Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti (Photo Credits: File Photo)
Valmiki Jayanti or Balmiki Jayanti also known as Pargat Diwas is a festival celebrated to commemorate the birth of ancient Indian poet and philosopher, Valmiki. Known to be the author of the epic Indian poem, Ramayana, Maharishi Valmiki is worshipped as an avatar of God by the members of the Balmiki sect. The Valmiki Ramayana is dated between 500 BCE to 100 BCE. The revered poet is said to have been born on the full moon day during the month of Ashwin as per the Hindu calendar that corresponds to the month of September-October in the Gregorian calendar. Valmiki Jayanti 2019 falls on October 13. As the observance approaches, we bring you some interesting facts about the only person in ancient India who was a scholar in both Sanskrit and Tamil. Valmiki Jayanti 2019 Date: Know History, Significance and Celebrations of Pragat Diwas.
While India is home to several Valmiki temples, the most prominent one is in Chennai. The Maharishi Valmiki temple in Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai is believed to be around 1300 years old. It stands on the East Coast Road in named Valmiki Nagar. The temples witnesses large scale celebrations on Pargat Diwas as devotees gather in huge numbers to offer prayers.
- Ramayana which is the first such poem in Sanskrit is also called ‘Adikavya’ or -the First Poem. Hence, Valmiki is also known as the ‘Adikavi’, which means the first poet.
- The real name of Valmiki is Ratnakara. He was named as Valmiki as he came out of a Valmika which means ant-hill in Sanskrit.
- During the early period of his life, Valmiki was a highway dacoit who used to loot and kill people.
- Once Maharishi Valmiki was watching a bird couple making love. Immediately a hunter shot one of the birds down with an arrow and it died immediately. The incident angered Maharishi and in the pain, Maharishi uttered a Shloka, which is considered as the first Sanskrit Shloka ever.
- The first disciples to whom Maharishi Valmiki taught the Ramayan were Kush and Luv, the sons of Rama.
- The epic Ramayan he composed has 24507 chapters.
- According to Vishnudharmoltara Purana, Valmiki is a form of God. He is said to have been born as a form of Vishnu. People who desire for knowledge and wisdom, pray to Valmiki.
On Pargat Diwas, people worship Maharishi Valmiki and observes the day with grant processions, shobha yatras and meetings. Devotees also offer free food to each other on this day. People decorate Maharishi Valmiki’s temples with flowers and light the temple.