Valmiki Ramayanam–Dr. Saroja Ramanujam..


Valmiki lists the qualities of the man he is seeking as

gunavan, virtuous, viryavan, powerful, dharmajna, knower of dharma, krthajna, knows how to show gratitude, satyavaakyah, truthful in word, dhrdavrathah, firm in resolve, chaarithrena yukthah, righteous, sarvabhootheshu hithah, benefactor of all beings, vidvan, learned, samarthah, skilful in applying his reasoning, aathmavan, selfcontrolled, jithkrodhah, conquered anger, dhyuthiman, lustrous, anasooyakah, one who never finds fault with others and finally who is the most formidable as a foe whom even devas will fear ‘kasya bhibhyathi devascha jaathroshasya samyuge.’ Narada replied relating him the story of Rama in short. The words of Narada here is known as samkshepa Ramayana reciting which, is supposed to give the same result as in reciting the whole Ramayana Valmiki, when he was going to the Thamasa river, saw two


krouncha birds happily chirping together and his heart was filled with joy on seeing them At that instant an arrow came and struck the male bird which fell down dead. 

Maa nishaadha prathishtaam thvam aganmah ssaasvatheessamaah yathkrounchmithunaadhekam avadheeh kaamamohitham
This means, ‘Oh hunter, you will not get peace or rest forever since you have killed one of the two krouncha birds who were in love.’ 


To Valmiki in meditation later, appeared Brahma and told him that the whole thing was the leela of the Lord. From his shoka of seeing the bird killed has sprung a sloka.



This sloka has been interpreted by the learned acharyas to be the



mangalasloka of Ramayana itself. Maa nishaadha means the resort of Lakshmi, that is the Lord Vishnu. ‘Maa,’ the negative particle being removed and taken in the sense of Lakshmi as she is called ‘maa’, the words ‘maa prathishtaam thvam agamah ‘ becomes ‘prathishtaam thvam agamah, you will be established in the hearts of all for saasvatheessamaah long time to come.‘Yath krouncha mithunaadhekam avadheeh kaamamohitham’ the gives the meaning, “As you have killed the lustful one of the couple, Ravana and Mandodhari.’ The word krouncha also means Rakshasa. Thus the curse itself being the leela of the Lord, became a benediction. Such is the richness of the sanskrit language.










One of the most beautiful and oft quoted verse of Kamban about Kosala is,





thandalai mayilgal aada, thaamarai vilakkam thaanga,kondalgal muzavin Enga, kuvlai kan viziththu nOkka,
thenthirai ezini kaatta, thembizi makarayaazin
vandugal inidhu paada, marudham veetrirukkum maadhaO.


After just one sloka about Kosala Valmiki starts to describe the city of Ayodhya by three slokas. It was constructed by Manu, the father of Ikshvaku. The city covered the area of twelve yojanas long and three yojanas wide.( A yojana is approximately nine miles.) The streets of Ayodhya were highways, flanked by trees, strewn with flowers and the city was always cool with enough rains and watered otherwise. The city as described by Valmiki proves that in ancient India .city civilization was of a high standard. 



The description of the prosperity of the citizens of Ayodhya by Kamban is interesting. He says,



’kalvaar ilaamaipporul kaavalum illai; yaadhum
kolvaar ilaamaikkoduppaaargalum illai madho.
ellaarum ellaapperunchelvamum eidhalaale

illaarum illai ;udayaargalum illai maadho


..Here let us see how Kamban describes the Lord when He appeared before the devas.


karumugil thaamaraikkaadu pootthu, needu irusudar irupuratthu Endhi,Endhu alartthiruvOdumpoliyaOr sembonkunrinmel varuvapola, kaluzanmel vandhu thonrinaan. 

Kamaban here describes the decision of the Lord to appear fourfold as

”vaLaiyodu thigiriyum vadavaitheedharaviLai tharu kaduvudai virikoL paayalum ilaiyargal ena adi parava Egi naam vaLai madhil ayoddhi varudhum enranan.’ The lrd said that He will appear on earth as the son of Dasaratha with sankha, chakra, and sesha as His younger brothers ..

How the paayasam was divided among the three queens ,Kousalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra is described in detail by Valmiki. Dasaratha gave half of what was in the vessel to Kousalya, she being the pattamahishi.crowned queen, and gave half of what was remaning to Sumitra,as per seniority. Then he gave half of what remained, that is 1/8th to Kaikeyi and the remaining 1/8th was given to Sumitra again. So Kousalya had 1/2 of the contents, Sumitra had 1/4+1/8 and Kaikeyi1/8.

According to this it would appear as though Rama was half Vishnu while Lakshmana1/4th and Bharatha and Satrugna 1/8 each. But Rajaji in his book on Ramayana says that such calculations are meaningless because it is impossible to measure the infinite arithmetically. Sruti tells us that even a fraction of the SupremeBeing is whole and complete by itself.’

Om poornamadhfpoornamidham poornaath poornam udachyathe poornasya poornam aadhaaya poornameva avasishyathe.‘ That is whole;.this is whole;what has come out of the whole is also whole. When the whole is taken out of the whole, the whole still remains whole. 

Dasratha performed the rituals of namakarana, naming ceremony after giving gifts to all.

‘jyeshtam raamam mahaathmaanam bharatham kaikayeesutham soumithrim lakshmanam ithi sathrugnam aparam thatha’. The names are explained by Sri Govindaraja swami as follows:‘ramanthe gunairasmin ithi raamah,’ all love him,ramanthe, who is endowed with his innumerable lovable qualities,,mahaathmaanam.Therefore he is named Raama…Bharatathawas named so as he was going to bear the burden of the kingdom, ‘bharatha ithi raajyasya bharanaath’ Lakshmana was lakshmisampannah possessor of the wealth of service , kaimkarayalakshmi and hence named so. Sathrugna means destroyer of enemies, lnternal and external.. Vasishta who had the knowledge of past, present and future named the princes thus.



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