’s well known epic Ramayana
is authored by Sage Valmiki. Story goes that Valmiki was originally an illiterate tribal named Ratnakara who later own transformed into the sage and poet of epic insights and abilities. Ratnakara had been a killer and a sinner and he repented it later and so as atonement he observed penance in the forest for a long period during which he was covered by a white ant hill. An ant hill is ‘Valmika’ in Sanskrit
, and as Ratnakara emerged from the ant hill after his penance, he came to be known as Valmiki, or ‘the one who came out of the ant hill’.
Subsequently, he set up his hermitage on the banks of the river Tamasa. One day while walking along the forest, he saw a tribal shooting an arrow at one of a pair of birds making love on the perch on the branch of a tree. Before Valmiki was able to ask him not to kill the bird, the tribal had shot his arrow and the male bird fell dead. The female bird began to cry in utter sorrow at the loss of her mate. This cry had pained the poet in Valmiki, and he cursed the tribal for his cruelty.
The curse was nothing but poetry itself. And thus began the great epic Ramayana
, according to the myth. The Sanskrit
composition has influenced Indian literature in different languages over the last several centuries tremendously.