Mumbai: Those who have read the Ramayana know that Shri Rama embraced all irrespective of their caste, colour or creed. As Maryada Purushottam, he set high standards of morality that spreads the message of universal brotherhood and humanity even today. Rich, poor, young, old – everyone witnessed Rama’s benevolence. One such recipient of Rama’s compassion was Shabari, an old tribal woman.
While Rama was on his mission along with brother Lakshamana to locate his beloved wife Sita, he came across Shabari, who had heard accounts of his kindness. Like a true devotee, she nurtured the desire to play host to Shri Rama at least ones in her lifetime.
Her wish came true, when Rama and Lakshmana visited her cottage. The poor woman had nothing but berries to offer to the divine brothers. But she wanted to ensure she only served the sweet ones. So she tasted each of the berries before offering them to the duo.
Rama accepted her innocent offerings gladly and ate the berries without objecting to the fact that they were already tasted by her.
The place where Rama met Shabari is believed to be in modern day Gujarat.
Shabari Dham is about 4 kilometres from a village named Subir which is off the Ahwa-Navapur road near Dang district of Gujarat. This place is believed to be Dandakaranya mentioned in the Ramayana.
The temple complex houses three stone slabs on which the Rama, Lakshamana and Shabari sat.
The Pampa lake, which is associated with Lord Rama is about 6 kilometers away from the Shabari Dham.