Shatashloki 8: Past life events of Maharishis Narada and Valmiki

(a portion of the video is missing. Translation however is from the original video).

Śrutvā caita ttrilokajño vālmīke rnārado vaca

Śruyatāmiti cāmantrya prahŗṣṭovākyamabravīt


Meaning- Narada Maharishi, who knows all the happenings of all the three worlds, was pleased with the words spoken by Maharishi Valmiki. He then said, “Please listen attentively as I explain”.


Narada Maharishi is a celestial sage. He is precisely aware of the traits possessed by each and every being within all the 3 planes of existence. The words spoken by Maharishi Valmiki filled him with great joy as He was aware that these 16 qualities are the qualities of the Supreme Lord.

Narada himself is very passionate about singing the glories of the Lord at all times and Valmiki was clearly asking for preaching about Sriman Narayana, the Supreme Lord. It was purely the grace of Lord Narayana, that Narada could offer services to Him. He could set the Narayana mantra as his supreme aim only due to the mercy of that Lord.

Narada was one of the mind born sons of Lord Brahma. After creating him, Brahma entrusted him with the task of becoming a householder and furthering the creation. Narada was not inclined towards this and he showed his disgust. He refused. This angered his father Brahma, who cursed him, “You will be born as a Gandharva and will take on many wives”.

As a result of this curse, Narada was re-born as a Gandharva and lead a family life, taking on several wives. He was a dedicated worshipper of Lord Narayana. Once he was blessed with the rare opportunity of singing the glories of Lord Krishna, in the presence of the Supreme Father Lord Brahma. He was singing melodiously. All of a sudden, he erred in the musical beat (taala). This angered Lord Brahma who cursed him to be born as a son of a maid.

This Gandharva was re-born as a maid’s son. As his mother used to work in the ashram of some saints, from a very young age, Narada had a chance to observe the worship being offered to Lord Srihari and he developed a deep inclination towards it. He began to intensely worship Lord Srihari. After a certain period of time, Srihari appeared before him and said, “As there are a few doshas (ills) remaining in your samskaras (past impressions), in this birth you will only be able to hear my voice. In your next birth you can see me. You will become one among my troops.”

As foretold by the Supreme Lord, Narada took one more birth. He went on to become a celestial sage, great naadopaasaka (worshipping the Divinity through music) and one of the members in the troop of Lord Srihari. Eternally he recites the mantra ‘Narayana’ Narayana’. This is his story.

To obtain the vision of the Supreme Almighty, unyielding determination coupled with rigorous efforts are essential. Narada took on a firm vow to reach this goal and with great patience achieved it. He became a Guru for the Devatas themselves.

To listen and to read the stories of the Divine Lord, feelings of devotion (bhakti), dedication (shraddha), love (prema) and patience (sahana) should necessarily exist within the person. Valmiki Maharishi had all these in abundance. Let us now discuss the story of the disciple Valmiki Maharishi.


A very long time ago, Pracheta was blessed with a son Praachetasa, who had in him an aspect of Brahma. They belonged to the lineage of Brighu and the real name of Prachetasa was Rukshaka. He was seated in deep penance for an extremely long period of time and during this period an anthill completely enveloped him. An anthill is known as ‘valmika’ in Sanskrit. As he broke this anthill and emerged from it, he was titled Vālmiki.


The story of Vālmiki is beautifully elucidated in the Skanda Purana. Many eons ago, there lived a boy named Agni Sharma. No matter how hard his parents struggled to impart the basic education to him, it was of no use. Hoping that marriage would reform him, they got him married. Even this could not bring about any change in his knowledge. Exactly around that time, there was a great famine and, unable to withstand it, all of them moved to the forests. To support the family, Agni Sharma turned into a wayside robber who ruthlessly looted passersby. At one point he confronted the seven great sages (Sapta Rishis) so as to loot them. At that point, Sage Atri asked him, “Having selected looting as your profession, you are committing innumerable of sins. Will your family take a share of these sins?”

Upon going home and enquiring, Agni Sharma realized that none of them was willing to take any share of his sins. With this, Agni Sharma was frightened. He held on to the feet of the Maharishi and begged him for a way out. Atri Maharishi initiated him into dhyana yoga (yoga of meditation) and together with the other Maharishis, left that place.

13 years passed by. The seven great sages (sapta Rishis) were once again passing by that place. From a huge anthill a loud sound was audible. They pondered about it and were surprised when they came to know that Agni Sharma was seated immobile within the anthill. His dedication and discipline pleased them immensely. They asked him to come out of the anthill. They bestowed him the title ‘Valmiki’.

Due to the grace of the Lord, Valmiki could get the blessings of Guru Narada. He secured the eligibility to hear from his Guru the leelas (plays, stories) of the Parabrahma.


Om Seetaraamaaabhyaam namaha.

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