One more thing ! ......

'The first Sloka - Maa Nishada.. !! ( Part 1)

Maa nishaada... !!!

मानिषाद प्रतिष्ठां त्वं
अगमः शाश्वतीः समाः ।
यत् क्रौंचमिथुनादेकं
अवधीः काममोहितः ॥

మానిషాద ప్రతిష్ఠాం త్వం
అగమః శాశ్వతీః సమాః |
యత్ క్రౌంచమిథునాదేకం
అవధీః కామమోహితః ||

This is a Sloka that is uttered by Valmiki at a moment of intense anguish.

This is Sloka which many a student of Sanskrit would recognize instantly.

It is lyrical.

This has four padas

Each pada had eight letters

Word arrangement is such as to make the reading easy, fluent and sound musical!

It was not the result of a laborious work of a poet set on writing an epic.

It was an instantaneous outpouring of an anguished heart !

In these days of instant rap ,  instant lyrics  and  twenty four hour music channels hearing a lyric sounds so normal that one would be wondering what is so special  about these lines !

It is special  because of the times…

That was a time when the when only the lines of Vedas were metrical . There was no kavya  a story line poetry  or epics which were metrical.  There is no poetry other than Vedas or the embedded Upanishads.  The entire life styles centered around the study of Vedas  and following them.

That day inquisitive Valmiki had an enriching  dialogue with Narada who answered the question of who is the best of “Naras” !

Then Valmiki went to the river Tamasa. Seeing  the clear waters of Tamas he was pleased . His mind was as clear as the waters of Tamasa.

He was literally at peace.

Then he sees the pair birds making love.

Then he sees the male bird being shot by a hunter with an arrow.

The bird so hit fell down and was gasping for life. The female bird seeing the death pangs of the male bird herself started wailing piteously.

It is a scene meant to melt the heart of any body.

The sage Valmiki too was emotionally hit and was sorry to see the wailing female bird. He was angry with the hunter who separated a  loving couple. Then the words flew out of his heart !

Those were the words

Maa Nishada.. .. ..

Instantly the sage was himself surprised by the simplicity  and structure of the lines.

They  were four lines of eight letters each.

The words flew out  instantaneously  - and in an instant he realized that the words that flew out were as though it was lyric set to a meter.

He wondered aloud and told his sishyas too !

Even as he continued to do his daily chores his mind was on the event ; his mind was on the lyrical lines he uttered so effortlessly.

Then Brahma himself comes to Valmiki’s hermitage to clarify to him that what came out so lyrically was  indeed as ordained by Brahma himself !

Brahma further asks Valmiki to compose the story of Rama in the same lyrical style .

So this Sloka being as ordained by Brahma himself – it is the thought of many that this Sloka has to have hidden meaning or meanings!!

There have been many elaboration of this Sloka.

- The outer Shell - the contextual meaning

- The inner meanings - a meaning heralding the story he is about to tell !

- Tatvartham - the philosophical underpinning of Ramayana

These are elaborated else where !!

Independent of all of those elaborations the sloka with its pathos and musical rhythm still stands on its own

om tat sat