Narada narrated the story of Rama to Valmiki and ascended to his abode in the heavens. Soon after Narada's departure, Valmiki went on to the banks of the river Tamasa that flowed near the river Ganga. Beholding its beautiful waters flowing cool and serene, he said to his disciple, "Bharadvaja! Look at the crystalline waters of this river and its banks. This holy place is as pure as the mind of a righteous man. I shall bathe in it. Do put the pitcher down and fetch my bark robe". Refreshed, Valmiki strolled through the vast sylvan glades, enchanted by the display of nature's manifold splendors. As his gaze roamed, Valmiki espied a frolicking pair of Krauncha birds, oblivious of the world blissfully reveling in each other. A bliss soon to be shattered by the ruthless arrow of a hunter who stalked them and whose merciless enmity towards all beings was equal. Unmindful of his transgression, callously disregarding their love the hunter shot at the male bird, which fell dead to the ground. Beholding her mate lying lifeless on the forest floor, stunned at a death that had struck with the suddenness of lightening, the female bird crooned in great distress. Piteous was her wailing at the separation from the mate who had shared her nest.
Valmiki who had witnessed all that had happened was filled with compassion.He involuntarily burst into a poetic verse that seemed to flow out, spontaneously without any effort on his part. "O Fowler! Thou hast so cruelly killed the male of a pair of Krauncha birds while they reveled. On that account you will be discredited forever. Just as you ended the bird's life before its time, so too shall wilt your life before its time".Having uttered his versified curse, Valmiki became thoughtful, "What has come over me? Why did I curse a fellow being? Was it my sorrow at the helpless wailing of a bird or does it have a hidden meaning? Born out of the pathos of a slain bird, some words have escaped me without my conscious effort. They are so arranged as to follow a metre and are viable for rendition in the form of a song, to the accompaniment of string instruments, hence let it be known as a 'sloka'.
Reflecting on the events that had come to pass, contemplating on his poetic words, Valmiki reached his hermitage. As he sat with his disciples engaged in the study of the holy texts, there appeared before him the most effulgent form of Brahma. The creator of the worlds and knower of the Vedas was endowed with four heads, whose four faces facilitated the chanting of the four Vedas. Controlling his joyous soaring mind bedazzled and awe struck at the glorious presence, of the great Brahma, Valmiki bowed in reverential homage and performing all the traditional rituals worshipped him. The omnipotent Brahma seating himself asked Valmiki also to be seated. Even as the sage sat, his mind was still lost to the thoughts of the death of the Krauncha bird. Unbidden, flowed thoughts of his own reaction to that tragedy and he softly hummed the sloka which escaped his lips.
Lord Brahma smilingly addressed Valmiki saying, "What you have composed is undoubtedly a sloka, and those words emanated from you, at my will. Compose the history of Rama, who is famed for righteousness, virtue wisdom and for his unshakable resolution, in the manner made known to you, from Narada. In the epic that you are about to compose there will be neither error nor falsehood. So, do embark on the story of Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, Bharata and the rakshasas; their deeds and thoughts will all be made known to you, by my grace. The story shall be composed in slokas of the same metre, which so haunt your mind. As along as the mountains and rivers remain on this earth, so long will the story of Rama, the Ramayana, endure.So long as the history of Rama lives on, that long will you abide in the higher regions, and as long as the Ramayana authored by you is remembered in this world, so long will you move in the nether world and the Brahmaloka, at your will". The Lord Creator then vanished, leaving Valmiki and his disciples in a daze.
This couplet of four parts, each part consisting of an equal number of syllables, attained a greater glory, because of its repeated rendition. Valmiki profoundly intelligent and capable of putting thoughts into action resolved on the composition of the epic poem, Ramayana, entirely in the metre that had divinely occurred to him. He then composed hundreds of charming verses; each containing an equal number of syllables most excellently worded. Meaningful and according to metre, with melodious 'Sandhis' and sentences, composed of lucid meaningful phrases, tells the story of Rama and the slaying of the ten headed Ravana, the sound of which would delight the ear and the meaning of which would mesmerize the heart.