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Valmiki

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Valmiki
Valmiki Ramayana.jpg
Valmiki composing Ramayana
ReligionHinduism
ParentsPracheta

Valmiki (/vɑːlˈmiːki/ ; Sanskrit: वाल्मीकि, Vālmīki) is celebrated as the harbinger-poet in Sanskrit literature. The epic Ramayana, dayted variously from 5th century BCE to first century BCE[1][2], is attributed to him, based on the attribution in the text itself[3]. He is revered as Ādi Kavi, the first poet, author of Ramayana, the first epic poem

Ramayana, originally written by Valmiki, consists of 24,000 shlokas[citation needed] Ramayana is composed of about 480,002 words, being a quarter of the length of the full text of the Mahabharata or ablout four times the length of the Iliad. The Ramayana tells the story of a prince, Rama of the city of Ayodhya in the Kingdom of Kosala, whose wife Sita is abducted by Ravana, the demon-king (Rakshasa) of Lanka. The Valmiki Ramayana is dated variously from 500 BCE to 100 BCE or about co-eval with early versions of the Mahabharata[4]. As with many traditional epics, it has gone through a process of interpolations and redactions, making it impossible to date accurately.

British satirist Aubrey Menen says that Valmiki was, "recognized as a literary genius," and thus was considered, "an outlaw," presumably because of his, "philosophic scepticism,"[5] as part of an "Indian Enlightenment" period[6]. Valmiki is also quoted to be the contemporary of Rama. Menen claims Valmiki is, "the first author in all history to bring himself into his own composition."[7] Rama met Valmiki during his period of exile and interacted with him. Valmiki gave shelter to Sita in his hermitage when Rama banished her. Kushaand Lava, the twin sons of Shri Rama were born to Sita in this hermitage. Valmiki taught Ramayana to Kusha and Lava, who later sang the divine story in Ayodhya during the Ashwamedha yajna congregation, to the pleasure of the audience, whereupon, King Rama questioned who they were and later visited Valmiki's hermitage to confirm if Sita, the two children claimed as their mother was in fact his wife in exile. Later, he summoned them to his royal palace. Kusha and Lava sang the story of Rama there and Rama confirmed that whatever had been sung by these two children was entirely true.

Early Life

Valmiki was born as Agni Sharma to a Brahmin named Pracheta (also known as Sumali) of Bhrigu gotra[8][9][10], According to legend he once met the great sage Narada and had a discourse with him on his duties. Moved by Narada's words, Agni Sharma began to perform penance and chanted the word "Mara" which meant "kill". As he performed his penance for several years, the word became "Rama", the name of Lord Vishnu. Huge anthills formed around Agni Sharma and this earned him the name of Valmiki. Agni Sharma, rechristened as Valmiki, learnt the scriptures from Narada and became the foremost of ascetics, revered by everyone

The first shloka

The youthful sage Narada at the white-bearded Valmiki's hermitage

Valmiki was going to the river Ganges for his daily ablutions. A disciple by the name Bharadwaja was carrying his clothes. On the way, they came across the Tamasa Stream. Looking at the stream, Valmiki said to his disciple, "Look, how clear is this water, like the mind of a good man! I will bathe here today." When he was looking for a suitable place to step into the stream, he saw a crane couple mating. Valmiki felt very pleased on seeing the happy birds. Suddenly, hit by an arrow, the male bird died on the spot. Filled by sorrow, its mate screamed in agony and died of shock. Valmiki's heart melted at this pitiful sight. He looked around to find out who had shot the bird. He saw a hunter with a bow and arrows, nearby. Valmiki became very angry. His lips opened and he cried out,

मां निषाद प्रतिष्ठां त्वमगमः शाश्वतीः समाः।
यत्क्रौंचमिथुनादेकम् अवधीः काममोहितम्॥'
mā niṣāda pratiṣṭhā tvamagamaḥ śāśvatīḥ samāḥ
yat krauñcamithunādekam avadhīḥ kāmamohitam[11]
You will find no rest for the long years of Eternity
For you killed a bird in love and unsuspecting[12]

Emerging spontaneously from Valmiki's rage and grief, this is considered to be the first shloka in Sanskrit literature. Valmiki later composed the entire Ramayana with the blessings of Lord Brahma in the same meter that issued forth from him as the shloka. Thus this shloka is revered as the first shloka in Hindu literature. Valmiki is revered as the first poet or Adi Kavi and Ramayana, the first kavya(poem).

