Valmiki, is a great Indian sage and a celebrated poet known in Sanskrit literature. He is marked as ‘Adi Kavi’, who is famous for his first epic poem, ‘Ramayana’. Initially, Ramayana consisted of 24,000 shlokas and 7 cantos including Uttara Kanda. Ramayana, is an epic story of Lord Rama, Prince of Ayodhya. This narrates the story of Lord Ram’s childhood days, his marriage to Sita, Exile of Lord Ram along with his wife and brother, Abduction of Sita by Demon Ravana and Lord Ram’s victory over Ravana, during his Battle in Lanka.
It is said that Lord Rama met Valmiki during his exile period and it is also said that Valmiki provided shelter to Sita and her two sons Lava and Kusha, when Lord Rama banished her, upon return from Lanka. Valmiki also taught Kusha and Lava the Ramayana, which was later sung by them in the court of Ayodhya, during the Ashwamedha yajna arranged by Lord Rama. Following this, Lord Rama inquired about the song and visited the Valmiki’s hermitage to confirm if they were indeed their sons.
Valmiki, whose birth name was Agni Sharma, once met with the great sage Narada and where Narada preached him in his duties. Following this, Agni Sharma began chanting ‘Mara’ and started a penance. After several years, the word became ‘Rama’, which is another name of Lord Vishnu. Later Lord Vishnu appeared before Valmiki and rechristened him as Valmiki. Valmiki learnt the scriptures from Narada and emerged as a great religious person and became a widely known person.
Valmiki wrote his first shloka, when he witnessed the death of two cranes. One day when Valmiki and his disciple Bharadwaja, were passing by Tamasa stream. At that time, Valmiki was very impressed by the clear water of the stream. He said he will be taking a bath in this stream and was looking for a perfect spot. During this time, he saw a crane couple mating and he felt pleased to see those happy birds. However, shortly an arrow from nowhere killed one of the crane and another crane died in agony. This made Valmiki very sad and angry, making him write his first Shloka, our of rage and grief. Later Valmiki composed Ramayana, with the blessing of Lord Bramha.
Even though, there are many controversies about his early life, Valmiki is considered to be the great Indian poet who has given us Ramayana, a great Indian epic. There are also rumors on reincarnation of Valmiki as Tulsidas. Valmiki’s teaching encourages humans to fight for their rights against social injustice.