Valmiki Discovers The Metre For The Ramayana
Valmiki was deeply impressed by Ramakatha he heard. He remained absorbed in it. He then went the Tamasa river for his disciple. He saw two Krauncha birds playing with each other. A hunter hit the male bird with an arrow and killed it. The agonised female bird let out a piteous shriek. The event moved Valmiki to the core, and he, in a fit of emotion, cursed the hunter.
"Maa Nishaada Pratishthaam Twam Agama : Shaashvatee Samaa : Yat Krauncha Mithunaadekam Avadhee Kaama Mohitam (Valmiki R/I/2/15)." May you not have peace of mind for endless years, O fowler! since you killed one of the pair of cranes, infatuated with passion."
Valmiki found that his curse had come in the form of exquisite poetry with four metrical feet (Paada). Each Paada contained eight letters. Hearing the verse from the Sage, Brahma was pleased. He said:"This verse and the event behind it have a great purpose. You have heard the story of Sri Rama and his glories from Sage Narada. Write an epic poem describing the events of Sri Rama's life in this metre(verse form). Your composition will not have anything that is not true. The story of Sri Rama will be popular in all the three worlds as long as the mountains and rivers exist on earth. And you shall live in heaven or on earth as long as Sri Ramakatha is current."
The disciples of Valmiki loudly chanted the verse and found it delightful. It was Man's creative force at its best.
Then the Sage set himself to compose the soul-ravishing tale of Sri Rama, culminating in the killing of Ravana. The verses were unifrom, beautiful and had great insight.