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Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti

Maharishi Valmiki was a great sage. He was the contemporary of Lord Rama. He is also known as 'Ai Kavi' or the first poet. His birthday is celebrated on the full moon day in the Hindu calender month of Ashwin. Valmiki authored the great Ramayana. The Ramayana tells the story of Lord Rama. Lord Rama was the king of Ayodhya who defeated the demon king Ravana who had kidnapped his wife. The Ramayana is the most popular religious book for Hindus apart from the 'Geetha”. Valmiki himself seems to take part in the some of the scenes described by him in Ramayana. For example, he receives the banished Sita in her hermitage. He also provides education to her two sons named Lav and Kush. The sage Valmiki also invented the “Shioka' which can be translated in English as the epic meter.

Sage Balmiki has been described as a robber in books who not only robbed people passing through but also killed some of them. Later on he came into influence of some of the sages and was repentant. He went to the Bonda hill in the bundelkhand and built a hermitage there. He was lost into meditation there and ultimately became a great sage. He received Sita at the same place when Lord Rana banished her. Later on he educated two of her sons in the hermitage.

Valmiki became a famous sent after the intense meditation which he did in order to repent his misdeeds. It is said that ants crawled on his body during meditation. Ant hill was built as a result on his body but he did not move and was immersed in the meditation. Later on he got knowledge and wrote one of the most popular and venerated books of Hindus “the Ramayana”.

Celebrations: The Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated with great enthusiasm. He is said to have belonged to the depressed class. Therefore his Puja is popular among these classes. The procession of Balmiki is taken out in markets. There are various Balmiki temples in the country as well. Special Kirtans are also organized to celebrate Valmiki jayanti.

Valmiki Jayanti has a lot of relevance. The transformation of Valmiki from a robber to one of the most venerated sages is incredible. He is an example for those people who have done misdeeds and who want to transform their lives on the lines of Sage Balmiki.

Govardhan Puja (Festival) Date: 18th October 2009

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