7th October 2014
विक्रम सम्वत् 2071
अश्विन शुक्ल पूर्णिमा
Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti celebrates the birthday of famous poet Valmiki, Who is also known as Adi kavi or first poet as he discovered the first Sloka and the first Verse which set the base of Sanskrit poetry. It falls on the full moon day (Purnima) in the month of Ashwin.Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Maharishi Valmiki is worshipped and prayed on this day. Shobha yatras, meetings and distribution of free food is arranged in many places. Many devotees also take out processions in honor of Maharishi Valmiki, and offer prayers to his portrait.There are many Valmiki temples in India, Which are beautifully decorated with flowers and prayers are offered in them, number of incense being lighted fill the atmosphere with purity and happiness. Many devotees go to Lord Rama temples and recite verses from Ramayana in memory of Maharishi Valmiki.Maharishi Valmiki's Birthday is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. It provides the people of Rajasthan a respite from the monotony of daily life. The festival is not all about fun and frolic. This festival also has a great religious significance as well. Valmiki holds a significant position in Hindu mythology. He is Pracheta's tenth baby. Moreover, he is believed to the author of Ramayana, the famous epic. This religious significance lends even more importance to the celebration of Maharishi Valmiki's birthday.
Maharishi Valmiki is the author of the original story of Lord Ramachandra, known as the Valmiki Ramayana. He lived during the Treta Yuga and through guidance from his spiritual master, he wrote the epic Ramayana prior to Lord Rama’s advent.
The Vedas say that the highest benediction in life is to have association with a saint, or a devotee of Krishna. In his early life Valmiki’s name was Ratnakara, and he took to robbing people for a living. Through good fortune, he once met Narada Rishi and tried to attack him. Narada chanted Lord Rama’s name and convinced Ratnakara to give up his life of thievery. Following Narada’s advice, the sage chanted the name of Rama and sat in meditation for many many years, during which time his body became covered by ants. Narada Rishi returned and uncovered the sage from the anthill, informed him that his meditation was successful, and bestowed on him the name Valmiki since he was born from an anthill. Valmiki learned the story of Lord Rama from Narada and was instructed to write the story in poetry form by Lord Brahma.
Valmiki was also present during Lord Ramachandra’s time on earth. He had a hermitage in the forest and was visited by Lord Rama, His wife Sita, and His brother Lakshmana during their fourteen year exile period. Lord Rama asked Valmiki if he knew a good place where they could set up camp. Valmiki in turn gave a beautiful description of a pure devotee of the Lord and told Rama to always dwell in the heart of a devotee. The account is described in detail in Tulsidas’s Ramacharitamanasa. Later on, Valmiki also provided shelter to Sita when she was abandoned by Lord Rama. Sita’s two sons, Lava and Kusha, were born at Valmiki’s hermitage, and the sage acted as their spiritual master during their childhood.