Agni sharma was the son of Maharshi sumati who was always in meditation. As a kid Agnisharma, had lot of negative traits..like stealing and all.he could not learn the Vedas because of lack of concentration and other things. he got married. There was drought and living became very difficult for all of them. He meets a gang of robbers and joins them. By robbing others he was putting food on the table for his family. He thought of robbing the saptarishis, who were passing by. Since the rishis are far sighted, they knew he was from the brighu vamsa and the son of sumati. They asked him, “You born in a noble family, why are you robbing others…why are you stooping to this low level and committing paapam (sins)” AGni sharma stubbornly said, “I am doing my duty of feeding my family..is it not punya” Atri maharshi (one of the saptarishi’s) then smiled and asked him “Have you ever asked your family if they want to be part of this paapa..(sin).” To this agni sharma replied “I have never asked my family, but I am confident that they will also bear part of these sins..” Hearing this the maharishi said, “please go home! Ask your family and come back, we will be waiting to hear from you.” Agni sharma goes home, first asks his father rishi Sumati, “Father, this is how I have been placing food on the table, now will you bear the effects of these sins with me” “You are responsible for your deeds (karma)”.replied his father. He then goes to his mother and asks the same question., “Did we ever teach you to rob or ask you to rob” asks his mother. (It is said that when she was pregnant with agnisharma his mother had taken food from the robbers in the forest, this brought in the negative trait of robbing in her son) He then goes to his wife and puts the same question.. she replies my duties are well addressed in wifely duties. (which are darmecha, karyecha….)..so how come I will take part of your sins..she further says, papam(sins) and punyas are different from my wifely duties, but being your arthangi (wife) I will get half of your share of punya(good deeds). So with a heavy heart he goes back to the Saptarishis, and tells them that nobody wanted to take part of the sins... The Rishis explained now you understand that you have to bear the cross of your sins. Hearing this Agni sharma repents and asks a way out of all this. The rishis suggest that he medidate. They gave him (upadesam) of the great Shiva Panchaaksharii mantram and told him to go on doing the jaap till they are back. Agnisharma does this religiously. They come back after 12 years to see him glowing and surrounded by ant-hills (valmikam). They tell Agnisharma, that he is now free of all sins, and has become a renounced one, and also asked him to continue the same meditation, near the banks of the ganges. Lord Shiva pleased manifests himself and tells Agnisharma, that hence forth he will be called “Valmiki” and he will be the one who writes about Rama.. Of course that is a great story to continue….but let me stop here….. My views on the story.. The story is different from what is usually told about the robber turning into the great valmiki. This is one contradictory story I had read when I was reading about Valmiki. But both the lines of the story advocate that you repent for your ways, and try to reform, even the worst thief can change into a great sage. Then comes the sins. Whatever be the deeds, we are responsible for the actions and the reactions that come out of the actions. So we cannot blame others for our paapam and punyam. According to hindu dharma, it is said that the deeds we do, reflect on our children. They have to carry the effect of these deeds in this birth. Though the papas are the person's sole responsibility. And also that the wife, gets half of the punyas of the husband (poor husbands). I always used to wonder about the positive thinking affecting the baby. To prove that may be this story was told to establish, that negative deeds, negative thinking also have effects on the baby during the pregnancy, as prahlada’s story is all about positive thinking and listening. Vasanas, can be controlled with self control and meditation.