When Rama and Lakshmana returned
to the cottage, Rama was besides himself with grief to find Sita gone. Rama and
Lakshmana went in search of Sita but found her nowhere.
During their search for Sita
they came across a bird (Jatayu), who lay wounded because he had to fight with
Ravana. This bird called Jatayu had seen Ravana abducting Sita. Jatayu had a
fight with Ravana in which Jatayu’s wings were broken and the poor bird had
fallen wounded to the ground.
The bird Jatayu is symbolic of a
devotee who fights against evil with all his might to the extent that his will
and power to want to soar high, breaks. Yet he lives and waits until God comes
to his rescue.
Rama came to Jatayu and tended
to his wounds. Jatayu was saved and achieved immortality by the fact that he
died in the arms of his Lord.
As Rama and Lakshmana continued
their search for Sita, they came to another great devotee’s cottage. This
great devotee’s name was Sabari.
Sabari’s guru had predicted
that Rama would come to her cottage some day.
Sabari waited for long years.
She did not lose faith. Everyday of her life, she would decorate her cottage and
the path to her cottage with flowers.
She would taste the fruits to
see whether they were sweet enough to be offered to her Lord. She was ready
every moment of her life to receive Rama.
Finally Rama came to her
cottage. Sabari’s cup of happiness was full. She could not find a place good
enough to make her Lord sit. Sabari believed herself to be a simpleton of low
caste; so she felt unworthy of the great honour that Rama had bestowed upon her.
This proves that to God the
caste system holds no value. God is not concerned about how much bank balance
you have and how much property you own. God’s milestone is a devotee’s
heart, which should throb with love for Him and for humanity.
Sabari’s immense patience is a
very important requisite in the path of a Bhakta (devotee).
One has to pray, have the faith
and patience and God comes when he feels that the time is right.
Sabari directed Rama to Sugreeva.
Sugreeva was the younger brother
of Bali, the King of Monkeys, who lived in the mountains.
When Sugreeva saw Rama and
Lakshmana roaming in his territory he asked his trusted aide Hanuman to find out
who the two strangers were.
Hanuman was learned and
possessed magical powers that he had achieved by penance and austerity.
Hanuman took the form of a
learned man and approached the two brothers. Hanuman’s soul recognised the two
brothers as divine. He promptly turned back to his original form, that of a
This is symbolic -
One can fool the world but not
God of what kind of a person you truly are.