Biographies | Women
Shabaree is an exclusive Raamaayan character. Although she is just mentioned there, but Raamaayan is not complete without her.
Shabaree was a woman from Bheel tribe (a very low tribe of India living on prey). When she came to marriageable age, her father settled her marriage with some good boy. When the day came, Many animals were ordered to be killed. Seeing this she hated marriage that "what was the use of such marriage in which so many animals have to be killed." and she ran away from the home.
Running around she arrived in an hermitage where she requested for refuge. Seeing a woman of Bheel tribe all Rishi refused her to give her refuge, But Matang Muni whose hermitage it was, called her in private and said - "Do not worry. These Rishi are not yet matured enough. You can stay here and serve these Rishi secretly. You may clean their living place and do other menial jobs." So Shabaree started living there and doing menial jobs for Rishi.
After a while Rishi noticed some changes in their living places, that somebody cleaned their places, filled water, brought flowers etc. They wondered but knew that this was Shabaree's work. They liked the work, so they agreed on her staying there.
When Matang Muni left for Swarg, she told him to take her along. He said - "It is not yet time for you to go from here. You stay back in Dandak Van and wait for Raam's Darshan. When He will come here in search of His wife Seetaa, you tell Him the address of Seetaa. After that you can come." and Matang Muni left.
Shabaree started living in Dandak Van waiting for Raam. She was getting old waiting for Him. It is said that when she left her house, she was 16 and when she received Raam in Dandak van, she was 56 years old. She daily plucked wild berries and kept them or Him, in the hope that Raam would come today. When He came to her Aashram, searching for Seetaa, she served them with wild berries. Raam told her about Navadhaa Bhakti. The story goes like this that she tasted every berry before serving them to Raam to ensure that they were all sweet. This story, however, is neither in Vaalmeeki Raamaayan, nor in Tulasee's Raam Charit Maanas.
Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 02/25/14