Abstract : (Summary of this post)
- Valmiki Maharshi and Agastya Maharshi were contemporaries of Sri Rama (श्री राम). They were friends of Dasaratha as well as friends and well-wishers of Sri Rama and Sita Devi (सीता देवी).
- Agastya is connected to the starting of the Sangam Literature.
- Agastya’s time has been calculated as around 4000 BCE by Sri Abhyankar K.D.
- Though much less famous than Agastya’s asrams, there are also some sacred Valmiki Ashram Locations in South India. Valmiki may have travelled South, with Sitamma and the children and had some discussions with Agastya.
Agastya’s date and connection to Sangam Literature and Period :
I have summarised this article http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/dec252005/2174.pdf published by K.D. Abhyankar in Current Science at this link : Agastya – Canopus. I reproduce some ideas here but you can read my summary or Sri Abhyankar’s article for more details.
- The nakshatram Canopus was named Agastya after the Rishi Agastya.
- This was so because he was the first sanskrit northerner to sight it.
- He sighted it as soon as he crossed the Vindhyas.
- Agastya (Canopus) was visible in the north of the Vindhyas only after 5200 BC and in Kurukshetra (Delhi) only from 3100 BC assuming that for a star to be visible its meridian altitude has to be at least 5°.
- Agastya (Canopus) was visible in the north of the Vindhyas only after 4000 BC assuming that for a star to be visible its meridian altitude has to be at least 4°.
- Agastya Rishi’s Vindhya Crossing was between 4000 BC and 5000 BC.
- Agastya started the first Sangam.
- The last Sangam ended around 0 BC.
- Each Pandyan king ruled for 20 years.
- There were 89, 59 and 49 Pandyan kings in each of the Sangams.
- (89+59 + 49) * 20 = 3940 years
Conclusion : Agastya’s time was 4000 BC
Valmiki and the South :
- Valmiki writes like an explorer of the National Geographic Society.
- He describes locations, ways, flora and fauna and so on. (See : Kabandha asks Sri Rama to go West to Pampa. Flora and Fauna description.)
- Sri Rama’s children, Lava and Kusa were born in the Valmiki Ashram at Bithoor near Kanpur.
- Valmiki’s Ramayanam was completed till the incident of Sri Rama’s Coronation, Sundarakanda, by the time of the Aswamedha Yajna. (Parts of the balakanda and the entire uttarakanda were completed later either by Valmiki or by his student Bharadwaja, perhaps).
Did Valmiki Maharshi travel to the south with Sitamma and the children during the period of composition of the Ramayanam?
- This would explain his Ashrams, in the south as well as the places associated with Sitamma and the children. eg Avani, Kolar, Karnataka. (See : Avani, Travelogue, )
- Sitamma and Sri Rama halted only at Kishkinda to meet Tara and others after the Ramayana war as per Valmiki’s Ramayanam.
- So, while Valmiki travelled the country to describe the places accurately, he may have taken the queen Sita Devi the young princes and his students, to the South., as well as to the north. I heard there is a Valmiki Ashram near Amritsar.
Did Agastya and Valmiki discuss literature, writing etc?
- This is not written down as such anywhere., but they knew each other.. and writers do talk and share ideas.
- In the Tamil book “Vanmeegarum Thamizhum” by late Thiru. Narayana Iyengar, Editor of Senthamizh, published by Madurai Tamil Sangam, the author explores various ideas that might connect Sangam Literature and Sanskrit Literature of the period.
- I do not agree with many of the ideas of this elder and respected scholar., but I do think that at least some people will surely find this translation provided by his grandson, (himself an editor at The Hindu), interesting, informative and above all thought provoking. Isko Dekho!
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