Sage Matanga said, “Shabari, to relieve the earth of its problems, soon in the house of King Dashratha, Shri Rama will be born, as an incarnation of Vishnu. I will not be fortunate enough to behold him. But he will certainly come to this ashram and you will have the good fortune of his darshan (sighting). Wait here till Shri Rama arrives.” With these words Sage Matanga achieved paramapad and left his earthly body.
Shabari, the true devotee, now dedicated her life to her guru’s words of advice, and spent her days waiting for Shri Rama’s arrival. Every day, she swept and cleaned the ashram, filled fresh water and gathered fruits and tubers for Shri Rama. She waited and waited for years on end. She became old and infirm, but the hope in her heart that Shri Rama would arrive, remained ever fresh.
At last, in search of Sita, Rama and Lakshman , arrived at Sage Matanga’s ashram after killing the demon Kabandha. Shabari welcomed them and washed their feet reverentially with tears that flowed from her eyes. Shri Rama asked here to fetch some fruit. Shabari offered him berries and fruits but before giving them to Shri Rama, she tasted each one of the berries. She forgot that she was feeding Shri Rama with berries that were bitten and therefore unfit and impure for offering to another. And swayed by her devotion, Shri Rama ate the berries with joy. It was a moment when the devotee and divine were joined in harmony.
Shri Rama was pleased with the devotion and care of the simple hearted Shabari. With the blessings of Shri Rama Shabari quit her earthly body and left for her heavenly abode. As told by Shabari, Shri Rama then continued on his way, to meet Sugreeva on the Rishyamukh Mountain, along with Lakshman . (Refer to the map for the place where Shabari met with Shri Ram). The tale of Shabari will never die because it is a benchmark for devotion and love towards God.