First Shloka of Maharishi Valmiki
Once Maharshi Valmiki along with his students went to bank of river Tapasa. There he saw pair of Krouncha bird making love to each other, suddenly an arrow from a hunter came and killed male bird. Maharishi having seen the bird struck down by the hunter was filled with compassion.
Seeing the agony of the female bird, the Valmiki uttered the following words.
मा निषाद प्रतिष्ठां त्वमगमश्शाश्वतीस्समा: ।
यत्क्रौञ्चमिथुनादेकमवधी: काममोहितम् ।। Ramayana – Balakanda 2.15
Nisad , You will never get peace, because you have killed one bird in this pair of infatuated kraunchas who has done no harm to you.
Soon Valmiki released and reflected, ‘What is this that I uttered in reaction to the grief of this bird?’. He than went to a student and said “
शोकार्तस्य प्रवृत्तो मे श्लोको भवतु नान्यथा ।। Ramayana – Balakanda 2.18
“Carried away by the grief , my composition is in rhymed lines each of equal number of syllables and it can be sung on a Veena, let it be known as a sloka and not by any other name”.
Lord Brahma visit Maharishi Valmiki
When Maharishi cam back to his ashram and was siting reflecting on the same shloka, Lord Brahma came to him and said-
श्लोक एव त्वया बद्धो नात्र कार्या विचारणा ।। – Ramayana – Balakanda 2.30
“You have indeed composed a sloka. There is no doubt about it”.
Lord Brahma motivated Maharishi to write the Ramayana epic to narrate the story of Lord Rama and Sita.