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Janak / जनक

  • Janak is a title used by descendants of Mithila. Since king Nimi, son of Ikshvaku, as a result of a curse of Vasishth, died heirless, the Rishis churned a son out of his body, who they called Mithi Janak, one who is obtained by churning. Thereafter, all the kings of Mithila, descendants of Mithi, adopted the common name Janak.
  • Sirdhvaj was the real name of king Janak, the father of Sita and Urmila. He was the son of king Hrasvaroma and brother of Kushdhvaj.
  • Sirdhvaj had inherited the famous bow of Shiv from his ancestor Devrat. Once, while Sirdhvaj was ploughing the earth at the sacrificial site, his plough uncovered a child. This child, he named Sita as he found her in the furrows of the earth.
  • Sita was adopted by him, and when she grew of marriageable age, he proclaimed that whoever would string the bow of Shiv, he would give him Sita's hand. Many princes and kings, tried their luck, but none could even lift the bow.
  • The unsuccessful kings, inflamed with anger as they had lost face by not being able to string the bow, sieged the kingdom of Sirdhvaj for almost a year. The perilous situation made Sirdhvaj perform a rigid penance to propitiate the gods, who furnished him with a large army, that overcame the seige of the attacking kings and destroyed their armies.
  • One day, Vishvamitra arrived in Mithila with Ram and Lakshman, asking Sirdhvaj to show the bow to the princes. Sirdhvaj was immensely pleased to see Ram break Shiv's bow. He offered Sita's hand in marriage to Ram and Urmila, his second daughter's, hand in marriage to Lakshman.
  • King Dashrath was sent for, who arrived from Ayodhya with Bharat and Shatrughna and the priest Vasishth. Sirdhvaj's brother, Kushdhvaj, also arrived from Sankashya. On the advice of Vasishth and Vishvamitra, Sirdhvaj agreed to marry Mandvi and Shrutkhrti, daughters of Kushdhvaj, to Bharat and Shatrughna respectively.
  • Sirdhvaj presented Ram with some celestial weapons that he had received from Varun during a sacrifice, and Sita with a jewel that he had been given to him by Indra during another sacrifice.


Ahalya · Rama · Bharat · Laxman · Shatrughna · Dashrath · Kaushalya · Kaikeyi · Sumitra · Shurpnakha · Janak · Sita · Ravana · Urmila · Meghnad · Vibhishan · Angad · Hanuman · Kumbhakarn · Marich · Mandodari · Vasishtha · Vishvamitra · Bali · Sugriva · Sampati · Jambvan · Manthara · Jatayu · Shabri · Lanka · Neel · Nal · Panchvati · Lav Kush · Tadka