Ratna The Robber And Narada The Saint

Bhai Gurdas Ji explains this sakhi beautifully in his Waars:

vwty mwxs mwrdw bYTw bwlmIk btvwVw]

vaattae maanas maaradhaa bait(h)aa baalameek battavaarraa||

Valmeel was a highwayman Valmiki who would rob and kill travellers passing by.

pUrw siqgur syivAw mn ivc hoAw iKMjoqwVw]

pooraa sathigur saeviaa man vich hoaa khi(n)jothaarraa||

Then he began serving the true Guru, Now his mind became diffident about his work.

mwrx noN locY Gxw kF n hMGY h`Q auGwVw]

maaran no(n) lochai ghanaa kadt n ha(n)ghai haathh oughaarraa||

His mind still urged to kill people but his hands would not obey.

siqgur mnUAw riKAw hoie n AwvY auCohwVw]

sathigur manooaa rakhiaa hoe n aavai oushhohaarraa||

The true Guru made his mind tranquil and all the volition of mind came to an end.

Aaugx sB prgwisAnu rozgwru hY ieh AswVw]

aougan sabh paragaasian rozagaar hai eih asaarraa||

He unfolded all the evils of mind before the Guru and said, ‘O Lord, this is a profession for me.’

Gr ivc puCx GilAw AMqkwl hY koie AswVw]

ghar vich pushhan ghaliaa a(n)thakaal hai koe asaarraa||

The Guru asked him to enquire at home as to which family members would be co-partner him of his evil deeds at death.

koVmVw cauKMnIAY koie n bylI krdy JwVw]

korramarraa choukha(n)neeai koe n baelee karadhae jhaarraa||

But although his family were always ready to be sacrifice unto him, none of them were ready to accept responsibility.

sc idRVwie auDwirAnu tp inkQw aupr vwVw]

sach dhrirraae oudhhaarian ttap nikathhaa oupar vaarraa||

On returning, the Guru placed the sermon of truth within his heart and made him a liberated one. With a single leap he was released from the net of worldliness.

gurmuK lµGy pwp phwVw ]ñù]

guramukh la(n)ghae paap pehaarraa ||aa||

Becoming gurmukh, one becomes capable of jumping across mountains of sins.


Valmiki was originally a dacoit called Ratna who haunted the forests and preyed upon the unwary travellers.

One day a sage called Narada passed through the forest. Ratna saw him and immediately attacked him. Narada asked him why he did his foul deeds to which Ratna replied that it was to take care of his family, which consisted of his aged parents, wife and children.

The sage then wanted to know if they would be willing to share in the punishment for his misdeeds. Ratna was sure they would but the sage advised him to go and ask them. Ratna tied the sage to a tree and ran home to ask his family if they would share in his punishments.

His family replied in the negative, saying that it was Ratna's duty to take care of them and they were not responsible for the path he chose to do so. Disappointed, Ratna returned to the forest and confessed to the sage.

The sage told him to repent for his sins and to stop his evil ways and to chant the name of Lord Rama.

Legend has it that Valmiki meditated in one place till an ant-hill formed on top of him without him realising it. Hence the name Valmiki (which means ant-hill in Sanskrit). Valmiki became a mahapursh (great sage).




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