Rāmāyana | Āraṇya Kaṇḍa | Chapter 74

74. Rāma Meets Sage Śabarī

[Rāma goes near Pampa lake and from there to the Mātanga hermitage and meets Śabarī who has been waiting for them. Śabarī treats them with hospitality and then enters in to fire and gets salvation.]

Those princes travelled towards the western direction as directed by Kabandha towards the lake Pampa. 74.1

That Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa crossing several mountains full of trees laden with honey like fruits set out to see Sugrīva. 74.2

Those Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa who belonged to the Raghu clan, stayed on the top of the mountain and departed by the western path and neared the banks of Pampa. 74.3

Then they reached the western bank of the Pampa Lake which was a lotus pond and saw the delightful hermitage of Śabarī. 74.4

Then they reached the hermitage surrounded by very many trees and went towards Śabarī who has viewing those pretty trees. 74.5

Then that lady sage seeing them got up and saluted them, touched the feet of Rāma as well as that of the great Lakṣmaṇa. 74.6

As per the practice she offered them water to wash their feet as well as to drink and then Rāma spoke to that austere woman observing great penance. 74.7

"Oh lady with penance as wealth, I hope you do not face any obstacles in doing penance and I hope you are able to control your anger and desire for food." 74.8

"Oh lady whose speech is pretty, how is your attainment in spiritual practices? I hope your mind is pleasant and I hope you have been able to serve the teachers with good effect." 74.9

That great lady of penance who was sage who was recognized by other sages and who was old spoke to Rāma after receiving him. 74.10

"Today by being able to see you, I obtained the results of my penance and I think I have served my teachers well and I have obtained good results." 74.11

"Oh great among men, Oh best among gods by worshipping you today my life has become fruitful and I will also attain heaven." 74.12

"Oh son of Raghu clan, I have been sanctified by your gentle looks and oh destroyer of enemies, by your grace I would reach the land that never fades." 74.13

"When you reached Chitrakūṭa in aerial vehicles of matchless lustre, those whom I served, ascended to heaven." 74.14

I have been told by those great sages who were great people and followers of Dharma, "Rāma will come to this blessed hermitage and you receive him along with son of Sumitrā as guest and after seeing them you will reach blessed inexhaustible world." 74.15-74.16

"Oh tiger among men, I have collected various forest foods for your sake, which are available on the banks of Pampa." 74.17

When Śabarī spoke in this way, that soul of Dharma Rāghava addressed Śabarī, who has never been prevented from reading about divine knowledge." 74.18

"From that great soul Dhanu, I have heard about your power and if you think it proper I would like to get personally acquainted with it." 74.19

When these words were released from the mouth of Rāma, Śabarī started showing him her great garden." 74.20

"Oh Rāma, this garden known as "Mātanga Garden" which look like a splendid and solid cloud is filled with many animals and birds and is very famous." 74.21

"Here my Gurus who were great visionaries have offered many sacrifices along with chant of Mantras and sacred waters.," 74.22

"This is the altar in the west where, those revered ones, who were completely exhausted offered flowers for worship with trembling hands." 74.23

"Oh best of the Raghu clan, even today due to the power of their penance are shining filing all directions with great light." 74.24

"They did not have energy to move about and go to the sea for bathing due to fasting and just by their thought all the seven seas came here together." 74.25

"Due to their ascetic strength, the bark cloth they have hung on trees for drying after their bath, have even now not dried." 74.26

"Even today the flowers including lotus flowers offered by them to God have not shown any sign of wilting." 74.27

"You have seen the entire forest and also have heard all that has to be heard. And now with your permission I want to give up this body of mine." 74.28

"I wish to go near those great visionaries whom I served as an attendant I this hermitage of saints." 74.29

Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa after hearing the words of that lady who followed Dharma, became very happy hearing about those wonderful incidents. 74.30

Then Rāma told that lady sage who is firmly established in her vow "You have worshipped me with devotion and so now you can go as per your desire." 74.31

Thus spoken that old woman with matted locks wearing cloths of bark and deer hide, desiring to give up her body immediately after taking permission from Rāma offered herself in to fire and with a body shining like fire went to heaven. 74.32-74.33

Adorned with divine ornaments, wearing divine garlands and unguents, wearing divine cloths and with a form which was pleasing to look, she illuminated the place like a streak of lightning. 74.34

Śabarī due to the practice of the penance of the soul went to that holy place frequented by holy seers, accomplished people and great sages. 74.35

This is the end of Seventy Fourth Sarga of Āraṇya Kanda which occurs in Holy Rāmāyaṇa composed by Vālmīki as the First Epic.