Maharishi (the great sage) claims the distinction of being the author of the
holy epic 'Ramayana', consisting of 24,000 verses. He is also believed to be
the author of Yoga Vasistha, a text that elaborates on a range of
philosophical issues. Written approximately 500 years ago, it was taught to
Lord Rama when He lost all the hopes in life. Read on this biography to know
more about Maharishi Valmiki and his life history.
Maharishi Valmiki was born as Ratnakara to sage Prachetasa. At a very young
age, Ratnakara went into the forest and got lost. A hunter, who was passing
by, saw Ratnakara and took him under his own care. Under the love and care
of his foster parents, Ratnakara forgot his original parents. Under his
father's guidance, Ratnakara turned out to be an excellent hunter. As he
approached marriageable age, Ratnakara was married to a beautiful girl from
Turning into a Robber
As his family grew larger, Ratnakara found it next to impossible to feed
them. As a result, he took to robbery and began looting people passing from
one village to another.
Meeting with Narada and Transformation
One day, the great sage Narada, while passing through the jungle, was
attacked by Ratnakara. As Narada played his Veena and sang praises of the
Lord, he saw a transformation coming over Ratnakara. Then, he asked
Ratnakara whether the family, for whom he was robbing others, will partake
in his sins also. Ratnakara went to ask the same question to his family and
on being refused by all his family members, he went back to sage Narada.
Narada taught him the sacred name of 'Rama' and asked him to sit in
meditation, chanting the name of Rama, till the time Narada came back.
Ratnakara followed the instructions and kept sitting in a meditative posture
for years, during which his body got completely covered by an anthill. At
last, Narada came to see him and removed all the anthills from his body.
Then, he told Ratnakara that his tapasya (meditation) paid off and the God
was pleased with him. Ratnakara was bestowed with the honor of a Brahmarshi
and given the name of Valmiki, since he was reborn from the Valmika (the
ant-hill). Sage Valmiki founded his ashram at the banks of River Ganga.
Receiving Lord Rama
One day, Valmiki had the fortuity of receiving Lord Rama, His wife Sita and
brother Lakshman at his ashram. On Valmiki's suggestion, Lord Rama built his
hut on Chitrakuta hill, near the ashram.
Narada visited Maharishi Valmiki in his ashram once and there, he narrated
the story of Lord Rama. Thereafter he received a vision from Brahma in which
the Lord instructed him to write Ramayana in slokas, which the sage readily