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Story Of Shabari In Bengali Krittibasi Ramayana

The story of Shabari in the Bengali Krittibasi Ramayana, also known as the Krittivasi Ramayana, differs significantly from its counterpart in the Valmiki Ramayana. In the Krittibasi version, the narrative offers unique elements and a different conclusion to Shabari's devotion and meeting with Lord Rama. Here’s an expanded version of the story:

As Rama and Lakshmana wandered through the forest in search of Mata Sita, they arrived at the ashrama of Sage Matanga. This ashrama was now under the care of Shabari, a devoted and pious woman who had dedicated her life to serving the sage and worshiping Rama.

Shabari had been living a life of deep devotion and penance, guided by her unwavering faith in Rama. Before his death, Sage Matanga had instructed Shabari to remain in the ashrama, assuring her that one day Lord Rama would come and bless her with his presence. With this promise, Shabari waited patiently, her heart filled with love and devotion.

When Rama and Lakshmana arrived at the ashrama, Shabari was overwhelmed with joy. The moment she had waited for her entire life had finally arrived. She welcomed them with great reverence and told them about her guru, Sage Matanga, who had passed away. She expressed her immense gratitude and happiness to Rama, stating that her life's purpose had been fulfilled now that she had seen him.

Shabari's devotion and simplicity deeply touched Rama. She gathered a pile of firewood and, in a profound act of devotion and self-sacrifice, lit a fire. Chanting Rama's name, she entered the pyre. This act symbolized the ultimate liberation and union with the divine, as Shabari's soul was liberated from the cycle of birth and death.

This version of the story emphasizes Shabari's unwavering devotion and her ultimate sacrifice as an expression of her love for Rama. Unlike the more commonly known version where Shabari offers berries to Rama, the Krittibasi Ramayana highlights her readiness to attain liberation through self-immolation, signifying the depth of her faith and devotion.