Narada rejoiced at his transformation. He lifted the robber to his feet and told him, "Fear not, my son. There is one name, the Taraka, which redeems even the greatest of sinners. Repeat the name with all your mind and soul in it. All your sins will be washed away soon." He then whispered in his ears the sacred name, "Rama" and asked the robber to repeat it.
The whole of his life was spent in doing and saying only harsh things. So the robber could not utter the word "Rama" try as he might. But Narada was too kind to leave him thus. So he tried another method. He slowly uttered the word "Ma ra" inverting the sacred name. This time the robber could pronounce the letters, "Ma ra" , Ma ra...." And he started repeating the letters in quick succession... "Ma ra, Ma ra, Ma... Ra.... Ma Ra...Ra...ma...Rama....Rama....Rama..." Thus after a time without his realising it, the robber was repeating the Taraka nama. He was captivated by the charm of the sacred name and he went on repeating the name forgetting his surroundings. He sat on like that continuously without moving and without opening his eyes and years passed away. Seeing him sitting like an immovable stone, ants, worms and insects crawled fearlessly near him and on him and built their homes and nests. The ant hills grew and grew until they covered him fully and he could not even be seen.
This undisturbed tapas washed off all his sins and at last he gained a vision of Lord. Overflowing with great joy and bliss, he rose from his seat shedding off the ant hills around him. As he rose from the ant hills, "Valmika" as they are called in Sanskrit, he came to be called Valmiki.
Since then Valmiki Maharshi lived on the banks of the Ganges in an ashram of his own. One day while he was returning from the river after the morning bath he saw a Krouncha birds couple, flying joyously in the sky and having their love play. He was charmed by the innocent joy of the birds and continued to look at them in blissful rapture. Just then an arrow struck the male bird in the heart who fell down bleeding and pitiously crying. Seeing her mate gone, the female bird arose in great grief and flying round and round the body of her mate, moaning and shining. The bird''s wordless grief was so pitiable, that the kindly sage''s heart was touched. Tears came out of his eyes and he felt all the misery of the small bird in his own heart. He looked around and saw a hunter crouching nearby. In infinite mercy and sorrow Valmiki cried out,
"A future, O hunter, none you will have For killing the Krouncha in the midst of love"
Then he suddenly stopped surprised at his own words. For it was not his usual way of speaking.... these words contained a rhythm and a melody. He realised that it was a poem that came out of his heart''s anguish, the first poem that he ever composed. In fact it was the first sloka in the history of the world for no one wrote any poetry till then.
He later on wrote Ramayana, the story of the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Rama in a melodious, beautiful verse. It is sung reverentially by all Hindus daily, even though thousands of years passed away since it was composed. Valmiki is acclaimed as the Adi Kavi, the first poet and is gratefully remembered by all poets when they begin to compose a new poem.