With lotus-like eyes, long arms, a tuft of matted hair adorning their head like a crown and a garland of wild flowers hanging upon their breast, the two brothers looked most charming — the one dark of hue and the other fair; Sabari fell prostrate and embraced their feet.
प्रेम मगन मुख बचन न आवा।
पुनि पुनि पद सरोज सिर नावा।।

सादर जल लै चरन पखारे।
पुनि सुंदर आसन बैठारे।।
She was so overwhelmed with love that no words came to her lips.
Again and again she bowed her head at their lotus feet.
Presently she took some water and reverently laved their feet and then conducted them to a seat of honour.

दो0-कंद मूल फल सुरस अति दिए राम कहुँ आनि।
प्रेम सहित प्रभु खाए बारंबार बखानि।।34।।
She brought and offered to Sri Rama the most delicious bulbs, roots and fruits.
The Lord partook of them appreciating again and again. (34)

पानि जोरि आगें भइ ठाढ़ी।
प्रभुहि बिलोकि प्रीति अति बाढ़ी।।
Joining her palms she stood before Him; as she gazed upon the Lord her love waxed yet more ardent.

केहि बिधि अस्तुति करौ तुम्हारी।
अधम जाति मैं जड़मति भारी।।
"How can I extol You, lowest in descent and the dullest of wit as I am?

अधम ते अधम अधम अति नारी।
तिन्ह महँ मैं मतिमंद अघारी।।
A woman is the lowest of those who rank as the lowest of the low.
Of women again I am the most dull-headed, O Destroyer of sins."

कह रघुपति सुनु भामिनि बाता।
मानउँ एक भगति कर नाता।।

Answered the Lord of Raghus:
"Listen, O good lady, to My words. I recognize no other kinship except that of Devotion.
जाति पाँति कुल धर्म बड़ाई।
धन बल परिजन गुन चतुराई।।
भगति हीन नर सोहइ कैसा।
बिनु जल बारिद देखिअ जैसा।।
Despite caste, kinship, lineage, Dharma, reputation, wealth, physical strength, numerical strength of his family, accomplishments and ability,
a man lacking in Devotion is of no more worth than a cloud without water.
नवधा भगति कहउँ तोहि पाहीं।
सावधान सुनु धरु मन माहीं।।
Now I tell you the nine forms of Devotion;
please listen attentively and cherish them in your mind.
प्रथम भगति संतन्ह कर संगा।
दूसरि रति मम कथा प्रसंगा।।
The first in order is company with the saints and the second is marked by a fondness for My stories.
दो0-गुर पद पंकज सेवा तीसरि भगति अमान।
चौथि भगति मम गुन गन करइ कपट तजि गान।।35।।

"Humble service of the lotus feet of one's preceptor is the third form of Devotion,
while the fourth type of Devotion consists in singing My praises with a Guileless heart" (35)
मंत्र जाप मम दृढ़ बिस्वासा।
पंचम भजन सो बेद प्रकासा।।
"Muttering My Name with unwavering faith constitutes the fifth form of adoration revealed in the Vedas..
छठ दम सील बिरति बहु करमा।
निरत निरंतर सज्जन धरमा।।
The sixth variety consists in the practice of self-control and virtue, desisting from manifold activities and ever pursuing the course of conduct prescribed for saints.
सातवँ सम मोहि मय जग देखा।
मोतें संत अधिक करि लेखा।।
He who practises the seventh type sees the world full of Me without distinction and reckons the saints as even greater than Myself.
आठवँ जथालाभ संतोषा।
सपनेहुँ नहिं देखइ परदोषा।।
He who cultivates the eighth type of Devotion remains contented with whatever he gets and never thinks of detecting others' faults.
नवम सरल सब सन छलहीना।
मम भरोस हियँ हरष न दीना।।
The ninth form of Devotion demands that one should be guileless and straight in one's dealings with everybody, and should in his heart cherish implicit faith in Me without either exultation or depression.
नव महुँ एकउ जिन्ह के होई।
नारि पुरुष सचराचर कोई।।

सोइ अतिसय प्रिय भामिनि मोरे।
सकल प्रकार भगति दृढ़ तोरें।।
Whoever possesses any one of these nine forms of Devotion, be he man or woman or any other creature — sentient or insentient — is most dear to Me, O good lady.
As for yourself, you are blessed with unflinching devotion of all these types.

जोगि बृंद दुरलभ गति जोई।
तो कहुँ आजु सुलभ भइ सोई।।
The prize which is hardly won by the Yogis is within your easy reach today.
मम दरसन फल परम अनूपा।
जीव पाव निज सहज सरूपा।।
The most incomparable fruit of seeing Me is that the soul attains its natural state.
जनकसुता कइ सुधि भामिनी।
जानहि कहु करिबरगामिनी।।
If you know anything about Janaka's daughter, My good lady, tell Me her news, O fair dame."
पंपा सरहि जाहु रघुराई।
तहँ होइहि सुग्रीव मिताई।।

सो सब कहिहि देव रघुबीरा।
जानतहूँ पूछहु मतिधीरा।।
"Go to the Pampa lake, O Lord of Raghus; there You will make friends with Sugriva.
He will tell You everything, my Lord Rama, Hero of Raghu's line;
You are of steady resolve and know everything; nevertheless You ask me!"
बार बार प्रभु पद सिरु नाई।
प्रेम सहित सब कथा सुनाई।।
Bowing her head at the Lord's feet again and again she lovingly related the whole story (of what the sage Matanga had told her and how eagerly she had watched His approach all the time).
(1 — 7)
छं0-कहि कथा सकल बिलोकि हरि मुख हृदयँ पद पंकज धरे।
तजि जोग पावक देह हरि पद लीन भइ जहँ नहिं फिरे।।
नर बिबिध कर्म अधर्म बहु मत सोकप्रद सब त्यागहू।
बिस्वास करि कह दास तुलसी राम पद अनुरागहू।।
After telling the whole story she gazed on the Lord's countenance and imprinted the image of His lotus feet on her heart; and casting her body in the fire of Yoga she entered Sri Hari's state wherefrom there is no return.
"O men, abandon your varied activities, sins and diverse creeds, which all give birth to sorrow, and with genuine faith,"
says Tulasidasa, "be devoted to the feet of Sri Rama"

||om tat sat||
Sri Ramacaritamanasa
With Hindi Text and English Translation
(A Romanized Edition)
Gita Press, Gorakhpur, India.