Valmiki Jayanti 2021 Date: History, Significance and Puja Timings
Valmiki Jayanti 2021 will be celebrated this year on Wednesday, 20 October, 2021.
Valmiki Jayanti is a Hindu festival that is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Maharishi Valmiki, who penned the famous Hindu epic Ramayana. It shall be observed on Wednesday, 20 October, in 2021.
According to the Hindu calendar, it falls on the full moon day of the month of Ashwin. It is also popularly known as Pragat Diwas.
Valmiki Jayanti: History
There are two stories revolving around the history of Valmiki Jayanti.
According to the first one, in his early life, Rishi Valmiki was believed to be a highway dacoit. He was known as Ratnakara at the time and used to frequently rob people. However, one such day, he crossed paths with Narad Muni, a famous Hindu messenger and witnessed a complete turn around in his life. He began following Lord Rama and meditated for several years. Eventually, he achieved enlightenment and was declared successful by a divine voice and he was renamed as Valmiki.
There is a story behind how Rishi Valmiki got his name as well. Once during his prayers, it is believed that he became so engrossed in meditation that an anthill formed over him. In sanskrit, 'Valmika' means anthill. Thus, the name given to him is symbolic to his sheer devotion of Lord Rama and how he never broke his meditation despite ants making an anthill over him.
He thus achieved enlightenment and began to also be known as ‘Brahmarishi’. Maharshi Valmiki is believed to have then built an Ashram on the banks of the Ganga river. He thus began living there and sometime during his stay, he is said to have been blessed by Lord Brahma with a Divine vision when he wrote the Ramayana.
According to the other story, it is believed that during Lord Rama's exile from Ayodhya, Maharishi Valmiki crossed paths with him once. He is also said to be the one who also rescued Sita after Lord Rama banished her later from the kingdom of Ayodhya and provided her shelter. It was also in his very ashram that Sita gave birth to her sons, Lava and Kusha. Hence, Rishi Valmiki played an active role in the childhood of the two boys and became their instructor. He was also the one to teach them the Ramayana which contains 24,000 verses (shlokas) and 7 cantos (kandas).
Valmiki Jayanti: Significance
Valmiki Jayanti is of great significance to Hindus because he is the one to have penned down the epic Ramayana. In fact, one can safely say that the Ramanaya is not only just a great epic, but also a divine compilation of Lord Rama's days on earth.
Hence, his devotees celebrate this day with much love and reverence. While it is generally celebrated with great enthusiasm in the northern parts of India, the largest celebrations of Valmiki Jayanti occur in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai. This also occurs at a 1,300 years old temple where Rishi Valmiki is supposed to have rested after penciling the Ramayana.
Hence, regardless to say that on this day, there is a festive air around the country. Devotees take part in processions called Shobha Yatras and sing hymns. The temples of Rishi Valmiki are also decorated with beauitful flowers and lights, the devotees often offer free food and recite prayers throughout the day,
Valmiki Jayanti 2021: Puja Timings and Shubh Muhurat
Purnima Tithi shall begin at 07:03 PM on Wednesday, 19 October 2021
Purnima Tithi shall end at 08:26 PM on Thursday, 20 October 2021
Thus, while Valmiki Jayanti may not be in the limelight as other major Hindu festivals, it is still a day of importance when it comes to the history of Hinduism. It is a day people remember the great author of Ramayana and offer tributes in his memory.
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