How the Ramayana Was Compiled


Sage Valmiki goes to River Tamasa for a bath and sees bird couple, of which a hunter kills one. Valmiki unintentionally [without intention] utters [recites] a poem, which is rich in grammar and new in meter [rhythm that continuously repeats a single basic patter], of which he is very much confused as to why such a poem has come from his tongue. Brahma, the presiding deity of letters appears and ordains [appoints] Valmiki to author Ramayana, excellent epic of Rama, for which purpose alone he gave such divine meter and grammar to him.

Chapter [Sarga] 2 in Detail

On hearing that sentence of that eminent [famous] sentence-maker Sage Narada, that great sage of virtuous mind, namely Valmiki, revered [worshipped] the Divine Sage Narada, along with his disciples. [1-2-1]

That divine sage Narada is worshipped that way by Valmiki in a befitting [appropriate] way, and on seeking permission of Valmiki to leave, and having been permitted by Valmiki went away heavenward. [1-2-2]

A while after the departure of Narada to heavens, Valmiki proceed to the riverbanks of Tamasa, which are not far-off from River Jahnavi [i.e., River Ganga.] [1-2-3]

Then Valmiki drew nigh [near] of River Tamasa's riverbanks, and on beholding [seeing] an un-filthy strand [shore] of that river, he spoke to his disciple available at his side. [1-2-5]

"Oh! Bharadwaja, un-filthy is this watery foreshore [a strip of land margining a body of water], and with pleasant waters it is heart pleasing... like a noble man's heart... behold it... [1-2-5]

"Keep that handy-vessel there, and give me my loincloth... I will enter only this best ford [a shallow part of a body of water that may be crossed by wading] of Tamasa River... [1-2-6]

When Bharadwaja is said that way by great-souled Valmiki, himself being a humble one before his mentor [coach or tutor] gave that jute-cloth to that saint, that humbly. [1-2-7]

That self-controlled Sage Valmiki on taking loincloth from his disciple's hands, indeed ambled [to go at] towards the river, looking everywhere at the wide of forest. [1-2-8]

There godly sage Valmiki saw a couple of lovely Krouncha birds [There are three subspecies of Sarus Crane known worldwide. This elegant bird called Krouncha in India, is revered as a symbol of marital fidelity and is celebrated in myth and legend. The Krouncha birds usually stay in pairs], in the vicinity [neighborhood] of that river's foreshore, flying there about in togetherness, and calling charmingly [1-2-9]

A tribal hunter with all his evil intent [purpose], as he is an enemy of foresters, killed the male, while Valmiki is looking on. [1-2-10]

She who is ever together with her husband, a lusty [merry and joyous] male bird with flighty wings and with a prideful red crest, and one who always had a heart for her, but she is now separated from him, and gone is that togetherness; and she, on seeing her slain husband whose body is blood-soaked, and who is reeling [to turn or move round and round] on the ground in the anguish [anger] of pain, bewailed [to express deep sorrow] with piteous utterances [vocal expression]. [1-2-11, 12]

On seeing at that bird felled [killed] that way by the tribal hunter, compassion is aroused [raise] in that kind-hearted sage Valmiki. [1-2-13]

Then on seeing the wailing [sorrowful] female Krouncha bird, compassion haunting him and apperceiving [to have mental perception of] the killing of male bird as unjust, the sage uttered [said] this sentence... [1-2-14]

"Oh! ill-fated Hunter, by which reason you have killed one male bird of the couple, when it is in its lustful [indulgence in sexual activity] passion, thereby you will get an ever-lasting reputation for ages to come..." [1-2-15]

On saying thus, and pondering for a while in his heart, 'annoyed by the anguish [anger] for that bird, what is it uttered [said] by me...' thus he became cogitative [thoughtful] of those lines uttered. [1-2-16]

On thinking, he that eminently [famous] astute [shrewd] and intellectual sage made up his mind, and he that erudite [learned] scholar also spoke this sentence to his disciples, thus as... [1-2-17]

"This utterance of mine has emerged out of anguished annoyance [the act of being disturbed], and it is well- arranged with letters metrically posited [fixed], tuneful and rhythmical to be sung with string instrument, and hence, this shall be a verse, not otherwise..." [1-2-18]

Even the disciples happily received what that is articulated [put into words] by the saint, a unique articulation [assembly of words], by which the saint too, became happy. [1-2-19]

Then that saint on performing his bathing in that ford [a shallow part of a body of water that may be crossed by wading] according to custom, and still thinking on the purport of his utterance, he returned towards his hermitage. [1-2-20]

Then Bharadwaja, the obedient disciple and an erudite [learned] scholar, for he heard and learnt many scriptures by listening, on taking handy-vessel full with water followed at the behind of his mentor. [1-2-21]

