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Sage Valmiki Teaching Ramayana To Kusha and Lava

Sage Valmiki teaching Ramayana to Kusha and Lava is found in the Bala Kanda chapter 1.4. This happened when Lord Rama was ruling the kingdom of Ayodhya. Sage Valimiki composed the story of Ramayana in wonderful padas. He recounted what had happened and what would transpire in the future.

Having composed the Ramayana, Sage Valmiki thought about who would recount the tale. While he was thinking about this, Kusha and Lava came and touched the feet of the sage. Mata Sita was residing in the ashram of Sage Valmiki along with Kusha and Lava.

Sage Valmiki looked at the two brothers and knew they possessed melodious voices. They looked like gandharvas – they possessed beauty and auspicious signs. They knew about dharma and the intelligent ones were accomplished in the Vedas.

Sage Valmiki then taught the Ramayana to Kusha and Lava. He told them that the story is to be read and sung in pleasant tones, categorized into three scales (high, low and accented) and seven notes (sa-re-ga-ma-pa-dha-ni).

He told the two brothers that the song possesses rhythm that can be adjusted to the tunes of stringed instruments. Ramayana is sung in nine emotions – romance, comedy, compassion, ferocity, disgusting, horrible, heroic, wonderful and peaceful.

Kusha and Lava possessed the knowledge of the gandharvas and were accomplished in pausing and pitching their voices.

Having emerged from Rama’s body, they were like two mirror images of him. Ramayana was a supreme account and devoted to dharma, the two brothers learnt it in its entirety, reciting it in the proper way, without any blemishes.

Controlled, and as instructed, the brothers sang this in assemblies of sages, brahmanas and the virtuous.

Those who listened to the story had tears in their eyes and they felt they had witnessed it in real.

On one occasion, while the brothers were singing on the royal road of Ayodhya, Rama happened to hear them. He invited them to the palace and asked them to recite the story of Ramayana.

ReferenceThe Valmiki Ramayana Volume I – Translated by Bibek Debroy – Published by Penguin Books.