Maharishi Valmiki – Beyond the realm of time
Source: Wikimedia Commons

By Vinay Nalwa

Maharishi Valmiki – Beyond the realm of time
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Maharishi Valmiki’s Ramayan was arguably the first chronicled history of Bharat. And Maharishi Valmiki was the first poet who shared accounts and memories of events of the life of Sri Ram by turning them into an epic. He was also the contemporary of Sri Ram.

Maharishi Valmiki was also a learned astronomer. He has made sequential astronomical references on important dates related to the life of Sri Ram indicating the position of planets, the zodiac constellations and the other stars (Nakshatras). Sri Ram was born on January 10, 5114 BC (7123 years back). As per the Indian calendar, it was the ninth day of Shukla Paksha in Chaitra month. It is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana’s Ayodhya kaand(canto) that King Dashrath wanted to make Sri Ram the king because Sun, Mars and Rahu surrounded his nakshatra and normally under such a planetary configuration, the king dies or becomes a victim of conspiracies. Dashrath’s zodiac sign was Pisces and his nakshatra was Revathi. This planetary configuration was prevailing on the January 5, 5089 BC, and it was on this day that Sri Ram left Ayodhya for 14 years of exile. He was 25 years old at that time. Valmiki’s Ramayana refers to the solar eclipse at the time of war with Khara and Dushan in later half of the 13th year of Sri Ram’s exile. On the basis of planetary configurations described in various other chapters, the date on which Ravan was killed works out to be December 4, 5076 BC, and Sri Ram completed 14 years of exile on January 2, 5075 BC. Incidentally, that day was also Navami of Shukla Paksha in Chaitra month.

Maharishi Valmiki mentioned the position of stars when Sri Ram was born, the location of sun was in Aries, Saturn was in Libra, Jupiter and the moon were in Cancer, Venus was seen in Pisces while Mars was in Capricorn. It was the ninth day of the increasing phase of the moon in the lunar month of Chaitra. Pushkar Bhatnagar in his book ‘Dating the Era of Lord Rama’ wrote that these unique astral conditions were present in the sky on 10 January 5114 BC. Pushkar Bhatnagar, an engineer and officer of the Indian Revenue Service, had acquired a unique software from the USA in which he entered the relevant details about the planetary positions as mentioned by Maharishi Valmiki and obtained very interesting and convincing results, which determined the important dates starting from the birth of Sri Ram to the date of his coming back to Ajodhya after 14 years of exile.

There is an episode related to Maharishi Valmiki in the Mahabharata period. When the Pandavs win the battle with the Kauravs, Draupadi holds a yajna, for which the blowing of the conch was necessary, but all efforts including Krishna’s could not produce the sound, then everyone prays to Maharishi Valmiki at the behest of Krishna. On the appearance of Maharishi, the sound itself starts emanating from conch shell and Draupadi’s yajna gets completed.

In the ancient scripture Vishnudharmottara Purana Maharishi Valmiki is mentioned as a God. It is written that People who want to enhance their knowledge and wisdom should offer prayers to Maharishi Valmiki.

Maharaishi Valmiki’s eminence is not restricted to north of Bharat. There is a temple in Chennai dedicated to Maharishi Valmiki, it is called Thiruvanmiyur. The temple’s significance is that it is believed to be the place where Valmiki rested, after finishing the Ramayana. This, thought to be over 1300 years old is under the care of another prominent temple called the Marundeeswarar temple build during the reign of Great Chola Dynasty. As per the beliefs, Maharishi Valmiki visited the Marundeeswarar temple to worship Lord Shiva following which the region was named Thiruvalmikiyur which gradually changed to Thiruvanmiyur.

Dr Saroj Bala , the Director of the “Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas” in her last book titled ‘Ramayan ki Kahani, Vigyan ki Jubani’ also cross verified the sequence of astronomical references of Vedas and Epics using Planetarium software. She also used an open-source software Stellarium was also used to measure the veracity of astronomical references in Maharishi Valmiki’s Ramayana. It was found that the position of the planets and constellations described in the Ramayana, the then celestial position and all the astronomical information were exactly true. The year, date and time on which the description is given in the Ramayana, on putting them in these softwares, the same results came out. The Astronomical Code of the Rig Veda listed 63 ancestors of Sri Ram who ruled over Ayodhya. Sri Ram’s ancestors have been traced out as Sri Ram, King Dashrath, King Aja, King Raghu, King Dilip and so on.

The events and places related to the life of Sri Ram and Sita are the true cultural and social heritage. And their significance in Bharatiya system of values is immense and have remained alive because of the great contribution of Maharishi Valmiki.

(The writer is a Phd in Sociology and senior fellow with Delhi based think tank Vichar Vinimay Kendra)