Valmiki Jayanti is dedicated to the birth anniversary of the Maharishi Valmiki. According to Hindu lunar Calendar; Valmiki Jayanti falls on Sharad purnima (purnima of Ashwin month). In 2019, the birth anniversary of Maharshi Valmiki is celebrated on Sunday, 13 October. Valmiki Jayanti is also referred to as Pargat Diwas and is celebrated with great enthusiasm by the Hindu devotees. Maharshi Valmiki authored the epic Ramayana which contains 24,000 shlokas and 7 cantos including the Uttara Kanda. He is considered as the Adi Kavi, the first poet of Sanskrit language.
Story: How Dasyu Ratnakar turned into Great sage Valmiki?
Valmiki lived during the Treta Yuga. In his early life, Valmiki’s name was Ratnakar. He would rob the people for a living. He is famous as ‘Dasyu Ratnakar’. Once, he met Narada and tried to attack him. Narada chanted Lord Ram’s name and convinced Ratnakara to give up his life of thievery. Following Narada’s advice, he sat in meditation for many many years, during which time his body became covered in ants. Narada returned and uncovered the sage from the anthill and bestowed on him the name Valmiki since he was born from an anthill. He learned the story of Lord Ram from sage Narada and was instructed to write it in the poetry form by Lord Brahma. Valmiki was present during Lord Ram’s time on earth.
According to Ramayana, Lord Rama met Maharishi Valmiki during his exile and Rishi Valmiki also gave shelter to Lord Rama’s wife Sita. When Sita was banished by Lord Rama, Rishi Valmiki came to her rescue and she gave birth to Lord Rama’s twin sons, Lava and Kusha.
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Valmiki Jayanti Celebration
Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated as Pargat Diwas. On Pargat Diwas; portraits of Valmiki typically depicted as a monk wearing saffron-colored robes and holding a quill and paper are paraded in processions called Shobha Yatra; through the main streets of the Valmiki sect’s locality, accompanied by street devotional singing. Valmiki jayanti is celebrated at temples of Valmiki and also some Ram mandirs. In this auspicious day devotees worship him along with Lord Rama. Recitation of Ramayana (Rama leela) is held in temples of Valmiki. On the occasion of Valmiki Jayanti, the temples are magnificently decorated with flowers. Kirtans and bhajan are organized in the temples. Devotees also visit Lord Ram temples and recite few verses of Ramayana in reminiscence of Maharishi Valmiki.
Significance of Valmiki Jayanti
Valmiki Jayanti has special significance to the students, teachers and learners. Valmiki is seen as a literary genius and a Hindu ascetic, whose worship brings wisdom and knowledge. His life incidents are an inspiration for the people and teach them to dismiss unrighteousness and devote their life to meditation and learning.