He that knower of dharma, Valmiki, having entered the threshold of hermitage along with disciples, and having seated spoke about the day-to-day teachings and also other things, but he himself is preoccupied in cogitation [thought] on the verse. [1-2-22]

Then, the great resplendent [shining brilliantly] Four-faced creator of fourteen worlds, almighty Brahma, arrived there on his own, to see that eminent [famous] saint Valmiki. [1-2-23]

Then that pious [virtuous] saint Valmiki is highly surprised on seeing Brahma, and on quickly getting up from his seat with his palms adjoined [joining] humbly, he stood aside, as he is spellbind [to bind or hold by or as if by a spell]. [1-2-24]

Valmiki venerated [to regard or treat with reverence] Brahma, on inquiring into his well-being, washed his feet, drenched his thirst, seated him to rest, and adored at best with customarily obeisance [homage]. [1-2-25]

Then god Brahma, who is seated on a high seat, very highly worshipped by Valmiki, also beckoned [signal typically with a wave or nod] at Valmiki to take a seat. [1-2-26]

Even though Valmiki sat on his seat when duly permitted by Brahma, and though the Grandparent of the worlds is manifestly [obviously] sitting before him, but the same broodings [to think anxiously] on those happenings occurred on that day have recurred [came] on his mind. [1-2-27-28a]

"He that tribal hunter, who killed a cutely [attractive or pretty] calling krouncha bird for no good reason than intending [planning] to capture the kill, is an evil souled one that caused hardship..." [1-2-28b-29a]

Remaining in melancholic [depressed] mood Valmiki turned his mind to the depth of thinking, and again thinking only on the krouncha bird he sung the same verse, involuntarily [done contrary to or without choice]. [1-2-29b-30a]

Then, Brahma smilingly spoke to that eminent [famous] saint Valmiki, "But, what that is composed is a verse only... and there is no need to think through... [1-2-30b-31a]

"Oh, Brahman, that speech of yours sprang forth at my wish alone, hence oh, eminent [famous] sage, you shall render the legend of Rama, in its entirety... [1-2-31b-32a]

"You shall narrate the legend of Rama, the virtuous, intellectual and an intrepid [fearlessness] one, and a godlike person in this world as well, as you have heard it from sage Narada. [1-2-32b-33a]

"The adventures of valorous [courageous] Rama along with Lakshmana, and the misadventures [misfortunes] of demons, known or unknown in every detail, and even the plight [an unfortunate, difficult, or precarious situation] of Vaidehi (Seetha) which is either revealed or un-revealed so far, and whatever legend that has happened, all that will also be known to you, even if it were to be unknown, as yet... [1-2-33b-35a]

"You shall versify [to compose verses] the heart pleasing and merit-yielding legend of Rama and not a single word of yours will be unfounded in this epic... [1-2-35b-36a]

"As long as the mountains and even rivers flourish [prosper or present] on the surface of the earth, so long the legend of Ramayana will flourish in this world... [1-2-36b-37a]

"And as long as Rama's legend authored by you flourishes...till then you will flourish in heavenly, in netherworlds [the world of the dead], and even in my abode, namely abode of Brahma... [1-2-37]

On saying thus that Divinity Brahma vanished then and there only, and then that godly sage Valmiki came by astonishment [amazement], along with his disciples. [1-2-38b-c]

Then all of the disciples of Valmiki sang this verse time and again very delightedly, and much astonished they also recited this verse, reciprocally [shared, felt, or shown by both side]. [1-2-39]

Equally lettered, four-footed is that verse when great Sage Valmiki articulated [put into word] it, and when repetitively recited by one and all, it attained prominence [importance] as verse proper. [1-2-40]

Born is an intuition [quick and ready insight] in that great sage and contemplated [satisfied] soul asserting [to state or declare positively] that "I will compose entire Ramayana, the epic, in suchlike verses...' [1-2-41]

That celebrated sage and magnanimous [showing or suggesting a lofty and courageous spirit] seer [one that predicts events] Valmiki then authored the highly renowned Rama's legend extolling [glorifying] Rama's renown, with symmetrically worded verses, and words versified to yield [give] meanings semantically, prosody [the language] free-flowing, and with hundreds of such verses. [1-2-42]

That epic which is with uncomplicated compounds, conjunctions and conjugations, and which has expressive sentences that are well-knit and led evenly and sweetly, and that legend of the best one from Raghu's dynasty [a succession of rulers of the same line of descent], namely Rama, which also includes the extermination of the Ten-headed evil named Ravana, that may be listened as narrated by the sage. [1-2-43]

iti vaalmiki raamaayane aadikaavye baala kaande dvitiiyah sargah

Thus, this is the 2nd chapter in Bala Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana, the First Epic poem of India.

Sriman Moola Rama Vijayate


Desiraju Hanumanta Rao. (1998). Balakanda - Book Of Youthful Majesties.