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Vālmīki

Vālmīki. Legendary author of the epic Rāmāyaṇa, which he claimed to have visualized in the Vedas; in fact, Rāmāyaṇa bears signs of different layers of composition, but Vālmīki may have been a kuśīlava (‘bard’) who introduced the śloka, the epic metre of two lines, each of two parts with eight syllables in each, which was used also for much of Mahābhārata. To him is attributed another epic work, Yoga-Vaisiṣtha, but there is no real historical evidence for him. For the community revering Vālmīki, see BĀLMĪKĪ.

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