In reply, Rama explains that his remembrance is not influenced by gender, caste, title, or age but finds its source in bhakti (devotion) alone. In the absence of bhakti, actions like sacrifices, charity, asceticism, and learning are fruitless in leading to his darshan. In Tulasidasa’s retelling of the same theme in the Ramacharitamanasa, Rama compares a person who possesses social privileges, a clan, virtues, ethics, brightness, strength, and riches but lacks devotion to “a cloud devoid of water” (Aranya Kand; 34–3).
Finally, Rama gives Shabri a discourse on the nine kinds of devotion through which a jiva (individual soul) can reach God and concludes by clarifying that devotion leads to the experience of the Divine which, in turn, leads to emancipation: “I am here because you are endowed with bhakti. And my darshan will unquestionably lead to your liberation.”
It is interesting to note that some members of Hinduism’s devotional schools do not cherish realization and emancipation as highly as a darshan. Though the darshan of God is not a prerequisite for liberation, it is the face-to-face meeting with the Personal God that the devotee seeks and attains.