112 yogas of delight and wonder

śloka - “Sorrow, stanza, noise of grinding”

Definition “Noise, as of the wheels of a carriage or the grinding of stones. Sorrow.”

The sorrow refers to Valmiki’s rage and grief at seeing one bird of a pair killed by a hunter. This is why I do not use the word sloka, in reference to the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, even though it is one of the names for a classic meter. Sloka is entirely appropriate for the heartbreaking stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. It does not fit with the free-flowing ease of the Bhairava Tantra. Therefore I use the term sutra to refer to the verses.


The Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, hosted at the University of Cologne

ślóka [p= 1104,3]
(prob. connected with √1.
śru R. i , 2 , 33 gives a fanciful derivation fr. śoka , " sorrow " , the first śloka having been composed by vālmīki grieved at seeing a bird killed) sound , noise (as of the wheels of a carriage or the grinding of stones &c ) RV.
esp.) a partic. kind of common epic metre (also called anu-ṣṭubh q.v. ; consisting of 4 pādas or quarter verses of 8 syllables each , or 2 lines of 16 syllables each , each line allowing great liberty except in the 5th , 13th , 14th and 15th syllables which should be unchangeable as in the following scheme , 8. 1. 8-8. , the dots denoting either long or short ; but the 6th and 7th syllables should be long ; or if the 6th is short the 7th should be short also)

of a

(H2) m.
[L=224152]a call or voice (of the gods)
[L=224153]fame renown , glory , praise , hymn of praise
[L=224154]a proverb , maxim
[L=224155]a stanza , (

śoka [p= 1081,3]
[p= 1091,1]
( √
śuc) burning , hot
ifc. f(ā).) flame , glow , heat
sorrow , affliction , anguish , pain , trouble , grief for (
gen. or comp.) RV. &c
Sorrow personified (as a son of Death or of
droa and abhimati) Pur.





Sloka as Sorrow

Rama in Indian literature, art & thought: Volume 1
Priyatosh Banerjee - 1986 - 320 pages - Snippet view
Valmiki's Rdmayana owes its
origin to his deep sense of sorrow. One day when Valmlki went to the river Tamasa with ... From Valmiki's §oka (deep sorrow) was born a Sloka (a new poetic metre). Thus, his deep experience of sorrow led to ...

The Gītā and Tulasī-Rāmāyaṇa: their common call for the good of all
Satya P. Agarwal - 2000 - 246 pages - Snippet view
creator Brahma linked the
origin of 'sloka' to 'soka' or grief which ValmTki felt because of compassion towards a bird that was killed ... These things happened to start you on the story of Rama. From 'soka' (sorrow) sprang the ' sloka' ...

Windows into the infinite: a guide to the Hindu scriptures
Barbara Powell - 1996 - 458 pages - Snippet view
Prologue: The
Origin of the Sloka Meter Valmiki, the poet who set the story of Rama to verse, was a contemporary of Rama's. ... It was by witnessing this terrible sorrow that Valmiki had been moved to invent the Sloka meter, ...

The Ramayana tradition in Southeast Asia
S. Singaravelu - 2004 - 365 pages - Snippet view
Valmiki was moved by
sorrow (soka) on hearing the pitiable lament of the female bird. He cursed the hunter, and his words took the shape of sloka. He wondered at his own utterances and stressed the relation between soka and sloka and ...

A Sanskrit-English dictionary: etymologically and philologically ... - Page 953
Sir Monier Monier-Williams - 2005 - 1333 pages - Preview
N. of a Siman, SV.; -keta, N. of a mountain, MW. ; -id, f. freedom from
sorrow, MBh. ; M irk P. ; -data, m. ... sloka, mfn. destitute of fame, Ping. ; m. a kind of metre, ib. ; Col . — sha- mi, see s. v . -shkandha {vl-), n. ...

The Indian heritage: an anthology of Sanskrit literature
V. Raghavan - 1956 - 447 pages - Snippet view
He exclaimed: "Let what has issued from me in
sorrow (soka) be poetry (sloka).1 Valmiki retired to his hermitage after ... is used as explaining the origin of poetry and as the basis of the aesthetic theory of emotional response, Rasa. ...

The first śloka

Valmiki was going to the river Ganga for his daily ablutions. A disciple by the name Bharadwaja was carrying his clothes. On the way, they came across the Tamasa Stream. Looking at the stream, Valmiki said to his disciple, "Look, how clear is this water, like the mind of a good man! I will bathe here today." When he was looking for a suitable place to step into the stream, he heard the sweet chirping of birds. Looking up, he saw two birds flying together. Valmiki felt very pleased on seeing the happy bird couple. Suddenly, one of the birds fell down, hit by an arrow; it was the male bird. Seeing the wounded one, its mate screamed in agony. Valmiki's heart melted at this pitiful sight. He looked around to find out who had shot the bird. He saw a hunter with a bow and arrows, nearby. Valmiki became very angry. His lips opened and he uttered the following words:
मा निषाद प्रतिष्ठां त्वमगमः शास्वती समः यत् क्रौञ्चमिथुनादेकमवधीः काममोहितम्*/
mā niṣāda pratiṣṭhāṁ tvamagamaḥ śāśvatīḥ samāḥ
yat krauñcamithunādekam avadhīḥ kāmamohitam

You will find no rest for the long years of Eternity
For you killed a bird in love and unsuspecting

Emerging spontaneously from his rage and grief, this was the first śloka in
Sanskrit literature. Later Valmiki composed the entire Ramayana with the blessings of Lord Brahma in the same meter that issued forth from him as the śloka. Thus this śloka is revered as the "first śloka" in Hindu literature. Valmiki is revered as the first poet, or Adi Kavi, and the Ramayana, the first kavya.
His first disciples to whom he taught the Ramayana were Kusha and Lava, the sons of
Rama.He is the god of nayaka community

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