“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)
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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 ||
A name says so much. In her avatara to correspond with the significant appearance of her husband as Shri Rama, the goddess of fortune is primarily known as Sita. This refers to the location of her birth.
More specifically, this is where she was found. Not to worry, as a voice from the sky soon confirmed the truth, that Sita was the daughter of Janaka in all righteousness, dharma.
That king immediately accepted Sita as his daughter, and so another name for her is Janaka-atmaja. This chance occurrence was neither a coincidence nor an accident. The name Janaka-atmaja came about through the high qualifications of that father.
1. A leader
कर्मणैव हि संसिद्धिमास्थिता जनकादयः ।
लोकसङ्ग्रहमेवापि सम्पश्यन्कर्तुमर्हसि ॥
karmaṇaiva hi saṁsiddhim
sampaśyan kartum arhasi
“Even kings like Janaka and others attained the perfectional stage by performance of prescribed duties. Therefore, just for the sake of educating the people in general, you should perform your work.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.20)
Janaka was the leader of Videha. His exemplary behavior was later noted in Bhagavad-gita, by Shri Krishna. Janaka set the proper standard for other people to follow. He found Sita while preparing a field for a sacrifice. This is known as yajna in Sanskrit. Another meaning to yajna is Vishnu, who is the goddess of fortune’s husband in the spiritual world.
यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जनः ।
स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते ॥
yad yad ācarati śreṣṭhas
tat tad evetaro janaḥ
sa yat pramāṇaṁ kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
“Whatever action is performed by a great man, common men follow in his footsteps. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 3.21)
2. A yogi
Janaka’s example as king was significant due to his internal disposition. He was a yogi at heart. He lived up to the name Videha. He was without a body in the sense that the material covering had no influence on him. Everything was done according to duty, with the link in yoga maintained.
3. A devoted soul
If I were a king and a yogi, I might get upset with the burden of raising children. It is a new responsibility. It is one more thing to worry over on a constant basis. It has the potential to interfere with my yoga and also my attention to duty and honor.
Janaka was so amazing that he maintained his devotion. He held affection for Sita right away. The love did not have to develop over time. Janaka did not view his responsibilities as a burden. He was simultaneously attached and detached.
4. A knower of the Supreme Personality of Godhead
That leader decided on a svayamvara for his daughter’s marriage. Lord Shiva would be the witness, through the proxy of the bow. The prince who could lift that amazing bow originating from Mahadeva would be qualified to marry Sita. If none could, she would remain unmarried.
The rules of the contest made Rama a perfect match for the scene. Dasharatha’s eldest son was destined to marry Sita. Thus Janaka became related to both Sita and Rama, making the king a knower of God.
नृप गहे पाय असीस पाई मान आदर अति किएँ |
अवलोकि रामहि अनुभवत मनु ब्रह्मसुख सौगुन किएँ ||
nṛpa gahe pāya asīsa pāī māna ādara ati kiem̐ |
avaloki rāmahi anubhavata manu brahmasukha sauguna kiem̐ ||
“The king went and received blessings and then paid so much honor and respect after that. When he saw Rama, he experienced a happiness one hundred times that of Brahman realization.” (Janaki Mangala, Chand 5.2)
Upon seeing Rama and his younger brother Lakshmana, Janaka experienced a joy well beyond brahmasukha. This means that he knew God in truth. His realization did not stop with the impersonal Brahman.
The subsequent union was so beautiful that it reminded the attendees of Parvati marrying Shiva and Lakshmi uniting with Vishnu. A simple name like Janaka-atmaja tells a wonderful history, one that is celebrated to this day.
Still celebrated to this day,
Through wonderful name to say.
From baby accidentally found,
Named after location of ground.
Later the rules of contest to draw,
Wedding guests Rama’s glory saw.
Who then Sita to wed,
All by pious king led.
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