Valmiki’s Early Life:
Valmiki’s life history is very peculiar; we can see him as a robber in his early days and as a Sage in his later years. He was the son of Sumali and was born into a shudra family.
His birth name was Ratnakara. During his period, everyone migrates to South India. So Sumali also took his son and wife to the banks of the Vipara river, which was in the Northern part of India and settled there. Later he started his career as a robber and robbed people before killing them. His source of money was robbing people who passed by him.
Valmiki Interaction with Narada Muni:
One day Narada Muni also fell into the hands of Ratnakara. Then Ratnakara started his world of robbing Narada. Then Narada questioned the robber Ratnakara. Why were you committing this sin? Ratnakara answered that this was only the way to know how to earn money for his family. Then Narada asked him; then your family part of this sin that he was committing? With this question, Ratnakara became confused and wanted to ask the same question to his family members. So he tied Narada to a tree to make him stay until he was back. He went to his house and asked his children the same question as Narada. Then his children answered him not we were part of your sins. It was your duty to look after his family. Then he asked him the same question to his wife. She also answered like his children. Then Ratnakara returned to Narada Muni, fell on his feet, and asked him to remove his Sins. Narada told him to chant the name of Lord Rama and left the spot. As soon as Ratnakara sat at the site, he started chanting and went into a deep penance. Sitting on the ant hill, he chanted that he was called Valmiki, which means one who sits in an anthill in Sanskrit. After a long penance, a divine light came upon him and released him from all his sins. After becoming Valmiki, he later started writing about the life story of Lord Rama as Ramayana in Sanskrit.
Valmiki wrote Ramayana with 24,000 verses in seven cantos. This is the story of Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, the demon king of Lanka Ravana and many other precious characters. Every character in Ramayana implies morals, and Valmiki succeeded in giving moral messages to society through the Ramayana characters. Some historians said that Valmiki Ramayana is dated from 500 BC to 100 BC. But the estimated accurate date is impossible, and Hindu religious people believe that Lord Rama lived 10000 years B.C.
Lord Rama’s interaction with Valmiki during his period of exile. Then Valmiki decided to write about Lord Rama’s life story as Ramayana. Sita also spent miserable days at his hermitage and gave birth to the twins Lava and Kusa. The twins were brought up under Valmiki’s supervision and learned Rama’s life story. Once, they went to Ayodhya during the Aswamedha Yaga congregation and sang the story of Rama at the palace of Rama.
First Sanskrit Slokas of Valmiki:
One day Valmiki was going to the Ganges for his daily bath with his disciple Bharadwaja. On their way, they came across the Tamasa Stream, which cleared the water, and they decided to bathe there. While he was entering the water, he saw a crane couple mating. Valmiki felt very pleased seeing the birds, and suddenly, an arrow hit the male bird. Then the male bird died on the spot, and its mate died of shock. With the sudden incident, Valmiki’s heart melted, and they looked around to find out who had shot the bird. There he saw a hunter with a bow and arrows. Then Valmiki got furious and opened his lips. Then the first Sanskrit words came out of his mouth. For, the first Sanskrit slokas were formed in the Sanskrit language. So Valmiki is the first poet, Adi Kavi, and Ramayana is the first Kavya.