Narada declares to Valmiki and through him to the world that Rama personifies all the ideal qualities of man.
The greatness of any poet lies in his capacity to condense and expatiate at length, at will. VALMIKI, the poet par excellence, exhibits this skill when he pens the abridged version of the RAMAYANA, which he heard from the divine sage NARADA. Starting with-lives there among men, one who is crowned with all excellences?(konvasmin saampratam loke gunavaan…)
VALMIKI goes on with his barrage of crisp and comprehensive posers enumerating the sixteen virtues to be found in an ideal person on earth; and NARADA eager to extol RAMA’S greatness to VALMIKI, relates the immortal and enduring tale of RAMA, in a nutshell of 90 sloka-s.
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It is called the SAMKSHEPA RAMAYANA and is accorded a status equal to that of RAMAYANA as is evidenced from its phalasruti. One wonders if VALMIKI would ever get a positive response from NARADA as he was enquiring about the ideal one. What are the qualities he looks for, in this Man Perfect? He wants to know if there be a man in the world who is virtuous, valorous, a knower of dharma, ever-grateful, always truthful, with a determined will, who is ever-rooted in good conduct, who looks to the welfare of others, who is learned in all arts, who is capable and proficient, who is a perennial source of delight to all, who has his senses under control and who has conquered his temper, who is ever charming, whose heart knows no envy or jealousy and who is it that men and gods dare not face in battle? NARADA rejoiced in his heart, for here was an opportunity to reveal to the world what was very close to his heart, the saga of RAMA; and here was the ideal disciple eager to know of it! He addresses VALMIKI as a great sage (maharishi) and says that he is capable of grasping what he had to convey (samartha). He describes the son of King of AYODHYA, RAMA, as the Man Perfect, both in physique and conduct, perfectly well-built (samavibhaktaangah) and a repository of all the ideal qualities (sarvagunopetah). Then comes the series of similes, descriptive of RAMA — unfathomable as the deep ocean, steadfast like the mighty HIMALAYAS, valourous like Lord VISHNU, charming and sweet like the Moon, full of ire against evil forces, full of patience even like Mother Earth, a great benefactor like Kubera, He is the very embodiment of truth and right conduct (dharma). The story of RAMA is related in a simple, short and sweet manner touching upon the main incidents leading to the final PATTABHISHEKA Of RAMA after he was united with SITA.
The phalasruti states that this story of RAMA’S life purifies the heart, destroys the sins and confers the highest merit. It is equated with the veda-s and one who reads this devoutly is rid of all sins and attains all that is good, according to one’s birth in life.
The text of this Samkshepa Ramayana is available at