BOOK 7: UTTARA KANDA
Thereupon the night being over, having bathed and performed the Homa, both Lava and Kusa, in consonance with Rishi s command, began the song. That song was composed by the first preceptor Valmiki() neverheard of betore,consisting of sounds originating from six places, containing all metres, many proofs and set in accompaniment with the music of a stringed instrument.
Hearing such a song from the boys Rama was striken with curiosity. Thereupon taking leave from business for some time and inviting the great ascetic Valmiki, kings, learned men, persons well versed in Nyaya, Puranas and science of words, all old men, twice born ones, those conversant with the signs of music, Brahmanas desirous of hearing the Ramayana, persons deep read in palmistry, Gandharvas, citizens, all those who have mastered the use of words, letters and Samasas, those who have studied well metres, those well informed in the science of music, those well versed in astronomy, those who are well up in the knowledge of rites and ceremonies, those expert in the despatch of business, logicians whose fame has spread far and wide, those well versed in reasonings and arguments, poets, historians, Vedic Brahmanas, painters, and songsters Rama resquested Lava and Kusa lovingly to sing the song before the assembly. The audience being seated there and engaged in conversation with one another those two Muni boys began with the song enhancing the delight of all.
Wondrous and charming was their song and the audience were not by any means satiated with the hearing thereof. Greatly delighted the highly effulgent ascetics and kings again and again looked towards them as if drinking them up with their eyes, And they all attentively said to one another "Both of them look like Rama, like unto a bubble resembling the one it rises from. There would not have been perceived the least diference between them and Rama had they not been cloathed in bark and used clotted hair.
The citizens and villagers speaking thus with one another Kusa and Lava chanted Twenty sections beginning from the first, pointed out by Narada. Having heard up to Twentieth section, Rama, fond of his brothers, said to Lakshmana in the afternoon, "O Kakutstha, do thou soon confer upon these two high souled ones Eighteen thousand Gold coins and all other things they wish for." Thereupon when Lakshmana addressed himself in no time to give them gold coins separately Kusa and Lava, not accepting them and surprisingly said "We are dewellers of a forest, living upon roots and fruit what shall we do with them (coins) ?Therefore living in the forest what shall we do with the Gold ?"Hearing the words Rama and the audience were greatly worked up with curiosity and surprise.
Thereupon being anxious to learn of the origin of the poem, the highly effulgent Rama asked the two Muni boys, saying. "What is the proof of the story of this poem ?How great is his fame who has composed it ?What leading ascetic is the author of this great poem Rama?" having thus asked them those two Muni boys said The illustrious Valmiki is the author of this poem. He has described in this poem thine endless story.
He has of late come to thy sacrifice. The great ascetic Valmiki has composed this poem consisting of a hundred stories and Twenty Four Thousand slokas. O king, that high minded ascetic is our preceptor.
He has described thy actions in six books beginning with the first consisting of five hundred sections. All good actions performed by thee since thy birth have been recorded in this. O mighty car warrior, O king, if thou dost wish to hear the whole of it, do thou, at thy leisure, hear it delightedly in the company of thy younger brothers.
Saying so it shall be Rama bade them adieu and they too, delighted, repaired to where Valmiki, the foremost of Munis was. Thereupon having heard that charming song in the company of ascetics and kings the high minded Rama repaired to the place of business. He heard the Ramayana sung by Kusa and Lava, gifted with musical characteristics, consisting of sections, vowels, and consonant and enchanted in accompaniment with the music of a stringed instrument.