Shri Ram justifies that a berry given with pure devotion is greater than any riches

When one is a true devotee of the Almighty, nothing is perceived by them expect the bliss of devotion towards the God. The only purpose of their life is to serve the Almighty unconditionally. Pleased with their pure love for him, the Almighty appears at their doorstep instead of them going in search of him, just as Shri Ram did for a simple tribal woman Mata Shabari.


Mata Shabari’s devotion is the dearest one to Shri Ram, not for her great intellectuality or knowledge, but for her simple untainted affection as a mother for Shri Ram. Shabari being a tribal woman was a perfect human who respected the value of life for all creation. She runs away from her home when she comes to know that animals in her name would be sacrificed on the occasion of her marriage. She becomes the disciple of Matang Rishi and understands that the meaning of true love is nothing but pure devotion offered to the feet of the Almighty. As ordered by her guru, she waits for Shri Ram to come to her and bless her devotion reach its true purpose.

When a devotee waits for the Almighty, days and years passing by also do not come into count. They simply soak themselves in the ocean of devotion and wait for him. Mata Shabari waits for years together daily collecting sweet berries, fragrant flowers to welcome Shri Ram when he comes to her simple hut. One day when Shri Ram and Lakhshman come at her doorstep, Mata Shabari has no grandeur welcome but only tears of joy to offer at the feet of Shri Ram. She welcomes the brothers to her ashram and offers him some relaxation after a tired walk in the forest searching for Mata Sita.

When Mata Shabari offers Shri Ram tasted sweet berries, Lakshman is surprised at the audacity of Mata Shabari. But Shri Ram knows that it was only the pure love and concern as a mother that her child should have the tastiest food and hence Mata Shabari has offered him tasted berries which were sweet and juicy. Shri Ram mentions that she reminded him of his mother Kaushalya who would serve him food with the same love and affection.

Just as a mother who plays the role of guiding the child in the correct direction, Mata Shabari understanding the dejection of Shri Ram for Mata Sita consoles him and guides him to meet Sugriv who would help Shri Ram gain Mata Sita back. Mata Shabari knew her role in guiding Shri Ram towards the elimination of evil forces and played it diligently. She paved foundation for the friendship of Shri Ram and Sugriv which went on to become one of the greatest examples of friendship values for times eternal.


Mata Shabari all though knowing what true devotion is yet remained humble and requested Shri Ram to enlighten the Bhakti Marga to her. A devotee never boasts of his or her knowledge, but instead is gratified to the Almighty for giving an opportunity to be enlightened in his devotion. Mata Shabari teaches the simplest yet important lesson that devotion towards the Almighty should never be in fear, but with faith in him. Shri Ram accepts her bhakti that even though there are no riches or luxuries to offer him, even a simple berry too would suffice when offered with faith.