AruShah.png Not part of Riordanverse

The following article/section is from the Pandava Quintet continuity under Rick Riordan Presents and not the Riordanverse canon.

Don’t look, don’t see, there’s no such thing as me

Aru Shah and the End of Time

Valmiki ("VAHL-mee-kee"), originally named Ratnakara, is the Sage revered as the writer of the epic, Ramayana. He started out as a murderer but earned his name after performing severe religious penances.


Valmiki was born with the name Ratnakara, since his father was a sage named Prachetasa. When he was very young, he got lost in the woods. A hunter found him and took him to live with. Ratnakara became a skilled hunter and eventually married a woman of the hunter's family and had some kids. Unfortunately, he found that he was unable to provide for his family and house. He began to murder people and steal whatever was valuable on their person.

One day, Ratnakara was about to make a sage named Narada one of his victims. The sage had nothing but told him that his wife and kids would not react well with the sins he was committing. So Ratnakara went home and they said they wouldn't bother with his sins, Ratnakara gets mad that they did not want to share with him, so he went back to Narada who tells him to chant Rama under a tree, but he chanted the word mara, which means kill or tree. For many years, his chant changed over time and became Rama. During that time, a bunch of ants swarmed around him and made large anthills, which was how he got his new name, Valmiki.

Valmiki was the one who wrote the Ramayana, one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being Mahabharata. It told the story of Rama, one of the reincarnations of the god Vishnu, who fought a ten-headed demon named Ravana to rescue his wife, Sita.

Pandava Quartet

Aru Shah and the End of Time

After retrieving the Sprig of Youth from Brahmasura and encountering the Sleeper again, Boo sees ants and tells Aru Shah and Mini to follow them to get to Valmiki. After being reminded of the sage's past, Boo says that he changed, as people can do that. But he still thought he's awful because he's a writer, which is apparently much worse than a murderer.

Upon reaching a large anthill that looked like a boulder, the ants told the girls to speak in verse or they'll be cursed, since Valmiki also speaks in rhyme. Mini is successful in telling the ants about their quest in rhyme causing Valmiki to appear. He was busy writing a new book, which is why he didn't offer the girls turmeric tea from a mason jar that appeared. A typewriter then materialized, as he wanted the Pandavas to help him write a new epic. They make a deal and he'll says that he will be back one day, and also tells them to repeat what he says before sinking back into the anthill which closed up around him. The mantra should protect them from the Sleeper, and before leaving the girls witness ants spell out how they are going to stop him from awakening Shiva on a dark and stormy night.


Valmiki was an elderly gentleman with bright brown eyes. His gray-streaked black hair was in a topknot, and he wore a pair of tinted glasses and sported a trim beard. His shirt said: I’M NOT A HIPSTER. He spoke in rhymes.


  • Valmiki is Sanskrit for born of an anthill.
  • Some sources say his birth name was Agni Sharma.
  • K. P. Shah collected some art depicting Rama's adventures.
Pandava Quintet
Books: Aru Shah and the End of Time | Aru Shah and the Song of Death | Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes | Aru Shah and the City of Gold
Main Characters: Aru Shah | Mini | Brynne Rao | Nikita | Sheela | Aiden Acharya | Sleeper | Meenakshi | Takshaka | Rudy
Council of Guardians: Boo | Urvashi | Hanuman | Jambavan | Uloopi | Kubera | Surasa
Secondary Characters: K. P. Shah | Palace of Illusions | Durvasa | Navdeep | Hira | Opal
Minor Characters: Pandavas | Arielle Reddy | Poppy Lopez | Burton Prater | Brahmasura | Valmiki | Shukra | Gandhari | Shakuntula | Rambha | Ravana | Jaya and Vijaya | Rahuketu | Garuda | Kadru
Devas: Indra | Dharma Raja | Vayu | Ashvins | Vishnu (Mohini, Narasimha, Rama, and Krishna) | Shiva | Chitrigupta | Ganesh | Lakshmi | Ritus | Kamadeva | Varuni | Varuna | Ratri | Ushas | Agni | Brahma | Maruts | Aranyani | Vishwakarma | Surya | Yamuna | Chandra | Rohini | Shani
Creatures: Makara | Asura | Chakora | Naga | Rakshasa | Vahanas | Ek and Do | Timingala | Time | Wish | Zombie | Apsara | Yaksha | Yali
Related Content: Roshani Chokshi | Rick Riordan Presents
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