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THIRUKOLUR PEN PILLAI RAGASIYAM -35

Below is the translation to Veda Paati's story, narrated in tamil, available in below platforms:

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Did I get two kings (Lava and Kusha) to nurture like Sage Valmiki


Swami RAmAnujA, who was enthralled hearing the story of the 3 AzhvArs, was only eager to hear even more stories from this little innocent child of Tirukolur! “Go on child! Tell me more stories!”, he encouraged. With that, she began narrating the story of the great Muni who was once a bandit!


One day, Narada was walking through a thick forest, with the Mahati Veena in his hands and constantly uttering the divine name of the Lord, “Narayana Narayana”. Suddenly, a scary-looking person jumped in front of him and demanded that Narada give him all that he possessed.

Narada laughed and said “I do not have anything that I can give you. What I possess, you cannot take from me! By the way, who are you?”. The man responded, “My name is RatnAkaran and I am a thief!”.

“A thief! Do you know how many sins you incur by stealing from others? Why do you do this!”, cried Narada, aghast. RatnAkaran explained that he stole so that he could feed his family. The wise Narada threw him a challenge. “Oh RatnAkara! You do this for your family. However, I want you to go and ask them if they would equally share your sins with you!”. “Of course they would! Why, let me ask them right away”, and so saying RatnAkaran immediately approached his family members.


Upon asking his parents, wife and children, they responded in fear, “Feeding us and maintaining the house expense is your duty. However, we would in no way want to partake of your sins!”. The disappointed RatnAkaran approached Narada again.


Narada gave him a way to get rid of his sins. He taught him how to say the divine name “Rama”. However, so much were the sins of RatnAkaran that he could not utter “Rama” even after being taught. “Alright. What do you call this?”, sighed Narada pointing to a tree. In Tamil, a tree is called “Maram”. Narada said “Just repeat Mara Mara as many times as you can to get rid of your sins”.


RatnAkarA sat right under that tree and started chanting like Narada had taught him to. When chanting “Mara Mara” fast and many times, it started sounding like “Rama Rama”!. RatnAkara was steadfast in his chanting and many years had passed. A colony of ants even built an ant hill around RatnAkarA as the years passed!


Brahma, being touched by RatnAkaran’s devotion, appeared in front of him and splashed holy water that dissolved the ant hill. Out emerged Valmiki, a sage, born out of the thief RatnAkaran. From then on, his life was very different. He did very many good deeds.

One day Sage Valmiki had a doubt. Who is the supreme among all entities? He posed this question to his guru, Narada. Narada then revealed, “The greatest Purushottama of all is Lord Rama. He is Lord Narayana incarnate and he is now the king of Ayodhya ''. With this, Narada started relating the entire Ramayana to Valmiki. Valmiki, too, began documenting Ramayana as related to him by Narada.

During this time, Rama had just defeated Ravana and brought Sita back to Ayodhya. A great celebration of the coronation of Rama had taken place soon after Sita was pregnant. Sita had a wish. She wanted to be among Rishis in their Ashram in the forest while she was pregnant.


One day, Rama decided to make a trip around Ayodhya to understand the sentiments of people. This was a usual practice for Kings in those days. That was when Rama overheard an unpleasant conversation between some washermen. One of them said, “How could Rama simply accept Sita back when she had been in that Rakshasa’s palace for ten whole months? If it were me, I would have thrown my wife out!”. These harsh words hurt Rama deeply. He was saddened that the people of Ayodhya could not accept Sita despite her having walked through fire to prove her purity. He decided then that he would send Sita to the forests as per her wish. This would also please the people of Ayodhya.


Lakshmana left Sita near Valmiki’s Ashram, with a heavy heart. Valmiki understood what was happening through his Yogic powers and immediately welcomed Sita to his Ashram.


Since he was once surrounded by an ant hill, and Sita was found by Janaka when he was ploughing, both were associated closely to the earth. Hence, they were like siblings. Valmiki took great care of Sita. Soon, she delivered two beautiful boys and named them Lava and Kusha.


Valmiki brought the boys up with much love and taught them all the arts. He also taught them the Ramayana that he had written in the form of a song. One day Valmiki was invited to Rama’s Ashvameda YAgam.


Valmiki brought Lava and Kusha along, and made them perform the song of Ramayana in front of all who had gathered. That was when the people of Ayodhya were deeply moved by the difficulties gone through by Rama, Lakshmana and Sita and regretted judging Sita negatively.

The washerman was one among the crowd and regretted his harsh words. Rama understood then, that the two handsome lads were his own and accepted them wholeheartedly. Not only had Valmiki brought up the two princes as his own, he had also taught them Ramayana and made them sing for their divine father, Rama himself, to listen!


“Valmiki was once a thief. He changed himself, became a Maharishi, and brought up the two princes of Rama. Have I been able to do that? I must not remain in this Divyadesam!”, cried the child of Tirukolur. Amazed at the child’s deep devotion and her admiration of the devotees of the Lord, EmperumAnAr waited patiently for the next story.


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