Tuesday 23 April 2024

The Birth Of The Ramayana - 6

Valmiki, so the story goes, one day went to the river Tamasä to take bath, accompanied by a disciple. While he was enjoying the natural scenery, his eyes lighted on a pair of doves on a tree. As he was looking at the doves, an arrow brought down the male dove. The female dove cried its heart out seeing her mate rolling on the ground soaked in blood. The scene touched the heart of Valmiki. His heart melted in sorrow and sympathy. Overpowered by the sorrowful sight, he turned on the cruel hunter in rage and spake:

Mã nişāda pratisthâm tvamagamah

śāśvati samāh;

Yat kraunca-mithunäd ekam avadhih kāmamohitam

O thou cruel man, as thou hast shot dead this love-stricken dove, thou shalt not live long. (Balakanda, II. 15)

As this curse in the form of a couplet fell from his mouth, Valmiki was surprised. 'What is this? What is this that has fallen from my mouth? he asked himself. He told his disciple, Bharadvāja: "These words, musical and metrical, that have flowed from my grief-stricken heart must be a śloka; it cannot be anything else. Kivya flowed from karuna. Soka expressed itself in sloka. From grief grew poetry. Valmiki had a heart which could reflect the surroundings and which could reverberate in sympathy with them. Yes, Valmiki was a born poet.

However much may be one's acquisition and endowment, one does not gain self- confidence unless the experts in the line approve and appreciate. Välmīki returned to his cottage after his bath. There came to his cottage Brahma, the Creator. Valmiki welcomed the venerable guest. Valmiki's mind was still hovering over the scene he had espied and the words that had fallen from his mouth. Brahma, the inspirer of the Eternal Wisdom, consoled Välmīki, saying: 'Please don't worry about it. What you uttered was a sloka, and it sprang from you because of my wish.

You please write the life story of Sri Rama- candra in mellifluous poetry in this form. You have heard his life from Närada. Whatever else you require will occur to you as you go on writing.' Brahma went away. The disciples of Välmīki recited the stanza again and again, and they were charmed and surprised. According to the command of Brahmā, Vālmīki wrote the Ramayana.

- 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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