Saturday 20 April 2024

The Birth Of The Ramayana - 3

Judged by this standard, only those works are worthy of being called sähitya which speak of the Lord or those that show us the way to the Lord. In this sense, the Ramayana, the magnum opus of the sage Valmiki, will shine in the forefront. of the best literature. If there is anyone who can be considered an equal to Valmiki, it is only Vyāsa. None has yet been born, and it is highly improbable that any- one will ever be born, who can rank with these two immortal bards of India.

What makes the Ramayana the best poetry? What are the conditions that are essential for the production of poetry nonpareil? Let us have a look at the circum- stances that gave birth to the first poetic muse to find out the answer.

The author of the Ramayana, the great sage Välmīki, is described as a great tapa- svin, man of self-control and concentration, in the opening verse of the Ramyana, which gives a picturesque description of the visit of the itinerant divine minstrel, Narada, to the hermitage of Valmiki on the Tamasa river. When the minstrel arrives, the verse narrates, Valmīki greets him respectfully and questions him about the best of men then living:

Tapassvādhyāyaniratam tapasvi vigui- dam varam;

Nāradom paripapraccha Välmäkirmuni pungavam-

"The self-composed Välmīki respectfully asked the most saintly Narada, who was devoted to discipline and study and who was a master of the art of speaking, about the best of men then living."

- by Swami Siddhinathananda (courtesy : Prabuddha Bharat 1965 Oct)

To be continued ..

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मुक्तसंग्ङोऽनहंवादी धृत्युत्साहसमन्वित:।
सिद्ध‌‌यसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥

Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26

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