As we know, there is no mention of Sage Valmiki in the Ramayana. He was mentioned or seen only in the Lava-Kusha story. So who told the complete story of the Ramayana to Sage Valmiki? Was it Goddess Sita herself when she left Ayodhya and stayed in Valmiki's hermitage?

Please explain the incident in brief.

  • haha, he is a trikaal darshi. He has Godly eyes and he is gifted by years of penance. He can see anything, even where you and I will be after 20 years! This is more than explained in Ramayana! Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 12:37
  • Keshav can answer this good. In my knowledge Valmiki wrote Ramayan even before the occurrence of it.
    – Be Happy
    Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 12:52
  • @AwalGarg There are many sages who are Trikala Jnyanis, i.e. who can see the complete past, present, and future of the entire universe. But Valmiki is not one of them. He was only able to see the past, present, and future story of Rama, not everyone. And as far as I know it may have just been a temporary ability. Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 16:04
  • @jabahar Thanks for your confidence in me! Valmiki actually started composing the Ramayana after most of the events described had already occurred. Only the events of the Uttara Kanda of the Ramayana hadn't occurred at the time he started composing the epic, which would have been at some point between Rama's coronation and (some stage of) Sita's pregnancy. Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 16:08
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Ok, but did you saw the Ramayana on NDTV Imagine? I am pretty sure there was a line in which one of the locals of Ayodhya dictated - "Isme pramaan ki kya avashyakta hai? Maharishi Valmiki jaise trikaal darshi ne jo keh diya hai, vahi pramaan hai!" ... do you remember something about it? Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 18:46

2 Answers 2


It is true that Sita and her sons Lava and Kusha all stayed at the sage Valmiki's ashram (hermitage). But that is not how Valmiki came to know of the story of the Ramayana. He learnt the story earlier than that.

Once Valmiki was visited by the Devarishi (divine sage) Narada. Since Narada was knolwedgeable on a great many subjects, Valmiki asked him a question about whether there is any man in the world today who possesses the most illustrious qualities:

[T]he Sage-Poet Valmiki is inquisitively enquiring about a man who is a composite for all merited endowments in his form and calibre: "Who really is that person in this present world, who is principled and also a potential one, a conscientious one, a redeemer, and also a truth-teller and self-determined in his deed? Who is he conduct-wise blent with good-conduct. Who in respect of all beings is benign? Who is adept and also the ablest one [and] also uniquely good to look to? Who is that courageous one, who controlled his ire, who is brilliant, non-jealous and even whom do the gods fear, when provoked to war?"

And Narada told Valmiki that it's almost impossible for one man to have all these traits, but it turns out there is such a man living today, possessing these good qualities and so many more: the present king of Ayodhya, by the name of Rama. Narada gave a brief description of Rama's characteristics and life story, but Valmiki wanted to know more. Then Valmiki went to take a bath, when he saw a hunter killing a krouncha bird while its female companion was crying out in a mourning song, and so in anger Valmiki uttered the following sentence:

maa nishhaada pratiSThaamtva | magamaH shaashvatiiH samaaH ||

yat krauNcha mithunaat eka | mavadhiiH kaama mohitam||

"Oh! Ill-fated Hunter, by which reason you have killed one male bird of the couple, when it is in its lustful passion, thereby you will get an ever-lasting reputation for ages to come."

He was just absent-mindedly saying his words with the same rhythm that the Krouncha bird was crying out in, but then he realized the beauty of his sentence: it was a perfect line of poetic verse, the fist piece of poetry that humanity had ever composed. (The mantras of Vedas were already around, but that is poetry composed by the gods, not by Man.)

Valmiki then got home to his Ashram, and was visited by Brahma the creator god. Brahma explained that it was by his doing that Valmiki had uttered that sentence, and it was because he was blessing Valmiki with the ability to tell the entire life of Rama in poetic meter. Brahma said this:

You shall narrate the legend of Rama, the virtuous, intellectual and an intrepid one, and a godlike person in this world as well, as you have heard it from sage Narada. The adventures of valorous Rama along with Lakshmana, and the misadventures of demons, known or unknown in every detail, and even the plight of Vaidehi 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. You shall versify the heart pleasing and merit-yielding legend of Rama, and not a single word of yours will be unfounded in this epic. As long as the mountains and even rivers flourish on the surface of the earth, so long the legend of Ramayana will flourish in this world

So he gave Valmiki the boon that he would know the whole life of Rama, that everything Valmiki wrote in his epic poem would be accurate, and that his poem would endure forever. And sure enough, after Brahma disappeared and Valmiki started meditating, he saw the entire life of Rama:

Of Rama, Lakshmana and Seetha, also of King Dasharatha and his wives, and what bechanced on Rama when he was in kingdom Ayodhya; Valmiki veritably discerned all that. Their smiles, their conversations, their deeds and the succession of events as well, all of them the sage saw wholly and clearly by the yogic power conferred by Brahma.

