The author of epic Ramayana, Maharishi Valmiki is known as Ādi Kavi, the first poet, author of Ramayana, the first epic poem. Hailed as the first poet of Sanskrit literature , Ramayana written by Maharishi Valmiki includes 24000 shlokas and 7 cantos (kaṇḍas).
Valmiki Jayanti marks the birth anniversary of the great poet and this year it falls today i.e. 5th October.
Not many historians know the fact that Maharishi Valmiki’s birth name was Agni Sharma who was born in a Brahmin family of Bhirgu gotra.As the legend goes, followed by his discourse with a great sage Narada , Agni Sharma earned his name of Valmiki.
The first Shloka in Sanskrit literature was emerged from Valmiki’s rage when he witnessed a bird hit by an arrow and said following words in rage:
mā niṣāda pratiṣṭhā tvamagamaḥ śāśvatīḥ samāḥ
yat krauñcamithunādekam avadhīḥ kāmamohitam[
You will find no rest for the long years of Eternity
For you killed a bird in love and unsuspecting
His first two disciples, to whom he taught Ramayana were Luv and Kusha to whom Seeta had given birth at Valmiki’s hermitage followed by her banishment from Lord Rama after impurity was questioned.
An area in Chennai called Tiruvanmiyur is believed to derive its name from Sage Valmiki ‘Thiru-Valmiki-Oor’. A temple which is believed to be 1300 years old is also located in this place.