Below is the translation to Veda Paati's story, narrated in tamil, available in below platforms:
Did I upkeep my duties like King Janaka?
Thirukolur Pen Pillai continued to pour her heart’s frustrations out to Swami Emperumanar! “Swami, have I performed my duties without expecting anything in return? Have you heard of the great King Janaka?”, and with this the little child brought Swami Ramanuja to the golden era of Treta Yuga.
The great King Janaka played a very crucial role in Ramayana. Not only was He the father of the Goddess Sita Herself, but he was also an exemplary king and Gnani – A Rajarishi! Although he was very dutiful as a King, he was detached from the results of his actions.
King Janaka ruled the region of Videha. The capital of Videha was Mithila. Although the King was very knowledgeable and educated, he always wanted to keep learning. One such time, he approached Yagnavalkya, a Mahan to learn under him. He lived in Yagnavalkya’s Ashram as part of his Gurukul.
The other students of Yagnavalkya were always jealous of the King, thinking that he would be the favourite of their Guru and would gain more importance than them. Janaka was undisturbed, as his sole purpose of attending the Gurukul was to gain knowledge and nothing else. The guru was acutely aware of this situation and decided to teach the other students a lesson. He wanted them to understand the greatness of Janaka.
One day, as lessons were going on, a guard from Mithila barged into the Ashram. “Oh Raja! The city of Mithila is on fire! Do come! Do come!”. All the other disciples of Yagnavalkya immediately got up and rushed to Mithila to salvage their belongings. However, the King sat unperturbed, continuing to focus on the lesson. Shortly the other students returned, realizing that their teacher had deliberately conducted this drama. There had been no fire in Mithila!
When the King was questioned on his inaction despite knowing that there was fire in his headquarters, the King replied “All that I possess belongs to the Lord. He would take care of my possessions for me, so why should I bother? Here, I have only one duty and that is to gain knowledge”. The disciples finally understood the greatness of their King!
Goddess Mahalakshmi wanted to attain such a great Karmayogi as Her father. Once King Janaka was conducting a Yagna, which required him to plough land. While ploughing, he saw a beautiful child who looked like a thousand petaled lotus. She was none other than Mother Mahalakshmi Herself. He took her home, named her “Sita” and brought her up with much affection. She grew to be a beautiful girl, with character and skill. Eventually, the time came to get her married and like any father, Janaka wanted the best of grooms for his precious daughter.
There was a great bow that belonged to Lord Shiva, a family heirloom! He conducted a historical Swayamvara, where princes from different cities were invited. One who had the power to break the bow would get Sita’s hand in marriage. The handsome, valiant, skilled and divine Prince of Kosala, none other than PerumaL himself, appeared for the Swayamvara. He effortlessly broke the bow, much to the joy of Sita! Who else was more deserving to have the Lord Himself as his son-in-law, than King Janaka? Lakshmana, the brother of Rama, was none other than the mighty Adisesha.
In the next Yuga, during KrishnavatAra, the Lord mentions Janaka during the Bhagavad Gita. While revealing great truths during His Upadesa to Arjuna, the Lord references Janaka as an example of an excellent Karma Yogi. This appears in the third chapter, Karma Yoga.
“Do I even have the qualification to speak about Janaka? The great Karma yogi who was the chosen parent and parent-in-law of the Lord and His consort! Am I performing my duties with such detachment?”, bemoaned the child, Thirukolur Pen Pillai.