Valmiki Jayanti 2021: The festival of Valmiki Jayanti is observed as the birth anniversary of Maharishi Valmiki, who penned the great Hindu epic Ramayana. According to the Hindu calendar, it falls on the full moon day of the month of Ashwin, which corresponds to September-October in the Gregorian calendar. Also referred to as Pragat Diwas, Valmiki Jayanti will be celebrated on 20th October (Wednesday) in 2021.
Early Life Of Valmiki
Rishi Valmiki was believed to be a highway dacoit. His earlier name was Ratnakara. He used to rob people during his early life. When he met Narad Muni, who was a Hindu messenger, there was a big turn in his life. He started following Lord Rama and meditated for several years. His atonement was declared successful by a divine voice one fine day. He was renamed as Valmiki. In Hinduism, this Sanskrit poet has a great spiritual relevance.
Valmiki Jayanti History and Significance
The story goes that Maharishi Valmiki had met Lord Rama during his exile. He also rescued Sita after Lord Rama banished her from the kingdom of Ayodhya and provided her shelter. It was in his ashram that she gave birth to the twins, Lava and Kusha. During their childhood, the great sage became their instructor and taught them Ramayana which contains 24,000 verses (shlokas) and 7 cantos (kandas).
There is another popular belief that Valmiki was a highway dacoit named Ratnakar in his early years. He used to rob and kill people until the day he met Narad Muni, who transformed him into an ardent devotee of Lord Rama. After meditating for years, a divine voice declared his penance successful and bestowed him with the name Valmiki. He was later revered as Adi Kavi for being the first poet of Sanskrit Literature. His works, especially the great epic, is recited till date by the Hindu devotees.
The exact date and time of Valmiki’s birth are unknown, but he is believed to have lived around 500 BC.
Valmiki Jayanti Celebrations across India
Valmiki Jayanti is celebrated with great enthusiasm in the northern parts of India, particularly by the Hindu devotees. On this day, people take part in great processions called Shobha Yatras and parade the representations of a priest dressed in saffron-coloured robes with plume and paper in his hands, through the streets of the Valmiki territory, accompanied by reverential singing. The temples of the sage are decorated with flowers and lights, and the devotees offer free food and recite prayers.
Celebration Of Valmiki Jayanti
Sometimes, the birth of Maharshi Valmiki is referred to as Pragat Diwas. Hindu devotees shall celebrate the day with enthusiasm. The day is celebrated with meetings and shobha yatras. Free food is offered by devotees to mark the day. Prayers are recited as well. The temples of Maharshi Valmiki are attractively decorated with different flowers of a variety of colours.. The entire atmosphere will be exciting to watch.
Facts About Maharshi Valmiki Temple
- The largest festival of Maharshi Valmiki is situated in Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai. This is a 1,300 years old temple. Rishi Valmiki rested at this location after penciling Ramayana. Later on, the temple was built in his name.
- Brahmotsavam festival is held every year in March. On full moon light, special prayers shall be organised every month.
- Marundeeswarar Temple supervises Maharshi Valmiki Temple. During the sovereignty of Chola, Marundeeswarar Temple was constructed.
Best Places to Observe Valmiki Jayanti in India
Is Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti a Public Holiday?
Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti is an optional holiday. Employment and holiday laws in India allow employees to choose a limited number of holidays from a list of optional holidays. Some employees may choose to take the day off on this day, however, most offices and businesses remain open.