Rishi Valmiki



Average: 2.3 (6 votes)
Fast Facts
200px-Valmiki_ramayan.jpg
Function: 
Sage
Traditions: 
Sanatna Dharma
Main Countries of Activity: 
India
Date of Birth: 
Unknown
Place of Birth: 
Unknown
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Yes

Biography

Valmiki (Sanskrit: वाल्मीकि, vālmīki) (ca. 400 BCE, northern India)is celebrated as the poet harbinger in Sanskrit literature. He is the author of the epic, Ramayana, based on the attribution in the text of the epic itself. He is the inventor of the vedic poetic meter śloka, which defined the form of Sanskrit poetry in many latter works.

He is revered as the first poet in Hinduism. There is also a religious movement based on Valmiki's teachings as presented in the Ramayana and the Yogavashista called Valmikism.

At least by the 1st century CE, Valmiki's reputation as the father of Indian poetry seems to have been already legendary as Ashvagosha writes in the Buddhacarita,

"The voice of Valmiki uttered poetry which the great seer Chyavana could not compose."

The Rāmāyaṇa, originally written by Valmiki, consists of 24,000 verses in six cantos (some say seven i.e. including the Uttara Ramayana) (kāṇḍas). The Ramayana tells the story of a prince, Rama of Ayodhya, whose wife Sita is abducted by the demon (Rākshasa) king of Lanka, Rāvana. The Valmiki Ramayana is dated variously from 500 BC to 100 BC, or about co-eval with early versions of the Mahabhārata. As with most traditional epics, since it has gone through a long process of interpolations and redactions it is impossible to date it accurately.

The first śloka

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 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 heard sweet chirping of birds. Looking up, he saw two birds flying together. 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. 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. The hunter had shot the bird for food. Valmiki became very angry. His lips opened and he uttered the following words:

mAnishAda pratishTAtum samagah ssAshvatIssamAh
yat krouncha mithunAdEkam sokam avadhIm kAma mOhitam

"You who have killed one of the birds engaged in the act of love,
thus, may you not yourself live long!"

This was the first śloka in Sanskrit literature. Later Valmiki composed the entire Ramayana with the blessings of Lord Brahma in the same meter that issued forth from him as a śloka. Thus this śloka is revered as the "first śloka" in Hindu literature. Valmiki is revered as the first poet, or Adi Kavi, and the Ramayana, the first kavya.

Teachings

-- No teachings were entered yet for this guru. Please help by clicking the Edit tab and adding teachings, theories, points of view, techniques and other messages related to the guru. --