Thursday, January 24, 2008

Lord Rama meets Shabri: Devotion is the sole reason for ‘darshan’

When Vishnu-incarnate Ramachandra visits Shabri’s ashram in the Adhyatma Ramayana, Shabri explains that she has been waiting for Him ever since her guru, Rishi Matang, left for Brahma’s abode. Her mystic guru had foretold her that the Eternal Supreme Soul, who has incarnated on earth for the preservation of dharma, would bless her with His darshan one day and had instructed her to maintain her life till that moment. After pleasantly receiving the Lord and offering Him some fruits, Shabri asks a question that is valid for her time, “When even my guru (a great sage) could not obtain your darshan, how could I – a socially disadvantaged, uneducated woman – attain it?”

In reply, Rama explains that His remembrance is not influenced by gender, caste, title, or age but finds its source in devotion alone. In the absence of bhakti, actions like sacrifices, charity, asceticism, and learning are fruitless in leading to His darshan. In Tulasidasa's retelling of the same theme in the Ramacharitamanasa, Rama compares a person who possesses social privileges, a clan, virtues, ethics, brightness, strength, and riches but lacks devotion to “a cloud devoid of water” (Aranya Kand; 34-3).

Finally, Rama gives Shabri a discourse on the 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.”

It is interesting to note, especially for the supporters of the devotional schools, that realization and emancipation are not cherished as highly as a darshan. While reaching the abode of Brahma also guarantees Rishi Matang’s eventual liberation, it is the face-to-face meeting with the Personal God that the devotee seeks and attains.


ramji said...

Sabari's devotional service to her Guru is the cause for the dharshan or Lord Rama. The article is wonderful and necessary for this world.


Lauren Grace, PhD said...

While reaching the abode of Brahma also guarantees Rishi Matang’s eventual liberation, "it is the face-to-face" meeting "with...God" ...devotee seeks and attains.
Face to face is where we experience the purest, truest, the magnificent and incomprehensible right up to this very moment ABSOLUTE LOVE OF GOD We know fully, comprehend all that is and ever will be, in the blink of an eye, just as we are fully known. Face to face is where the miraculous occurs beyond any dimensional limitations. This is the mystery we have always sought to solve, throughout all of the incarnations of our lifetimes in the only dimensional address in all of the cosmos where by its very nature it can never be solved.
Yet, with the focused intent that only the truly devoted can bring: Face to face, in the Holy Temple of the Most Holy Divine Holy One a shift is triggered. Face to face, still holding in that very shift the experience engulfs every living cell and simultaneously entrains a new cellular reality. This new reality, empowered by its alignment with all of the cosmos in their entirety, exponentially supersedes the stored cellular code.

Face to face, every cell in composition instantly defines love in the very same instant as its expression; love @ its purest attained in freedom from the highest heights.

It is here that we KNOW FULLY just as we are FULLY KNOWN. (Nirvikalpa Samadhi Bliss)

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