THE ENTHRALLING STORY OF ADIKAVI(FIRSTPOET) VALMIKI.
HOW A DACOIT TRANSFORMED INTO A SAGE POET.
PART 1… RATNAKAR MEETS NARADA.
Sage Valmiki is considered the foremost and the most ancient among the sage poets of ancient India.
The venerable sage is best known for his immortal epic poem in Sanskrit, ‘Ramayanam’ consisting of 24000 verses, which gave the world the story of the Divine Avatar, Sri Rama. He is also known for, ‘The Yoga Vasishta’ which is a great philosophical work.
However Valmiki had a very different life before he became a sage poet. Though born as Ratnakar to a sage called Prachatasa, he was lost in the jungle and later was rescued by a hunter who brought him up lovingly and trained him to be a hunter. Hunter Ratnakar later got married into a hunter family and sired quite a few children.
But since Ratnakar found it difficult to sustain his family with his meager income, he soon fell into bad company and became a dacoit ( daku in Hindi). He started amassing ill-gotten wealth by waylaying and looting hapless travelers through his forest. He continued his wicked profession without realizing the sins he was accumulating through his bad deeds.
Till he met the great saint Narada, who was passing through the forest.
Those among us who are familiar with Indian spirituality and Mythology would smile and know that it was no accident that Narada chose to allow himself to be confronted by Ratnakar. For, Narada knew from Divine insight that Ratnakar was not just another daku but was destined for much higher things.
When Ratnakar, with his gang of fearsome dacoits confronted the smiling Narada, who appeared like a gentle Brahmin wayfarer, he was puzzled at the latter’s lack of fear and his audacity to smile in a situation where he could lose his life even.
What followed next is the incredible story of a dacoit’s transformation!