“Taking the oath, Janaka gave away Sita to Rama in all politeness and happiness in a beautiful scene that was reminiscent of when the king of mountains gave away Parvati to Shiva and when the ocean gave away Lakshmi to Vishnu.” (Janaki Mangala, Chand 18.1)
सन्कल्पि सि रामहि समरपी सील सुख सोभामई |
जिमि सन्करहि गिरिराज गिरिजा हरिहि श्री सागर दई ||
sankalpi si rāmahi samarapī sīla sukha sobhāmaī |
jimi sankarahi girirāja girijā harihi śrī sāgara daī ||
“This may seem like a silly question, but I considered it worth asking. If we look at the Ramayana, the important personalities go by multiple names. I understand that it relates to both the name given at the time of birth and also activities performed thereafter.
“We could say there are names based on relationships, as well. For instance, Lakshmana, one of the sons of King Dasharatha, is also known as Ramanuja. This means that he is a younger brother of Rama. It can also mean that he follows Rama, which is both the dharma of the younger brother and the chosen mood of that great bow-warrior, who is considered an incarnation of Ananta Shesha Naga.
“If we look at Sita Devi, she gets her name from her father. King Janaka found her underneath the ground, accidentally. He was preparing the field for a yajna, religious sacrifice, when the amazing discovery took place. A voice from the sky then confirmed that this was his daughter in all righteousness.
“One of Sita’s other names is Janakatmaja. This is a compound word, with the two terms of Janaka and atmaja. We take this to mean Sita is the daughter of King Janaka. That makes sense, except for when you further break down the term atmaja.
“Sita was technically not born to Janaka. He found her. Okay, you have Providence, Divine intervention, creating the circumstances, but Janaka did not produce that daughter. How is atmaja an accurate name, then?
“We have something similar with Parvati. She is the daughter of the mountain king. She is also known as Girija, which means that she was produced by the mountain. We know that Parvati is eternally the consort of Mahadeva. It was by special arrangement that she appeared in Himavan’s house.”
Whether she came from underneath the ground or appeared from the womb of Janaka’s wife, Sita was the daughter of the king all the same. In the strictest definition, no one is really produced of another. The original father, Lord Brahma, is known as the creator, but this relates to the playing field.
क्षेत्रज्ञं चापि मां विद्धि सर्वक्षेत्रेषु भारत ।
क्षेत्रक्षेत्रज्ञयोर्ज्ञानं यत्तज्ज्ञानं मतं मम ॥
kṣetra-jñaṁ cāpi māṁ viddhi
yat taj jñānaṁ mataṁ mama
“O scion of Bharata, you should understand that I am also the knower in all bodies, and to understand this body and its owner is called knowledge. That is My opinion.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 13.3)
As Shri Krishna explains in Bhagavad-gita, there is both the playing field and the knower of the playing field. The entire universe is the grand playing field, and the specific body types are the localized playing fields. These are produced by Lord Brahma.
He is the original father, but Brahma does not produce the living entities. Rather, they are eternal beings. Never was there a time that you did not exist. Nor will you ever cease to be in the future.
न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचिन्
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूयः
अजो नित्यः शाश्वतो ऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे
na jāyate mriyate vā kadācin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śāśvato ‘yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre
“For the soul there is never birth nor death. Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.20)
With respect to Janaka, he is worthy of the relationship to Sita, who is originally the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi Devi. The name of Janakatmaja honors the king. It describes his high qualifications as a leader, a yogi, a devoted soul, and a knower of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
With that relationship to Sita, Janaka has the high honor of giving his daughter away to the winner of the bow contest. Lord Shiva is present in that contest in the form of his illustrious bow. Shri Rama, who is Lakshmana’s elder brother, lifted that bow and won the contest.
When Janaka gave Sita away to Rama, the scene was reminiscent of the ocean giving away Lakshmi to Vishnu and the mountain king giving Girija to Shiva. These are some of the mysteries to the dealings of the Supreme Lord in the manifest world.
Though He is unborn, Aja, God can appear as the son of King Dasharatha. Though she is in charge of the material energy, punishing through her trident representing the three sources of misery, Durga Devi can appear as the daughter of the mountain king. Such appearances are glorious and worthy of eternal celebration.
Through appearance demonstration,
Worthy of celebration.
Into the passage of time,
Wonderful example to shine.
Like Sita to Janaka coming,
Instantly his daughter becoming.
Mountain king in marriage giving,
Parvati with Cupid’s conqueror living.