Episode 24: Lord Brahma “rephrases” Valmiki Maharishi’s first sloka!

rama-sita

In the previous episode, we witnessed that at a point when Valmiki Maharishi was feeling low and sad, Lord Brahma enters into his ashram. Upon seeing Lord Brahma, Valmiki Maharishi gets surprised and he offers all the respects to him and gives him a seat (Aasanam) to sit. Lord Brahma looks at Valmiki Maharishi and asks him the reason for his sadness and thus he narrates what had happened in the garden – the story of the hunter and how the poor bird was shot dead and a sloka came out of Valmiki Maharishi’s mouth in the form of a curse. On hearing the entire episode, Lord Brahma smiles and consoles Valmiki Maharishi by saying that he would help him modifying the sloka. Valmiki Maharishi gets surprised as to how can he do that. What did Lord Brahma do? How did he go about it? What meaning did he derive from the sloka of Valmiki Maharishi? Let’s find out today!

Let’s look at the particular sloka composed by Valmiki Maharishi again for better understanding and let’s see what meaning did Lord Brahma infer from it.

“Maa nishaada prathistaanthamagamah shaashwatheessamaaha!

Yath crouncha mithunaath deham avadih kaama mohitham!!”

Lord Brahma re-shapes the meaning of the above sloka in the following manner: “The two “Krouncha” birds that were sitting happily on the top of the tree are none other than Goddess Sita Devi and Lord Rama. But however a hunter by name Ravana separated them and if we pray towards the Lord who destroyed this Ravana, we can get all the goodness and prosperity in our life!” To be more precise, the word “Maa” in Sanskrit denotes “separation”, according to Valmiki Maharishi, because; let’s remember for a moment that he composed this sloka as a curse to the hunter who “separated” the two poor birds. But Lord Brahma uses that same “Maa” to denote “Maathaa Lakshmi” (Mother Lakshmi Devi). Where does Goddess Lakshmi reside? She resides in the heart of Lord Vishnu! Hence, if we worship this Lord Vishnu who killed Ravana by his arrows, one would get all kinds of prosperity in this world. Hence we can see here that, if we change the context of one alphabet “Maa”, the entire meaning of the sloka changes!

Hence, Lord Brahma affixes this new meaning to the sloka and asks Valmiki Maharishi to “start writing”! Valmiki Maharishi was again surprised by this statement of Lord Brahma and asks him back, “What should I write now?” Lord Brahma asks back, “Didn’t Naarada come before me? Didn’t he tell you the excerpts of the Samkshepa Ramayana already?” It’s only at this point that Valmiki Maharishi realizes the entire mystery what was going around him – It was the divine game that was taking shape, so as to make Valmiki Maharishi write the Ramayana! Now, Lord Brahma declares that it was He who sent Goddess Saraswathi (Goddess of education) on to his mouth and made him sing that first sloka. It’s the will and the wish of Lord Vishnu that His “Charithra” (story) is to be propagated to the entire world through Valmiki Maharishi, and saying this, Lord Brahma, by showering His divine grace, asks Valmiki Maharishi to commence writing the Ramayana story!

“Shloka evasthvayam vaddho naathra kaaryaa vichaaranaa!

Macchandaadeenamath brahman pravruthyeyam saraswathi!!”

From the above sloka, it’s evident that it was with the instruction of Lord Brahma, Goddess Saraswathi prevailed in Valmiki Maharishi’s mouth and it was She who sang the first sloka! So he says to Valmiki Maharishi to continue to sing with this divine grace and intervention.

“Raamasya charitham krisnam kuruthvam rishi sapthama!

Dharmaathmano bhagavathaha lokhe raamasya dheemathaha!!

Vriddham kathaya dheerasya yathaade naaradaachrutham!”

At this point in time, Lord Brahma asks Valmiki to remind himself about the Samkshepa Ramayana that Sage Naarada had already given to him earlier. Valmiki Maharishi now realizes that all of these people had pre-planned all these events that took place earlier and that, Bhagawan had chosen him to be that person who would propagate His life story to the entire world! What a fortune!!

“Yaavad hyaasyanthi girayaha charithasya maheethale!

Thaavad Ramayana kathaa lokeshu pracharshyathi!!”

Now towards the end of this conversation, Lord Brahma proclaims that the Ramayana story that is going to be sung by Valmiki Maharishi would exist in this world until the day when the Himalayas, the river Ganges, etc. would exist in the world – This means that the Ramayana would exist permanently in this world and nothing or nobody can ever destroy it! He continues saying that until the Ramayana exists, Valmiki Maharishi’s name and fame and significance will also co-exist with it! Some people might come up in the middle and try to spread  false proclamations that this entire story is false, there’s no proof of Lord Rama’s existence, etc., and they would try to argue, involve in fights, etc. But as time progresses, none of the arguments would stand and everything would automatically subside down! By saying this, Lord Brahma vanishes from that spot!

Now, Valmiki Maharishi has Sage Naarada’s Samkshepa Ramayana with him, along with the initial sloka that he had made, and also the divine grace of Lord Brahma. It’s all set for him now to start writing the Ramayana story. How did he manage to write the text? How did he manage to elongate a 32-sloka story into a great 24,000-sloka epic? Let’s wait to see in the next episode!

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