Maharishi Valmiki: Poet of Poets of India

Maharishi Valmiki

Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated to commomerorate the birth anniversary of one of the revered sage in Hindu mythology, Maharishi Valmiki. Every year, Jyanti is observed on the full moon day during the month of Ashwin as per Hindu lunar calender. In 2017 it had fallen on October 5, 2017.In 2018 it has fallen on October 24, 2018.

1. Adi kavi Maharishi Valmiki is revered as the first poet of Sanskrit literature.
2. Maharishi Valmiki in his early life was a highway bandit named,  Ratnakar, who used to kill and loot people. But, Saptarishi, Narad Muni transformed Valmiki by showing him path of devotion to Lord Rama. Following the advice of Sapta rishi, Ratnakar performed rigorous penance for Lord Rama. Eventually, years after atonement, Lord Brahma granted his penance successful and bestowed him with new name Brahmarshi Valmiki, the one who born out of ant-hills, as during penance his body got completely covered by an anthill.
3. However, the age old belief has been denied based on the judgement passed by Justice Rajive Bhalla of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the year 2010. Justice Bhalla quoted the research done by the head of the Maharishi Valmiki Chair of the Punjabi University, Patiala, Manjula Sehdev, and said that,”actual facts appear to be lost in the mists of antiquity.”
4. Valmiki has blessed us with one of the largest ancient epics in world literature,
” Holy scripture of Ramayana” which is comprised of 24,000 shlokas and 7 cantos, including Uttra kand which narrates the final years of Rama, Sita and Rama’s brothers. 
5. He is also believed to be the author of Yoga Vasistha, a text that elaborates on a range of philosophical issues.
6. People questioned purity of Sita, after  the couple came back to their kingdom, Ayodhya.  Even after undergoing Agni pariksha (“fire ordeal”), Maryada Purushottam” Rama reluctantly banished his pregnant wife.Valmiki rescued her and provided shelter. It was in his hermitage (Ashram), located at the banks of Tamaas river, Lava and Kusha, twin sons of Rama and Sita, were born. Here Sita spent all her remaining life, and here her twin sons . Lava  and  Kusha received education and trained in military skills under the tutelage of Valmiki.
7.The day is also referred to as Pragat Diwas and is celebrated in many Valmiki temples.
8. An area in Chennai, Tiruvanmiyur is believed to derive its name from Sage Valmiki, Thiru-Valmiki-Oor. The most famous Vamiki temple is situated in here, which is believed to be 1,300 years old.
 The temple is considered to be of high importance as it is said that after writing Ramayana, Valmiki rested at the spot where the temple now stands.
9. On this day, people pay their respects towards Maharishi Valmiki by parading portraits of him. The procession is called Shobha Yatra. A large number of devotees, horses, elephants with drums and truphets participate in this procession in Jalandhar on the eve of Valmiki Jayanti.
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