“In the three worlds, nothing could compare to the two. Dasharatha was equal to Janaka and Janaka equal to Dasharatha.” (Janaki Mangala, 129)
tīni loka avalokahiṃ nahiṃ upamā kou |
dasaratha janaka samāna janaka dasaratha dou ||
“Whom should we select as our leader? I want a five-star general, someone who is a war hero. War isn’t good, but if the other side is not willing to compromise, what choice is there? Should the innocent just roll over and give up? Should we allow others to come into our homes and seize our possessions? We may not be willing to fight, but our protectors most certainly should be.
“The general who has been recognized for his accomplishments proves that he is willing to sacrifice everything for others. The leader of the nation must show this dedication. If he isn’t this dedicated, who will be? The military hero will also act as a great deterrent. Enemies will have to think twice before attacking. They’ll know not to mess with us, because we have someone who is ready, willing and able to defend.
“I also want someone who is impartial to lead our country. It is very easy to be partial. I love my wife. I love my children. I love my friends. They are so good to me. They pick me up when I am down. They celebrate with me when I am happy. They are there for me when I need them. Why wouldn’t I be partial to them?
“But actually, every person is the family member of someone else. Every person is also the friend to someone else. Therefore my partiality shouldn’t take precedent over someone else’s. I love my family and you love yours. Is my love more important than yours? It shouldn’t be. This is especially true for the governing body, for their implementation of favoritism is much more harmful. They control the purse-strings. They say that the single largest collection of wealth in the world is found in the national treasury. This is the sum total of all taxes, fees and service charges. Therefore when the government plays favorites, it can use a lot of money and make a large impact.
“When the leader is impartial, we know that he is fair. Fairness is beneficial for everyone. Not that there will be an equality of outcomes. One person works hard and another does not. They shouldn’t artificially be made to have the same salary, especially if the output to their work is different. The fairness should apply to the enforcement of the law. The leader shouldn’t have anything invested in the outcome. Whether the pauper commits a crime or the wealthy businessman, the attention of the law should be the same. Otherwise the leader will set the wrong example.”
The wishes mentioned above seem impossible to come true. Who is actually impartial and courageous at the same time? Who isn’t swayed by the power of government? Who doesn’t get caught up in taking care of their political friends and family? From the above referenced verse from the Janaki Mangala, we get an example of when such conditions were met. They existed in two kings, who happened to meet each other at a marriage ceremony. As they were both full of the best qualities necessary for leadership, the image was indeed unique. Nothing in the three worlds could compare to it.
The three worlds are the heavenly, earthly and hellish realms. Think of it like up, down and middle. We are in the middle right now. Sometimes we enjoy heavenly life and other times our journey is hellish. One minute we’re enjoying pizza with our friends and family and the next we are staying late at the office to meet a deadline. One minute we are enjoying a peaceful walk in the woods and the next we are trying our best to get over a crippling disease.
The heavenly realm is where the enjoyments come nonstop, all the time. The hellish realm is where the miseries exist in full. Residence in any of the three realms is temporary. You can go here to there based on your work, or karma. The results of your work are temporary, so you can’t remain in any of the worlds permanently.
Here the reference to the three worlds is made in the context of space. One world is large enough. When there is a top athlete or sports team, we refer to them as the best in the world. This is only with respect to organized competition; as we haven’t really tested every single person or team to see if they indeed are not the best. With the meeting of King Janaka and King Dasharatha, you could actually search the three worlds and not find anything comparable.
Dasharatha was the father of Rama and Janaka the father of Sita. Dasharatha was famous as a ten-chariot fighter. Using only a single chariot, he could go against ten other chariots at the same time. He performed his tasks while fighting for the good guys, the demigods. He was thus the best protector anyone could ask for. He deserved to have Rama as a son, who was just like Him in fighting prowess. At the time of this meeting, Rama had already defeated several of the world’s most powerful fiends.
Janaka was known for his dispassion. He didn’t hold a grudge. He didn’t play favorites. He had no interest in riches, fame, or personal enjoyment. He ruled because that was his duty passed on to him from birth. He was also trained in how to be a king; therefore he was qualified in every way. People knew that he was a standup guy. Therefore princes from around the world gathered in Janaka’s city to stand up to the bow, which was central to a contest. The winner of the contest would get Sita’s hand in marriage.
Since these two kings met to celebrate a marriage, we know that Rama won that contest. People were very happy to see Sita and Rama wed, as they were a perfect match for each other. The fathers were perfectly matched as well. Neither one was superior or inferior. In the same way, Sita and Rama are equal. One is male and the other female, but neither one is lacking anything. Rama is the Supreme Lord and Sita is His eternal consort. Worship of either one in the proper mood qualifies as bhakti-yoga. Since they are always together, they are generally worshiped together as well. They are both referenced in the famous maha-mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
When two fathers did meet,
Nothing in three worlds to beat.
If all good qualities in leader you seek,
Find it in image of kings meeting unique.
Dasharatha to fight chariots ten,
Janaka to set example for all men.
Sita and Rama a match, fathers as well,
Story of their wedding one for ages to tell.
Categories: janaki mangala