Maharshi Valmiki, the renowned author of the famous and most read India epic Ramayana, existed in the first millennium B.C. He was the originator of Shloka. He was a Brahmin by birth, and belonged to the Bhingu lineage. He is known to have used the Shloka while writing the Ramayana.
How he Received his Name?
Though he was born in a Brahmin family, fate took him amidst robbers, who brought him up. While growing up, another incident made him meet the Saptarishis (The seven Sages) as well as Sage Narad which changed the course of his life. At this time, he repeated Rama’s name and hence attained the state of Maharshi or “Great Sage” He received his name Valmiki because a Valmika or an anthill grew on this body when he was performing the austerities, and was in penance for a long while. This transformation of his work made him known across the culture and his creation of Ramayana made him famous all over the country as well as those who know about Hindu culture. With the creation of Ramayana, he made his name last for generations to come.
Valmiki Jayanti celebrates the birthday of the famous poet Valmiki, who is also referred as Adi Kavi or the first poet who discovered the Shloka. People celebrate this day on a full moon day in the month of Ashwin according to the Hindu calendar.
There is enthusiasm and fervor among the people celebrating this festival. As a way to celebrate, people worship and pray to the sage. In fact, Shobha yatras, meetings as well as free food distribution is conducted to honor the great sage. Many people offer prayers to the idol of the sage.
In India, there are many Valmiki temples, and on this occasion these temples are decorates with flowers as devotees’ step in to offer their prayers. The temples are well lit, and the devotees’ recite verses from the Ramayana in honor of the sage.. This festival is not about fun but has a religious significance associated with it. It is definitely famous in Rajasthan and northern parts.