Lord Rama is one of the most beloved deities in Hindu mythology, and his epic story, the Ramayana, continues to inspire millions of people worldwide. The story of Lord Rama’s life and his battle against the demon king Ravana has been retold in countless forms, from literature to art to television dramas. One of the most fascinating aspects of the Ramayana is the devotion that Lord Rama inspires in his followers. In this article, we will explore the question of who is the greatest devotee of Lord.
The Story of Shabari
Among the many characters in the Ramayana, one of the most beloved is Shabari. Shabari was an elderly woman who lived in a forest hermitage and devoted her life to Lord Rama. As a young girl, Shabari was curious about the concept of dharma and traveled to the Rishyamukha mountain to seek the guidance of Sage Matanga. She became his disciple and learned about the path of devotion to Lord Rama.
Years later, when Sage Matanga was about to pass away, Shabari asked him how she could attain the “abode of peace” that he had achieved. The sage told her that Lord Rama would one day visit her hermitage and bless her with his vision. From that day forward, Shabari waited patiently for Lord to arrive.
Every day, Shabari would go out into the forest and collect berries to offer to Lord Rama. Before putting them in her basket, she would taste each one to make sure they were sweet and perfect. When Lord finally arrived at her hermitage, he was moved by Shabari’s devotion and blessed her with his vision.
The Story of Hanuman
Another character in the Ramayana who is renowned for his devotion to Lord Rama is Hanuman. Hanuman was a monkey warrior who helped Lord Rama rescue his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana. Hanuman was known for his incredible strength and bravery, but it was his unwavering devotion to Lord Rama that truly set him apart.
Hanuman’s devotion to Lord Rama began when he met Lord Rama’s brother, Lakshmana, in the forest. Lakshmana was searching for Sita and had been wounded by a demon. Hanuman recognized Lakshmana as a devotee of Lord Rama and pledged his loyalty to him. When Hanuman finally met Lord Rama, he was overjoyed and pledged to serve him forever.
Hanuman’s devotion to Rama was put to the test when Sita was kidnapped by Ravana. Hanuman crossed the ocean to reach Lanka, the kingdom of Ravana, and found Sita imprisoned there. He reassured Sita of Lord Rama’s love and then set fire to Lanka with his tail before returning to Lord Rama’s side.
The Story of Tulsidas
Tulsidas was a 16th-century poet and saint who wrote the famous Ramcharitmanas, a retelling of the Ramayana in the Hindi language. Tulsidas was born into a family of Brahmins, but he was not interested in the traditional religious teachings he received as a child. Instead, he had a vision of Lord Hanuman, who told him to devote himself to Lord Rama.
Tulsidas spent much of his life wandering as a sadhu, or holy man, before settling in the city of Varanasi. There, he wrote the Ramcharitmanas, which became one of the most beloved texts in Hindi literature. Tulsidas’s devotion to Lord Rama is evident in every line of the Ramcharitmanas, and his work has inspired generations of Hindus to deepen their own devotion to Lord.
The Story of Meera Bai
Meera Bai was a 16th-century saint and poet who lived in Rajasthan. She was born into a royal family but was not interested in the materialistic life of the court. Instead, she devoted her life to Lord Krishna and later to Rama. Meera Bai’s devotion to Lord Rama was expressed through her poetry, which was filled with images of Lord as the perfect lover and husband.
Meera Bai’s devotion to Lord Rama was not always accepted by her family or society. She faced persecution for her beliefs and was even poisoned by her own brother-in-law. Despite these challenges, Meera Bai remained steadfast in her devotion to Lord and is remembered today as one of the greatest saints of the Bhakti movement.
The Story of Eknath
Eknath was a 16th-century saint and poet who lived in Maharashtra. He was born into a family of Brahmins and was trained in the traditional religious texts of Hinduism. However, he became disillusioned with the formalism of his faith and turned to the teachings of the Bhakti movement.
Eknath’s devotion to Lord Rama was expressed through his poetry, which was known for its simplicity and clarity. He wrote about the joys of devotion and the importance of living a moral life. Eknath’s work has influenced generations of Hindus and is still read and studied today.
The Story of Tyagaraja
Tyagaraja was an 18th-century composer and musician who lived in South India. He was born into a family of musicians and learned to play the veena, a traditional Indian stringed instrument, from a young age. However, it was his devotion to Lord Rama that set him apart from other musicians of his time.
Tyagaraja’s compositions were filled with references to Lord Rama and his life. He wrote about the joys of devotion and the importance of living a moral life. Tyagaraja’s devotion to Lord Rama was so great that he is said to have composed music in his sleep.
In conclusion, the question of who is the greatest devotee of Lord Rama is a difficult one to answer. Each of the characters we have explored in this article – Shabari, Hanuman, Tulsidas, Meera Bai, Eknath, and Tyagaraja – exemplify the qualities of devotion and love that are at the heart of the Ramayana. Their stories remind us that devotion to a higher power can take many forms and that true faith is a journey of the heart. Whether we express our devotion through prayer, music, poetry, or simply living a moral life, the important thing is that we do so with sincerity and love.