And he saw not just Rama's past and present, but also what was yet to come in Rama's life:

The godly sage Valmiki composed the futuristic legend of Rama while on the surface of earth, and whatever that is there, that is composed in all its minuteness, in the coming chapters of this epic.

In any case, it was during Valmiki's composition of the Ramayana that Rama's wife Sita, by the path of destiny, came to Valmiki. And when Valmiki finished his epic poem, he taught it to Sita's sons Lava and Kusha. And Lava and Kusha spread this epic far and wide, until (through a serious of events described in the Uttara Kanda of the Ramayana) they came to the court of Ayodhya, and Rama himself asked the two boys to narrate the epic to him and his brothers:

Then those two singers, motivated by Rama's words, sang the ballad in maarga system, for they are well versed in it, then even Rama, who is also in the congregation, again to pacify his mind, [for the story of Seetha puts his mind to turmoil,] became interested at heart [to continue listening Seetha's story]

And that is how the narration of the Ramayana begins.

  • 2
    such a vivid answer.
    – mihirjoshi
    Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 23:25
  • 2
    @mjosh Thanks! I hope it encourages you to read the Valmiki Ramayana (at valmikiramayan.net), because the rest of the epic is just as enthralling, if not more so. Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 23:29
  • Srimad Valmiki Ramayana commences with the verse of Maharishi Valmiki asking Sage Narada about a person endowed with certain superior qualities and in reply Sage Narada repeats the story of Sri Ramachandra of the Ikshvaaku Dynasty, currently ruler of Ayodhya. The story of Ramayana was thus told to Maharishi Valmiki by Sage Narada, who then composed the epic poem. Commented Sep 21, 2017 at 3:42

Goddess Sita didn't narrate the story to Valmiki but Valmiki himself wrote the Ramayana. Someone says Valmiki to meditate upon the word 'mara' which when repeated continuously sounds Rama. From the meditation, he was able to write the story of the Ramayanam.

The Ramayana is a story designed by the Lord Narayana. The devarishi Narada once goes meditates in a place where Lord Shiva previously meditated and destroyed Manmadhudu (which is nothing more than a desire). The devarishi Narada also got desires while he was meditating, but he still continued and completed his meditation without getting deviated. He, therefore thinks that he defeated Manmadhudu (a desire) and that the entire credit goes to him. However, it is because of the great Lord Shiva, Devarisihi Narada had completed his meditation successfully.

He goes to Lord Shiva and tells him that he won against Manmadhudu. Lord shiva smiles and says about the story that he destroyed Manmadhudu previously in that place so did he successfully meditated.

Lord Shiva tells to Narada not to tell Narayana that the credit goes to Narada but not Lord Shiva.

Narada disobeys Lord Shiva's words and then goes to Lord Bramha and tells this. Bramha also tells not to say like this to Lord Narayana.

Narada again disobeys his father (Lord Bramha) words and tells it to Lord Narayana. As Lord Narayana is known for teaching lessons to those who are filled with ego, he does the same thing to Narada.

Lord Narayana creates a story like this:

Narada once will be invited to a kingdom. He is requested to tell astrology to the king's daughter. He says that she will get Lord Narayana as her husband. Narada, however on the other side likes that girl and wishes to marry her. He goes to Lord Narayana and tells that she likes that girl and that he needs to look like Narayana.

Lord Narayana gives everything fine, but he gives a monkey face to Narada. Narada goes to the swayamvaram of the king's daughter. Every king who came to participate in the swayamvaram laughs at Narada. Narada doesn't know that he is given a monkey face. He therefore, thinks that they are laughing towards him because of jealous. He curses those people who laughed at him.

Finally, Lord Narayana enters the Swayamvaram and marries the king's daughter. Lord Narada looks at his face and finds that he is given a monkey face. With lots of anger he goes to Lord Narayana and curses him that his wife will also be kidnapped by someone and you will fight with him to get her back. This is what is Ramayana.

Lord Narayana accepts the curse with a smile and incarnates in the Ramayanam.

  • 3
    Are you quoting from something? If so, you should mention the source, and if not you shouldn't use block quotes. Commented Jul 6, 2014 at 19:44
  • 1
    And also, your answer is completely irrelevant to the question. The question is about how Valmiki was able to write the Ramayana. But most of your answer is about a story of what caused Vishnu's incarnation of Rama to happen, which has nothing to do with the question. Only your first three sentences are relevant. Commented Jul 6, 2014 at 19:46
  • There is no way VALMIKI started Rama meditation using word "Maraa"'Maraa''Maraa'. Valmiki was Sanskrit Kavi. "Maraa" is hindi word and at time of Valmiki Hindi had no existence. So this is a false story that Valmiki started with Maraa and said Raam Raama Raama.
    – user9392
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 9:07

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