Narada Muni Narrates the Ramayana to Valmiki

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Long time ago, when the sacred Veda books were studied, those who desired spiritual realization used to retreat to the sacred places of which India is still rich today. The life of people was divided into various stages, and the culmination was the renunciation to all attachment to material things, before the ineluctable time exerted its strength taking everything away with death. The sage Valmiki, author of the work that is the subject of our story, was one of those people. After the period during which ignorance darkened his heart, he retired to a hermitage in the forest to study and meditate. Valmiki became a very famous and respected sage. Thanks to his asceticism he developed remarkable mystical powers.

One day, he received a visit from Narada Muni, his spiritual teacher. After offering him the respect due to a guru, the two sages sat in the shade of a large banyano tree, not far from Valmiki’s hermitage. They started the conversation.

“I am very lucky to have met you,” said Valmiki, “and thanks to you I was initiated into chanting the sacred Vedic mantras, thanks to which I have achieved great spiritual progress. Also, you have studied all the scriptures and taught me the essential points. Today I have a curiosity that I beg you to satisfy.”

Narada smiled. It is fortunate for a teacher to have disciples who know how to ask the right questions; this was an opportunity for him to recite sacred stories that could purify the heart. He knew that Valmiki was a good disciple.

“In this world,” he continued, “there are many holy kings and even great sages who have completely controlled their passions. But I would like to know: who is the greatest among them? Who is the most famous, the noblest, the most truthful and the most firm in his vows? Who is the greatest personality of this time?”

Narada did not stay long thinking, as if he had no doubts. It was evident that he was already thinking of someone in particular and smiled again, grateful to his disciple for giving him the opportunity to talk about it. He seemed particularly happy.

“In the Ikshvaku dynasty,” Narada replied, “Rama was born, a man as noble and virtuous as this world had never seen. His qualities have no limits, and it is a great joy for me and for anyone else to tell about his exploits. If you wish, I can tell you his sacred story.”

Valmiki nodded happily, and the day saw the two wise men sitting in the refreshing shade of the giant tree talking about the sacred story of King Rama. The atmosphere all around was wonderfully serene and sweet, and while Narada was preparing to tell the story of Rama, Valmiki’s disciples came and sat all around, attracted by those words and by how the recitation was going on. It was very sweet. Such a beautiful story had never been told before. Everyone felt a great admiration for that king and for the selflessness with which he ruled his kingdom, admiration for his moral principles, for the love he felt for his neighbor to the point of renouncing to everything he was most fond of, and admiration for his spiritual qualities.

Valmiki never managed to forget it.

 

This is a section of the book “The Ramayana”.

To buy the complete book, click above

 

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