“As Sita was leaving, the people of the town, the women, the horses, the cows, the birds and the deer became restless. Having heard the request of the mother-in-law, the jewel of the Raghu dynasty kindly solaced them and then went to where His father was.” (Janaki Mangala, Chand 21.2)
siya calata purajana nāri haya gaya bihanga mṛga bihula bhae |
suni binaya sāsu prabodhi taba raghubansa mani pitu pahiṃ gae ||
In the Bhagavad-gita, it is said that one who works in devotion, being a pure soul, remains dear to everyone and everyone is dear to them. The Sanskrit word to reference the “everyone” is bhuta, which means living entities. The soul working in devotion maintains control over the mind and the senses, and so they are not entangled by their work. They maintain compassion for all living entities as well, not just human beings. From this verse from the Janaki Mangala, we get a real life example to give proof to the claim made by Shri Krishna in the Gita.
“One who works in devotion, who is a pure soul, and who controls his mind and senses, is dear to everyone, and everyone is dear to him. Though always working, such a man is never entangled.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 5.7)
Here the beloved Sita Devi, the daughter of King Janaka, is preparing to leave the kingdom she has called home for many years. She is moving away permanently, never to return. The people knew this day was approaching. As a good king, Janaka paid attention to the rules of propriety. It was protocol to get the daughter married when she reached an appropriate age. With Sita the task was difficult due to her extraordinary nature and the amazing way in which she was found. There was no horoscope available for Janaka to match. Her character was so splendid that no prince in the world seemed a good fit.
The father decided on a contest of strength, and Shri Rama from Ayodhya won it. He was the ideal match, even before stepping up to Lord Shiva’s famous bow. Thus the people were thrilled that Sita got the right husband. Still, sadness was imminent, and here began the sorrowful departure of their beloved Sita, who was ready to go to Rama’s home in Ayodhya.
Sita was dear to the people of the town because of her nature. She loved everyone, as they were all protected by her father Janaka. She was dear to the women as well. They looked at her as their precious daughter, even though she already had a mother in Queen Sunayana. Sita was gentle in behavior, respectful in association, and virtuous in mind. She loved every single person, and so everyone loved her as well.
When she was about to leave, the horses, the cows, the deer and the birds all became restless. The horses had seen her often, as they were employed in pulling the royal chariots. The cows provided milk to the community, and they were protected by the royal family. The deer also loved Sita very much, as she was originally from the forest-like environment. Janaka had found her one day while ploughing a field. Nature was Sita’s original home, and the inhabitants of that nature all held affection for her. The birds had witnessed her sweet speech and her charming childhood play. In calling out to one another, they would describe her wonderful activities, which culminated for them in the marriage ceremony to never be forgotten.
Rama, the new husband, saw all of this. He heard the request of Sita’s mother made moments prior. The mother asked Rama to always remember them, to accept Sita as a kind offering. One of the many other names for Rama is Bhagavan. This Sanskrit word means “one who is most fortunate.” That name befits Him based on His marriage to Sita alone, for He received a companion for life who was dear to everyone in the town she called home. She would be very dear to Rama as well.
From this verse from the Janaki Mangala, we also get a good way to judge whether someone is indeed dear to everyone or not. We also know whether they are at the height of saintliness. Sita wasn’t kind only to the human beings. The animals were so much respected as well. Just as the family pets are sad to see the owners leave for a day of work, the many animals in Janakpur were restless when they saw Sita about to leave them for good. This means that she treated them all as affectionate family members, which gives further indication of her saintly character.
Sita works only in devotion, since her mind is always tied to Shri Rama’s interests. Along the same lines, anyone who works for the satisfaction of Sita and Rama becomes dear to everyone. As they hold the beloved Janaki so dear, they are also benevolent to the creatures that are under the protection of her husband, who is the Supreme Lord, the source of all men, and all living entities in fact.
From sadness of animals clear,
That Sita to everyone was dear.
To mothers and fathers not just,
In birds, deer, and cows also trust.
That Janaka’s daughter possessing,
All virtues, so her departure distressing.
To that Sita and Rama service give,
And then dear to all creatures live.