Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti 2024

17 October 2024
Gujarat,Karnataka,Sikkim,Telangana,Punjab    Regional holiday

Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated on Ashwin Purnima, the full moon in the sixth Hindu month. This regional public holiday in several Indian states, commemorates the birth anniversary of Valmiki, the first poet of Sanskrit literature. Valmiki is celebrated as the harbinger-poet in Sanskrit literature and the author of Ramayana, the first epic poem.

At nearly 24,000 verses, the Ramayana is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature. The poem revolves around the life of Rama, a major Hindu deity and the legendary prince of the Kosala Kingdom.

It follows Ramas banishment from the kingdom by his father, King Dasharatha. It then narrates his travels across India with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, the kidnapping of Sita by Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, Ramas battles with Ravana and his eventual return home to be crowned king. The British Library considers Ramayana as one of the most important literary works of ancient India, that has greatly influenced art and culture in the Indian subcontinent and South-East Asia.

The story of Rama has been retold over the centuries by some of Indias greatest writers both in Sanskrit and regional languages. In northern India, the annual Rama-play is performed at the festival of Dussehra which celebrates Ramas victory over Ravana and the rescue of Sita, signifying the eventual triumph of light over darkness.

In parts of India, the return of Rama and Sita is also the basis for the festival of Diwali when thousands of lamps are lit to guide them home.

A popular television series, "Ramayan", was aired in India 1987-1988. It attracted over 100 million viewers to become the worlds most viewed mythological serial at the time.

Valmiki lived in the first millennium BCE and is believed to be the contemporary of Lord Rama.