Friday, 17 April 2020

Outcaste Shabari (Mythological Monologues #15)

In the endless waiting for The Divine,
I found all the answers to Life
In the mission to serve the Divine, 
My life became paradise.
I-Shabari, an outcast from a tribal village
Had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge
They said, "You are an outcast!
You cannot be a disciple of any sage."
Does a wild flower stop blooming
When people don't love it like a rose?
It blooms where it is planted
Fulfilling the purpose of its life.
Can a seeker of Truth ever give up
When people call her an outcast?
She seeks true knowledge
To give meaning to her life. 

When the pain of ignorance and darkness
Became a scream within me,
My Guru, Sage Matanga arrived
Enlightening me about Dharma.
"Lord Rama will visit you one day.",
My Master said before breathing his last.
Since that day, the only purpose of my life
Has been to wait and serve my Lord. 
Seasons changed; years rolled on
I-Shabari became an old woman
Who cannot walk without a walking stick
Despite aches in my withering body, 
And almost complete loss of vision,
My zest for life was tremendous. 
Early morning, I wake up;
With a walking stick, I go to the forest
Pluck berry fruits for my Lord
Unable to understand 
which ones are sweet,
I taste each fruit 
before putting them in my basket. 

In the endless waiting for The Divine,
I found all the answers to Life
In the mission to serve the Divine, 
My life became paradise.
Each day, I waited for Lord Rama
And retired to bed with the anticipation
Of meeting Him the next day. 
And finally that day arrives!
My Lord visits my humble hut
Instead of the ashrams of Brahman yogis.
I offer him the sweetest berries I plucked
In a handmade bowl of leaves
"Brother, the fruits have been tasted.
They are unworthy of eating.", 
Lakshmana said, breaking my trance.
I fold my hands in shame and regret
The bitter realization dawning on me.
"Lakshmana, nothing can match
the taste of these fruits offered to me with 
boundless love and devotion." My Lord said.
Tears roll down my eyes
At the sight of my Lord's beaming face
As I realize my vision has been restored. 
In the devotion of Lord Rama, 
I found liberation from the duality of life
In the mission to serve God, 
I- Shabari became one with God. 

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: Shabari is an elderly woman ascetic in the Hindu epic, Ramayana. She is an ardently devoted woman who received Lord Rama's Darshan and blessing due to her devotion in him. 


  1. I was wondering which character you will choose for O and here comes a lovely surprise. Shabari’s devotion indeed was one of its kind and such a lesson to all of us

  2. How beautifully you are describing the characters. You have described Shabari characters so nicely. Whenever we think of Shabari, the only thing that comes to our mind is Shabari ke Ber.

  3. Hari OM
    Nicely brought in with the outcaste focus! I have a soft spot for the story of Shabari; beautifully done. YAM xx

  4. This is something very unique Purba. I just love to see and read the characters portraying their own grief and anguish in such a brilliant way!! You absorb them in you and it can be seen very clearly. Kudos to you my dear friend. 👏🏻👏🏻

  5. This moved me to tears. I love your poems. "Does a wild flower stop blooming
    When people don't love it like a rose?" was beautiful! Great job, Purba! I think some of my other comments are held up in spam!

  6. Shabari was an epitome of patience, perseverance, devotion and purity. Loved reading this today!

  7. Shabari's tale is the classic case of unbound devotion to God bearing fruit (pun unintended).

    However, I dislike the whole caste angle in the story. Maybe it is a feature of the time when the story was written, but how wonderful it'd have been had these divisions never existed!

    Wonderful poem. Thanks for writing it. :)


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