“Then a voice, sounding like a human being, was heard from the sky which said, ‘O king, this child is rightfully your daughter.’ Thereupon my father, the righteous King of Mithila, was greatly pleased. Obtaining me as his daughter, that ruler of men felt highly blessed and fortunate.” (Sita Devi speaking to Anasuya, Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhya Kand, 118.31-32)
अन्तरिक्षे च वागुक्ताऽप्रतिमाऽमानुषी किल |
एवमेतन्नरपते धर्मेण तनया तव ||
ततः प्रहृष्टो धर्मात्मा पिता मे मिथिलाधिपः |
अवाप्तो विपुलां बुद्धिं मामवाप्य नराधिपः ||
antarikṣe ca vāguktā’pratimā’mānuṣī kila |
evametannarapate dharmeṇa tanayā tava ||
tataḥ prahṛṣṭo dharmātmā pitā me mithilādhipaḥ |
avāpto vipulāṃ buddhiṃ māmavāpya narādhipaḥ ||
“Alright, this is only between you and me. Strictly confidential. I trust that you won’t share this question with anyone else. I would be considered a horrible person. People would look at me funny. They would wonder what is wrong with me.
“My question relates to the story of the birth of Sita Devi, as per the Ramayana history. I understand that it is not a birth, in the typical sense. She is actually the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi Devi. Her time as Sita is essentially an appearance.
“For her husband, we are familiar with the concept of an avatara. This refers to one who descends. Like reverse-climbing a mountain. From high to low. God descends from the spiritual world to the material world. This is a Divine kind of janma.
“The same applies to Lakshmi Devi as Sita. The story goes that King Janaka was preparing a field for a yajna. This is a religious sacrifice. That king was known for his dispassion. His other name of Videha had literal meaning. Janaka was without a body in the sense of his consciousness linked to the Supreme.
“While preparing the ground he found a baby girl. He was childless at the time. I get it that a normal person would likely be thrilled. It is only natural to have affection. Nature has arranged it perfectly that the human being looks most vulnerable and appealing when they are in most need of help, during the stage of infancy.
“I am wondering why Janaka proceeded with the relationship. Why didn’t he just run away? I understand it is cruel to think in this manner, but hear me out. Raising a child and yoga typically do not mix. There is nothing more distracting than the needs of a helpless child. Add to that the nagging and screaming wife, and the home environment gets spoiled.
“You previously lived in something like a sanctuary. It turns into a prison, where you are trapped by responsibilities. You can barely do anything with full concentration. In fact, there is no such thing as concentration. You will be in this predicament for many years, at least until the child leaves home after getting married. As Janaka later learned, even setting up a suitable marriage is difficult.”
There are many reasons for the relationship continuing. A good-natured person will feel affection for the goddess of fortune. They will feel they have been truly blessed to have the encounter. There must have been something higher at play.
That is to say, it is natural to think that you are part of a Divine arrangement. You are one part of a scene. Things like this don’t happen without a reason. It wasn’t an accident that Janaka found the baby and later named her Sita.
Moreover, a voice from the sky confirmed the relationship. It spoke to Janaka. It told the great leader that this child was his daughter in all righteousness. The relationship aligned with dharma.
Janaka was already dedicated to dharma. It was his allegiance to religious principles that led to the activity in the first place, in preparing the field. This new addition to the family was a continuation of that dedication.
Where there is the goddess of fortune, there is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Where there is Sita Devi, there is Shri Rama, the prince of Ayodhya. This meeting would take place soon thereafter, at the arrangement of Janaka. Through his contest of the bow, Sita’s rightful husband would be found.
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)
Rather than interrupt his yoga, the relationship of father to daughter ended up bringing more joy and happiness than even merging into the transcendental energy known as Brahman.
New family member greeting,
A Divinely arranged meeting.
When Janaka that baby found,
While preparing for yajna ground.
No thought given to run away,
Confirmed the voice to say.
That family with dharma aligned,
Always with righteousness in mind.