In the previous episode we witnessed the second major event that pushed Valmiki Maharishi to commence writing the Ramayana text. It is to be recalled that the first event was “Naarada-Valmiki Samvaadham” (The conversation between Sage Naarada and Valmiki Maharishi), wherein the “Samkshepa Ramayana” was born. Subsequently, Valmiki Maharishi and Sage Bharadwaja go to the banks of the river Tamasa for their daily bath and spiritual practices. This is the second event. After their routine, instead of returning back to the ashram, they enter a beautiful garden and get carried away by the beauty of two small “crouncha” birds sitting on top of a big tree. At that moment, a hunter comes and kills one of those birds and Valmiki Maharishi curses the hunter for his deed. After this, Valmiki Maharishi heads back to his ashram with all his fury and disbelief. What happens after returning to the ashram? Here’s the third event. Let’s see in today’s episode how it unfolds!
As mentioned towards the end of the previous episode, Valmiki Maharishi recollects his curse to the hunter, which had come out in the form of a “Sloka”. Hence, his “Shoka” (Distress in his heart) came out of his mouth through a “Sloka” (Verse). To his utter amazement, he discovers that this sloka is perfectly within the rules and regulations of the Sanskrit language! Basically if we’ve to write something in Sanskrit, firstly the “Chandas” should be correct. That is, the “Drishtup, Anushtup, Bruhathi”, etc. should be well within the rules, and also it should be clear with the number of alphabets/words used for the sloka. Also, the “Paadams” and “Vardhams” should be perfect. Upon thinking about all these, he found that all the above-said rules are satisfied in his sloka perfectly!
“Paada vardhaha aksharasamass tanthrilaya samanvitaha!
Shokaastasya pravirthome shloko bhavathu naanyathaa!!”
The above sloka signifies that Valmiki Maharishi was overwhelmingly surprised by his first sloka, confining perfectly to the “Samskrita Vyaakarnam” (Rules and regulations of the Sanskrit Language), however it conveys a negative message – A curse. Hence he was sad that his first ever sloka turned out to be a curse, rather than meaning something good. He starts to feel that this sloka should not be his first composition and this should be erased out. It is only at this point in time that Lord Brahma (The Universal creator) enters inside Valmiki Maharishi’s ashram! Here’s the third event!
“Aajagaama tatho brahmaa loka karthaassyambuhu!
Chathurmukho maha tejaaha drishtum tat muni pungavam!!”
In order to meet the “Muni Pungava” Valmiki Maharishi, the Lord of creations – The four-faced Brahma with his brilliant radiance (Tejas) (Chathurmukho maha tejaaha) comes to his ashram.
“Valmeekarathatham drishtvaa sahasothyaaya vaakyataha!
Praanjalipprayatho bhudhvaa tasthou para vismithaha!!
Poojayaamaasa tan devam paadhya arghya aasana vandanaihi!!”
The above verse says that Valmiki Maharishi offers all the respects to Lord Brahma in the form of “Paadhya”, Arghya”, “Aasanam” (that is, in the form of water, a seat, etc.) and welcomes him (Vanadanaihi). After offering everything to Lord Brahma, Valmiki Maharishi stands at the side of him with folded hands.
Lord Brahma has a look at Valmiki Maharishi once, right from his head to toe and asks him if he’s sad about something. Valmiki Maharishi replies in the affirmative and continues to say that he composed a sloka recently with all the grammatical correctness, however it was a curse and not a good message. Lord Brahma smiles at him and tells him, “Do not worry, oh Valmiki!! I’ll help you to transform that bad sloka into a good one!” Upon hearing this, Valmiki Maharishi was surprised as to how he could do that!
This is the significance of Sanskrit language. If we change or replace even one alphabet with another, the entire meaning of the sloka changes. Also, we can be free in using any “Shabdaa” (phrase) anywhere in the sloka and any word at any place in the sloka. Such is the science behind this great language. In fact, the entire language of Sanskrit was not discovered or formulated as a language. It has only the rules and regulations (Vyaakarnam) and it’s upto the individual as to how to use these rules and regulations and customize them depending on the context. Quite similarly and interestingly, today we see most of the computer languages like C, C++, Java, etc. following the same principle – What we learn in theory is just the rules and regulations in the form of commands, syntax, etc. and depending on the application we bend them and customize the syntax, commands, etc. accordingly!
Hence in this way, Lord Brahma consoles Valmiki Maharishi saying that he would help him in changing the meaning and context of the sloka. How did he do that? What was the new context of the same sloka? Let’s see in the next episode!