We are not born evil or good, it is our deeds that determines the greatness!
India is a religious country and we do have very ancient history of saints. We have many famous literature in Sanskrit which are now translated into many regional languages. Ramayana is one of the famous literature the world has ever witnessed. The author of Ramayana, Valmiki Rishi is a well-known Maha Rishi (Great Saint), not only for being the author of Ramayana but also for the transformation he did in himself with his dedication. Valmiki is a great example of transformation of an evil into a holy person. By transforming himself from a robber to a Brahmarishi, he set an example for leaving the bad behind and following the good.
Valmiki, the pioneer in Sanskrit literature, was called the contemporary of Lord Rama. He was recognized as the literary genius. He was the composer of the first Sanskrit poem (the Adikavya) known the world over as the epic Ramayana hence he is called the Adikavi or First Poet –“The Poet of Poets of India”. He was born along the banks of the Ganges in ancient India to a sage by the name of Prachetasa. His birth name was Ratnakara. He apparently got lost in the jungles as a child and was found by a hunter who raised him as his own son. When he grew up he became a hunter like his foster father but also took to being a bandit to supplement his livelihood. Once it so happened he met the Maharishi Narada and tried to rob him. However Narada convinced him of the evil of his ways and converted him into a ‘Brahmarishi’ or religious scholar. He narrated the story of Rama (Ramayana) to him and asked him to write it down for posterity. Ratnakara did penance for many years and an ant-hill grew around him. Hence his new name ‘Valmika’ which in Sanskrit means an ant-hill. He came out of the anthill and penned the great epic sometime between the 4th and the 2nd century BC. “As long as there are rivers and mountains in the world, people will read the Ramayana.” Valmiki aimed at enlightening the minds of people through his composition.
Valmiki was born in the Treta Yuga as a form of Brahma who composed Ramayana and that people desirous of earning knowledge should worship Valmiki. He was later reincarnated as Tulsidas, who composed the Ramcharitamanas, which was the Awadhi–Hindi version of the Ramayana.
India is fortunate to have been developed in the hands of great saints such as Valmiki. As per Hindu lunar calendar, his Jayanti is celebrated on Ashwin Purnima (Full moon night in the Hindu month of Ashwina). Rishi Valmiki holds an important position in Hindu Mythology. Being Pracheta’s 10th baby and author of Ramayana, he holds the major impact on Hindu religion. It is believed that after writing Ramayana Maharshi Valmiki rested on a spot in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai, which was later built as “The Maha Rishi Valmiki Temple”. Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated with great enthusiasm in “The Maha Rishi Valmiki Temple”. It is said that, this temple is 1300 years old and located on the east cost road. According to Hindu Mythology there are several theories about Maha Rishi Valmiki. The preaching of Maha rishi Valmiki teach us great devotion and also that great people rises with dedication.
Written By: Ambika Kumari Patra