His first disciples to whom he taught the Ramayana were Kusha and Lava, the sons of Rama:

प्रचेत्सोऽहं दशमः पुत्रो राघवनंन्दन |
न स्मराम्यनृतं वाक्यमिमौ तु तव पुत्रकौ || 96:16

In another verse, it is also stated that he is from the lineage of the sage Bhargava:

संनिबद्धं हि श्लोकानां चतुर्विंशत्सहस्रकम् |
उपाख्यानशतं चैव भार्गवेण तपस्विना || 94:24

Incarnation

Sita in valmiki Hermitage

Vishnudharmottara Puranasays that Valmiki was born in the Treta Yuga as a form of Brahma who composed Ramayana and that people desirious of earning knowledge should worship Valmiki. He was later reincarnated as Tulsidas, who composed the Ramcharitamanas, which was the Awadhi-Hindi version of the Ramayana

Temples

Rama with Sita on the throne, their children Lava and Kusha on their laps. Behind the throne, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna stand. Hanuman bows to Rama before the throne. Valmiki to the left.

An area in Chennai, Tiruvanmiyur is believed to derive its name from Sage Valmiki, Thiru-Valmiki-Oor. There is a temple for Valmiki located in this place, which is believed to be 1300 years old.

Also:

  • Shree Valmiki Mata Maha Samsthana in Rajanahalli, Karnataka

Valmikism

Main article :Balmiki Sect

A community of Dalits, in North India, known as the Valmiki Samaj, which worship Valmiki as their ancestor and GOD. They consider Valmiki as a great Dalit icon.

In popular culture

In 1963, Valmiki, a Kannada movie, was made, starring Dr Rajkumar.

See also

References

  1. ^ Dalrymple, William (2008-08-22). "William Dalrymple on India's living epic the Ramayana". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  2. ^ Florida, University of West. ""Sri Aurobindo on the Indian Epic Ramayana"" (PDF). uwf.edu. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  3. ^ Valmiki, Robert P. Goldman. The Ramayana of Valmiki: An Epic of Ancient India. 1. Princeton University Press. 1990. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-691-01485-X. Check |isbn= value: invalid character (help).
  4. ^ Goldman, Robert P. The Ramayana of Valmiki: An Epic of Ancient India. p. 23.
  5. ^ Menen, Aubrey (1954). "Introduction", The Ramayana. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons:. p. 4. ISBN Unspecified Check |isbn= value: invalid character (help). LCCN 54-35716. Unknown parameter |Lcc= ignored (help)
  6. ^ Menen (1954). ""The Indian Enlightenment"": 9.
  7. ^ Menen (1954). "The Heritage of the Gluttons", p.81.
  8. ^ Naravane, Vishwanath S. (1997). Sages, Nymphs, and Deities: Excursions in Indian Mythology. The Author. p. 87.
  9. ^ Mittal, J. P. (2006). History Of Ancient India (a New Version) : From 7300 Bb To 4250 Bc,. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. p. 720. ISBN 9788126906154.
  10. ^ Varadpande, Manohar Laxman (2009). Mythology of Vishnu and His Incarnations. Gyan Publishing House. p. 166. ISBN 9788121210164.
  11. ^ Sacred-Texts.com IAST encoded transliteration (modified from original source to accurately reflect sandhi rules)
  12. ^ Buck, William and van Nooten, B. A. Ramayana. 2000, page 7

External links