The Adikavi, the Poet of Poets, of India, who gave the world the immortal epic, the 'Ramayana'. He came under the spell of Maharshi Narada and became a 'Brahmarshi' . He not only sang the matchless greatness of Sri Rama, but gave shelter to his wife Seeta, and taught the epic to Sri Rama's sons.
"Most revered world famous poet Maharshi Valmiki was the author of epic Ramanaya, the first creator in Indian literature, in Sanskrit particularly. The epic he wrote was widely acclaimed and accepted in the world."
Maharshi Valmiki had after learning the descriptions of a model human being decided to create such poetry. He himself was a great saint. He wanted to enrich the society with the blessings of Narada so that his devotion of many years bore fruits. When Narada told him that a model person, enriched with all the qualities and committed for the welfare of the human being is within them, saint Valmiki decided to write a book describing the model person.
Maharshi Valmiki was going to the river Ganga for his daily ablutions. A disciple by the name Bharadwaja was carrying his clothes. On the way, they came across the Tamsa stream. Looking at the stream, Maharshi 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 heard the sweet chirping of birds. Looking up, he saw two birds flying together. Maharshi Valmiki felt very pleased on seeing the happy bird couple. Suddenly, one of the birds fell down, hit by an arrow; it was the male bird. Seeing the wounded one, its mate screamed in agony. Maharshi 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. Maharshi Valmiki became very angry. His lips opened and he uttered the following words:
"ma nisada pratisthha tvamagamah ???vat?h samah yat krauñ camithun?dekam avadh?h k?mamohita"
Means you will find no rest for the long years of eternity for you killed a bird in live and unsuspecting.
Emerging spontaneously from his rage and grief, this was the first ?loka in Sanskrit literature. Later maharshi Valmiki composed the entire Ramayana with the blessings of Lord Brahma in the same meter that issued forth from him as the ?loka. Thus this ?loka is revered as the "first ?loka" in Hindu literature. Maharshi Valmiki is revered as the first poet, or Adi Kavi, and the Ramayana, the first Kavya. His first disciples to whom he taught the Ramayana were Kusha and Lava, the sons of Rama.
Though after cursing the person, he was pained. He thought why I could not keep control on myself and gave curse to the nishad. He wrote Kimidam vyahatam maya (What I have done).
But then, he consoled himself saying that this inner voice would ultimately help in writing the book. He could understand that the inner sentiments to write the book would now reflect in the book, which he would write. The time has come to realize the dream.
He was assured that the goddess of literature would herself help him in writing the epic so that he could present his sentiments in the easy manner. Thus his dream to make the model person as the hero of his book realized.
It is remarkable that Sri Rama himself listened to the story of the Ramayana' and was pleased. Lava and Kusha sang the story before Rama very sweetly; Rama did not know that they were own sons! Valmiki's Ramayana is in the Sanskrit language. It is a very beautiful poem. long poem narrating the story of a very great hero is called an epic. Valmiki's 'Ramayana' is the very first such poem in Sanskrit. Therefore, it is also called the 'Adikavya' or -the First Poem; Valmiki is also known as the 'Adikavi', which means the First Poet. Valmiki's 'Ramayana' can be sung. It is delightful to the ear like the sound of the cuckoo. Valmiki has been described as a cuckoo on the tree of poetry, singing sweetly. Those who read the 'Ramayana' bow to the great Valmiki first and then turn to the epic.
But it is unfortunate that despite making such huge efforts, not much has been written about Maharshi Valmiki. Maharshi himself did not say much about himself in any of the books and hence no description is found regarding his life. Some persons claim that at that time three-four Valmikis were famous and known. It is still not known who was the actual maharshi Valmiki.
Even different versions come during life time of Maharshi Valmiki and the period of Ramayana. Many times the issue has been discussed. Dr H Jakobi opined that Maharshi Valmiki was born before Gautam Buddha. W Skegal says that he was born in pre-christ era while GT Wheeler and A Beber claim that he was born after Jesus Christ. The archeology department of India had excavated Ayodhya, Nandigram and other related places, which proves that all the places were inter-related. Lokmanya Tilak and other Indian historians said that Maharshi Valmiki was born much earlier than the claims of the western historians.
But whatever is the fact, but it can not be denied that with the creation of Ramanaya, he earned the place of an all time respected and acclaimed poet. He crossed all the barriers. Ashwaghosh, born in pre-christ era in his book Buddhcharit wrote while praising Ramayana and said `Balmikisdo cha sajarja padam, jagranth yanna chvano maharshi`. This proves that maharshi was in before Christ era and also that he had earned much praises among the fellow poets.
Thus, the popularity of Ramayana would continue till mountains would exist or river would flow on the universe.
Yavat Sthasayanti Visya Saritscha Mahitale, Tadat Ramayana Katha Lokeshu Pracharishyati.