THE ENTHRALLING STORY OF ADIKAVI(FIRSTPOET) VALMIKI-PART2

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HOW A DACOIT TRANSFORMED INTO A SAGE POET.

PART 2… THE TRANSFORMATION OF DAKU RATNAKAR INTO SAGE VALMIKI.


In part 1 of the amazing life story of Ratnakar, we saw him meeting the divine Sage Narada in the forest. Due to his dacoit tendencies and his sinful actions, he is unable to see the divinity in this sage and considers him as merely another Brahmin on his way through the forest. The nonchalance exhibited by the gentle looking sage irks this dangerous daku as he is used to victims groveling before him in terror, pleading that their lives be spared.

When Ratnakar tried to frighten Narada, the sage merely smiled and asked him why he was accumulating this negative karma by indulging in looting and violence. Ratnakar is confused and irritated initially by this unusual query by the great personage. Ratnakar, however impatiently explained that he was doing all this for feeding his family.

It was then that the Divine Sage smiled kindly at Ratnakar and asked him whether his family members , who were much obliged to Ratnakar would also share the burden of his sins or bad karma. When Ratnakar, who had no reason to doubt this, replied in the affirmative, Narada asked him to go home and find out, assuring that he wouldn’t run away. Ratnakar reluctantly agrees to this seemingly pointless exercise but asks his men to keep guard in case the wily Brahmin should try to give him the slip.

Ratnakar, confident that his family members would share his burden of guilt and karma, approached them and put forward the sage’s query. He was astounded and hurt beyond comprehension when one after another, his wife and other members of his family refused, saying that as head of the family, he had to take care of them, but they were not obliged to share his sins and wouldn’t do so.

A dejected but changed Ratnakar now came back wearily to the Sage. His aggressive posturing had vanished and now he looked very vulnerable and miserable. Narada smiled with compassion at him and told him that he was destined to do better things in life and had a great future.

Taking the now submissive Ratnakar as an understudy or a disciple, Narada advised him to simply sit in penance uttering the holy name of Lord Rama. Since the long sinning Ratnakar could not utter the Holy name ‘Rama’, Narada kindly asks him to repeat the word ‘Mara’ which Ratnakar succeeded in doing. Obviously when one repeats mara,mara, mara… It becomes ‘Rama, Rama, Rama…’

Narada now took leave with a mischievous smile, convinced that His purpose has been achieved.

It is said that Ratnakar did this Tapasya or penance so dedicatedly and for so many years that he got completely covered by an anthill. He would have continued his chanting of Sri Rama’s name, oblivious of his condition had Narada not come again!

Since Ratnakar was covered by an anthill, Narada changed his name to Valmiki, which conveys that meaning.
Daku Ratnakar was now Sage Valmiki!

With the help of his Guru Narada, the fully transformed Ratnakar then settled in a lovely ashram. It was here that he was destined to be inspired to write the great immortal Sanskrit epic poem, ‘The Ramayana’. This epic poem in 24000 verses, which is considered the first great Sanskrit work, sings the glory of the saga of the great Sri Rama, his devout wife Seethadevi and his wonderful siblings from Ayodhya.
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