Rama and Lakshmana moved towards the south. Soon they met an old pious woman Sabari, who was waiting for the arrival of Rama as her Guru Mathanga Rishi had foretold before he left the body. She said to Rama, “O Rama! O Lord! The wish of my guru has been fulfilled. The hermitage is just a few feet off; please sanctify it by entering it.” Sabari fell at Rama’s feet. When Rama entered, Sabari gained so much strength that she marched to the river to get cool water and fruits for Rama. She tasted the fruits before offering to Rama as she wanted to offer only the best to him. Rama was pleased by Sabari’s devotion, dedication and love. He said, “Mother! Devotion is the thing I need, the rest are subservient. I relish the sweetness of devotion saturated with love”.
Gurus to tell the children that when they pray with love and perform all their duties with love, God gives darshan at their own residence (their hearts).
Value to be imbibed: Prayer should emanate from the heart, a heart that is pure and full of love for God. Duty without love is deplorable; duty with love is desirable; love without duty is divine.
[Gurus can narrate the story of Sabari and explain the unparalleled devotion she had for Lord Rama. Given below, for the purpose of Gurus’ reference: are extracts from: The Prasanthi Reporter: Lessons From Sabari’s Sadhana Wednesday, July 18th, 2012. “Sabari had no other thought than that of Rama, no other desire than the desire to have the darshan of Rama, the chance to touch His Feet and the opportunity to speak with Him. Her heart was saturated with the Ramarasa (the essence of Rama principle), the sweetness of the Rama principle. She had no other Japam or Dhyana or spiritual exercise. She spent her time preparing for the visit of Rama to the hermitage; just as she cleaned the paths, she cleaned her heart, too. Pebbles and thorns disappeared from both through her efforts. She walked through the undergrowth and removed overhanging creepers and briars, for she imagined Rama would not have combed His hair and it might get caught. She broke the lumps of earth, for she feared the tender soles of Sita will be hurt when she walks over them. She gathered fruits and tubers from the jungle trees and plants and kept them by every day, for no one knew when Rama will arrive! And, she took no risks. She tasted every fruit, whether it was bitter, sour or sweet, so that Rama could eat the best. She smoothed the surface of all stones that lay by the side of the tracks in the jungle for, she expected Rama, Lakshmana or Sita to sit upon any one of them when they got tired of walking. She hoped that one of them would rest awhile on one of the rocks she had polished with great care. Thus her heart became Rama-hridaya! The Sadhana Sabari did to earn the bliss of serving Rama, you can do, when you serve Sai Rama in the poor. By this service, you realise the Self as Rama.”]