ये यथा मां प्रपद्यन्ते तांस्तथैव भजाम्यहम् |
“In whatever way people surrender unto me, I reciprocate accordingly,” declares Shree Krishna in Bhagavad Gita. Such is the compassion of God; he comes down to the level of his devotees and allows them to serve him in the way they wish. We get a glimpse of his compassion when he comes to meet Mother Shabari.
When mother Shabari, whose sole purpose of life was waiting for Shree Ram, woke up that final morning, her heart was filled with anticipation. As such, she had firm faith in the words of her Guru, Rishi Matanga and anticipated the arrival of her Lord every day, but that day was very different! As she set out to gather fruits for her Lord, just like every day, the trees outside her little ashram swayed more gracefully. They seemed to willingly bow down to let her pluck the juiciest of the fruits. The birds and squirrels didn’t even compete with her. On the contrary, they voluntarily led her to the best fruits, which they normally fought over! Cool clouds were eager to shelter her from the mid-morning sun. Even the usually harsh afternoon sun rays morphed into an unusually elegant rainbow! The flowers around the ashram bloomed abundantly, as if competing with the rainbow overhead! Mother nature was smiling mysteriously and the whole universe seemed very pleased with her! What did they know, that she didn’t?
All her questions were answered when she suddenly heard footsteps approaching the ashram. Her heart almost stopped! “Has my Lord really arrived? Has my wait ended?” she thought. Her heart began thumping; her old body could hardly contain it, and dropped to the ground! It is said that when you love something, the sweetness of anticipation is much higher than the sweetness of attaining the object itself! That moment was the most blissful for her, probably much more than the moment she saw her Ram! Sure enough, her eyes swelled up! Through the sea of tears, she saw a shadowy image at her doorstep, and she understood that the purpose of her life was realized in that moment!
Tears from those weary, old pair of eyes blurred her vision. “All these years of intense longing to catch a glimpse of Him and these eyes have to give up now, exactly when I need them the most?” she thought. Sure enough, the all-knowing Lord, sensed the agony of those eyes and instantly soothed her heart, by calling out her name in his sweet voice, “I am here, Mother Shabari!” The sound of the voice, which is the basis of all vibrations in the world, was calling out her name! “Am I dreaming or am I really awake?” she wondered.
In that sweet instant, her eyelids opened slowly, and her sight fell on his feet, “Those lotus feet that are cared for, with utmost gentleness by Goddess Lakshmi, are covered by dust and wounded by thorns of this jungle. Did the Lord walk on this thorny path, just to see me? Why did I choose this wretched jungle to wait for Him?” grieved Shabari.
The merciful Lord, who does not tolerate anything hurting the heart of his devotees, not even their own thoughts, swiftly removed them by asking her with his childlike innocence, “Mother, can you give me something to eat?” The moment the hand that creates the universe stretched out in front of her, she was filled with gratitude. She was grateful to the thorny jungle that she cursed a moment ago. After all, it gave her the sweetest, most aromatic fruits, which she held carefully in her sari! She would now offer fruits to the fruit of her intense Sadhana, her dear Lord Ram!
Who else can have such a compassion for us other than the Lord, to shield us even before the trouble begins to manifest!
Siyavar Ramachandra ki Jai!