In the great Bhrugu vamsham, where aadi Lakshmi took her first avataar as Shrii devi, a maharshi by name Sumati was born. He was always immersed in Bhagavat-dhyaanam. His wife also had an impeccable character and used to provide as much co-operation as she could to the maharshi in his tapas. Once when she was a garbhavati, Sumati was deeply involved with his tapas and she did not want to disturb him. She decided to make her own arrangements for the living and help Sumati in his tapas. Once she went to a forest in search of phalas for aahaaram. Vidhivashaat, a gang of robbers saw her, noticed that she was a garbhavati and was searching for food. Out of sympathy they gave the phalas which they had to her, which they stealed from somewhere. She accepted the phalas and happily returned to the aashram and fed her children and herself.
In course of time, she delivered a baby, who they named Agni sharma. As the kid grew up, Sumati noticed that the kid posessed very faint chaurya gunas. Sumati did not understand from where Agni sharma picked up these habits. With his divya-drushti he saw that Agni sharma’s mother ate fruits that had chaurya dosham when she was garbhavati!
Agni sharma was not able to learn the Vedas well too. Slowly he grew old and he was married. Once a great kshaamam came and living became difficult for Agni sharma and his family. Vidhivashah Agni sharma met some robber gang in forests and he joined them. Everyday he used to earn money, food by doing chauryam.
One day he saw Saptarishis travelling by and he thought of robbing them too. Saptarishis asked him “being born in Bhrugu vamsham why are you doing such paapa karyas?” Agni sharma replied “what is wrong, right. Is it not my duty to feed my family?”. Atri maharshi (taapatreya rahitaH atri), the Guru of Shri Dattatreya, the janaka of Duurvaasa maharshi and one of the Brahma maanasa putras replied “O Agni sharma! Ask your family if they will share any of your paapam (else the immense paapa raashi must be experienced by you only)”. Agni sharma said he never asked this, but hoped that his family would share some paapa-bhaaram. He wanted to go and enquire. Saptarishis said they would wait for him till he comes back. He asked his father. Father replied that “you are responsible for your karma”. He asked his mother. Mother said “did we anytime tell you earn by chauryam?”. Then he asked his arthaangi; she replied “as you know in our Bhaarateeya Kalyaanam we say ‘dharmecha arthecha kaamecha naaticharitavyaaiti naaticharaami’ – so this does not include Moksham. Hence paapa punyaas, Kaivalyam are separate accounts! Ofcourse being your arthaangi I will get share of Punyaas”.
Agni sharma came back to Saptarishis and told them that no one can take the paapa-bhaaram. Saptarishis replied “then all this entire paapam will fall on your head. Is it not?” Agni sharma had great pashchaattaapam. He fell on Saptarshi’s feet and begged them to show him some way of saving himself. Saptarishis, seeing that Agni sharma had true pashchaattaapam, gave Agni sharma the upadesham of the great Shiva Panchaaksharii mantram. They asked him to do the mantra japam with utmost concentration till they come back. Agni sharma exactly did as the Saptarshis said. After 12 years the Saptarshis returned and saw the Agni sharma who was glowing with divya tejas and surrounded by huge Valmikams (ant-hills). They told Agni sharma that he became a dhanya and ask him to go to the great Ganga tiiram and continue his tapas. Agni sharma did as directed by the Saptarshis and did pratishtha of the Valmiikesvara Lingam and continued tapas for Paramashiva. Shankara bhagavan appeared before him and said “you will be henceforth called Valmiki and you will become the Aadi kavi and write the great Shrii Raama divya katha with Gayatri mantra niyamam”
Valmiki then went to Chitrakuuta parvatam and built an ashramam near Tamasaa nadi. Once Naarada (Naaram dadaati – he is the one who gives Gnyaanam), the great Brahmarshi, came to Valmiki maharshi’s ashramam. Valmiki maharshi welcomed the great Brahmarshi and asked him “Who is the Divya purusha who is Shodasha-kalaa-paripurna (Dharmagnya, Satyasandha …)?” Naarada replied:
“Raama. He is the son of our Dasharatha maharaaja, who is now the king of Ayodhya. Words in Samskrutam are not enough to describe His sadgunas. He is a Gunavanta, Dhairyavanta, Paraakramashaali, Aishvaryavanta, Satyashaali,… Shodasha-kalaa-paripurna. In addition to these He has many uttama purusha lakshanaas – Prashaanta chittam, Suprasanna rupam, Sundara mandahaasa sphurita sundara vadanaaravindam, Smitapuurvaavibhaashii, Mrudu – puurvantu bhaashate (he only greets before the others do)…. He will never utter a parusha vaakyam — not even when Raavana comes before Him. He always has Hrudaya poorvaka mandahaasam. He will never forget even one small upakaaram, He will never remember any apakaars done to Him (Shatamapi apakaaraanaam vismarati). He is a Buddhimaan, Madhuraa bhaashii, Priyamvadah, Viiryavaan — but never sees Himself and has ahankar, he has great Vinayam (see these: 1 2). Shri Raama is an adarsha purusha. He has the 39 gunas of Paramaatma and in addition has Brahmanyata, Sharanyataadi mahaagunas”.
Valmiki maharshi then sang the Divya Raamaayana Katha.
(See this image) (After the Vyaadha episode (Shri Raama comes as Vyaadha to test Valmiki), Brahmadeva comes and blesses Valimiki …. its another long story…. then Valmiki starts Divya Ramayana Gaadha.)
Morals in the story:
- Our aachaaras impose a lot of niyamas for a garbhavati. A garbhavati needs to be very careful, since even small mistakes have magnifying effect on the baby.
- One must be very careful not to do paapa karyas. As Agni sharma’s family told, one is responsible for his own paapas.
- Shri Raama gunas are many (Aganita gunagana bhuushita Raam). We must try and inculcate atleast some of these sadgunas.
Search Terms: Valmeeki, Vaalmeeki, Vaalmiki, Valmiiki, Rama, Athri, Bhrigu,Thamasa, Tamasa, Chitrakuta, Chithrakut, Saptarushi