The mood of our Ancient Seers | Valmiki Ramayana-1
The sages and seers of the Vedic pantheon always propagated works that uplift the life of the common man. Their only objective was to aid the general population through their spiritual works.
They had no other purpose. We should approach their works with reverence and utmost humility. Hence, this faith must develop- “These works are for my benefit alone”.
Their works should never be regarded as a work of fiction or a novel. If one regards these works as light works of entertainment, one shall never receive Grace or benefit from these works.
For generations together, many families in the land of Bharath still continue to lead lives inspired by the works of The Ramayana, The Mahabharata, and The Srimad Bhagavatham. Children from many such families spend half their lifetime understanding and preaching the precepts hidden in these scriptures.
If that were the case, could these scriptures be even remotely deemed ordinary? The Ramayana is perhaps the most widely sung and preached scripture in the whole of Bharath Bhumi (भूमि land) today. On the auspicious day of Vijayadashami, “Dussehra” I am writing this piece.
3 Events- How Valmiki wrote Ramayana?
Three events form the prelude to the Ramayana.
1) Devarshi Narad Meets Sage Valmiki
Sage Valmiki and his disciple Sage Bharadhwaja lived an austere life at the hermitage of Bithoor, located centrally in the now modern Indian province of Uttar Pradesh.
Once the great sage Devarishi Narada paid a visit to the hermitage at Bithoor. Both the sages Valmiki and Bharadhwaja offered extended prostrations at the lotus feet of the sage. Valmiki received Narada Muni with all customary ablutions, as part of his reception. Narada Muni was then seated on the “asana” (आसन a seat made of cloth or a special material).
Sage Valmiki posed certain questions to sage Narada, who, in reply delivered the Story of Lord Rama in extreme brevity.
Here, Sage Narada later told Valmiki “You should document whatever I have told you in great detail. Do not worry, a time shall come when this shall happen.” So saying, sage Narada blessed the two sages and left for the heavenly abodes.
2) Story of the Krauncha birds
Following this period, Sage Valmiki paid a visit to the Tamsa river. Tamsa river is located in the Satna district of Madhya Pradesh. Here, Sage Valmiki along with his faithful disciple Sage Bharadwaja performed their customary evening prayers. There, a life-changing event took place.
3) Lord Brahma meets Sage Valmiki
A few days later, the celestial father of sage Narada, Lord Brahma paid a visit to sage Valmiki’s hermitage. Sage Brahma then ordered sage Valmiki to start writing the Ramayana.
3 Qualities to Write a Vedic scripture
There are three qualities that a sage must possess to qualify as an author of a scripture or advice a living entity towards liberation. They are-
1) Mastery over Vedas – He must have mastered the Vedas and extracted the knowledge contained therein.
2) Self-restraint – He should have performed enough austerities and penance so that his senses are controlled. Self-restrain shall enable the assimilation of knowledge gained through scriptural study. Moreover, it is only penance that transforms knowledge into wisdom and gives it maturity.
3) Possess Communication skills – Above all, he should be talented and have communication skills. Thus, through simple language, he must address and advise millions of diverse living entities. He must have command over the language to convey deeper meanings through simple words, presented through appropriate contexts.
Sage Valmiki’s search for 16 exceptional qualities
On Sage Narada’s visit, Sage Valmiki asked the celestial sage about the presence of certain 16 highly divine and exceptional qualities, in one single individual. To this, the celestial sage replied “I know of a man who has infinite extraordinary qualities including the 16 ones you mention.
In addition, this man also has not a single flaw. Since his qualities are infinite, you cannot count them. Also, since this man is flawless, you cannot count his shortcomings.
1)The first quality that sage Valmiki was looking for – “Is there a man who interacts with other people without considering their social status; who does not have barriers of high and low?”
Answer- It is well-known that Lord Ramachandra considered the banished Vanara King, Sugriva, a sub-human as His own brother and friend. Sri Rama considered Vibheeshana, a demon, as His brother. He even considered Nishada, a tribal commoner, as his closest friend and associate.
Sri Rama granted Jatayu, a vulture, the position of His father. Sri Rama accepted half-bitten berries from a lowly tribal woman as a matter of Her love for Him without considering her social background.
However, Sri Rama was himself the son of the most powerful King Dasharath, of Ayodhya. The whole of Bharat revered Sri Rama, yet He never considered anyone lower than Himself.
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