Janaka; 9 Definition(s)
Janaka means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
1a) Janaka (जनक).—(king of Mithīlā) one of the twelve sages who knew the nature of the dharma ordained by Hari. Son of Nimi, born by churning his dead body and hence known Mithila. He was Vaideha, born of a videha. He founded the city of Mithilā. His son was Udāvasu. Father of Sītā.1 In his sacrifice Yājñavalkya won a prize for learning while Śākalya was humbled for pretended superiority. Father-inlaw of Rāma.2 In the Aśvamedha Yajña of his, Sākalya was ruined on account of his conceit by taking part in a disputation; Janaka wanted to know the best among the learned assembled and set apart 11,000 crores, much gold, villages and servants to be given as present to him; in the disputation each took part but Yājñavalkya ultimately threw out the challenge. Sākalya questioned this and put to him a number of questions which were all answered. Yājñavalkya in his turn put him a single question, a wrong reply to it inviting instantaneous death; Sākalya agreed, and unable to answer his question, was gathered to his ancestors;3 told by the sage Asita what the Earth narrated to him about the ignorance of kings who without subduing themselves, try to subdue others.4
- 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 3. 20; IX. 13. 13-14; X. 71. 9; Vāyu-purāṇa 89. 2; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 5. 22-4; 13. 103.
- 2) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 34. 33-68; III. 37. 22; 64. 2;
- 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 60. 32-62; 89. 5; Viṣṇu-purāṇa III. 18. 85-90.
- 4) Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 24. 127-136.
1b) King of Videhas, and an ally of Balarāma. Welcomed Balarāma to his capital.*
- * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 57. 24-26.
1c) A son of Viśākhayūpa and father of Nandivardhana.*
- * Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 24. 5-6.
The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
General definition (in Hinduism)
1) Janaka (जनक):—Son of Nimi (one of the sons of Ikṣvāku). He was born from the remains of his father’s (Nimi) material body, during a sacrifice. Because he was born in an unusual way, the son was called Janaka. Because he was born from the dead body of his father, he was also known as Vaideha. Because he was born from the churning of his father’s material body, he was known as Mithila. He had a son named Udāvasu. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.13.13-14)
2) Janaka (जनक):—Another name for Śīradhvaja (son of Hrasvaromā, who was a son of Svarṇaromā). (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.13.18)(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism
Janaka was the king of the Videha kingdom. He had no children and therefore wished to perform a great sacrifice to obtain the blessing of the Devas to yield children. While plowing the ground for the sacrificial altar, he found a girl child in a casket. This girl was Sita, who was the daughter of earth. He adopted as his daughter. When she came of age, he declared that he will marry her only to the most valorous of princes, and set a tough task to all the suitors. They had to string an immense bow, which had been given to him by Shiva. Nobody could even lift the bow, let alone string it.(Source): Apam Napat: Indian Mythology
Janaka is the name used to refer to the kings of Videha. The Janaka Dynasty ruled the Videha kingdom from their capital Janakpur in Mithila region of Nepal. A certain King Janaka, who probably reigned during the 7th century BCE, is mentioned in the late Vedic literature as a great philosopher-king. A King Janaka is also mentioned in the Ramayana epic.
Late Vedic literature such as the Shatapatha Brahmana and the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad mention a certain King Janaka (c. 7th century BCE) as a great philosopher-king of Videha, renowned for his patronage of Vedic culture and philosophy, and whose court was an intellectual center for Brahmin sages such as Yajnavalkya. Under his reign, Videha became a dominant political and cultural center of South Asia.
According to the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Janakas were a race of kings who ruled Videha Kingdom from their capital Janakpur, Nepal, which was an ancient state in the foothill of Himalayas before its unification into Nepal by Prithvi Narayan Shah. The father of Nepali princess Sita was named Seeradwaja Janaka. These epics mention many other Janaka kings who were all great scholars and lead the life of a sage, though they were kings. They engaged in religious conversations with many sages.
etymology: Janaka (Nepali: जनक, Sanskrit: जनक).(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)
1. Janaka - King of Mithila, a previous birth of the Bodhisatta. For his story, see the Maha Janaka Jataka. J.i.268; J.vi.59.
2. Janaka - King of Benares. His minister was Senaka, whose story is related in the Sattubhasta Jataka. J.iii.341, 348.(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).
janaka : (m.) a producer; father. (adj.), producing; generating. || jānaka (nt.) knowledge; recognition.(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Janaka, (to janati) 1. producing, production Vism. 369; adj. (-°) producing: pasāda° Mhvs. I, 4 (=°kāraka); a species of karma Vism. 601; Cpd. 144 (A. I).—2. n. f. °ikā genetrix, mother J. I, 16; Dhs. 1059≈(where it represents another jānikā, viz. deception, as shown by syn. māyā & B. Sk. janikā Lal. V. 541; Kern, Toev. p. 41). (Page 278)(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.
Languages of India and abroad
janaka (जनक).—a (S) Creative or productive; a causer, former, maker. In comp. Ex. hāsyajanaka, prīti- janaka, mṛtyujanaka, aniṣṭajanaka, kalyāṇajanaka. 2 Used as s m A father.(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
janaka (जनक).—a Creative; a causer. m A father.(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
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garbhakara-karttā-kāraka-janaka (गर्भकर-कर्त्ता-कारक-जनक).—&c. a (S) Causing conception, impreg...
'regenerative karma'; s. karma.
|Cula Janaka Jataka|
-The stories, both past and present, are the same as in the Maha Janaka Jataka (q.v.). J.i.268
Śīta (शीत, “cold”) refers to one of the hardships (parīṣaha), or “series of trials hard t...
Mithilā (मिथिला) is the name of a village visited by Mahāvīra during his eleventh year of spiri...
aṣṭavakra (अष्टवक्र).—n Very crooked or deformed.
Videha (विदेह) or Videhavarṣa refers to a region of Jambūdvīpa: the first continent of the Madh...
śuka (शुक).—m A male parrot. śukī f A female parrot.--- OR --- sukā (सुका).—a Dry. Fig. Unprodu...
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Dynastic history of ancient Gandhara and Bactria (6200-3162 BCE).—According to Puranas, the dyn...
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Nandivardhana (नन्दिवर्धन).—According to the Mūlasarvāstivādin Vinaya, after having crossed the...
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Search found 65 books and stories containing Janaka. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Trishashti Shalaka Purusha Caritra (by Helen M. Johnson)
Part 7: Plan to kill Daśaratha and Janaka < [Chapter IV - The, birth, marriage, and retreat to the forest of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa]
Part 14: Contest for Sītā < [Chapter IV - The, birth, marriage, and retreat to the forest of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa]
Part 1: Introduction (king Janaka, son of Vāsavaketu and Vipulā) < [Chapter IV - The, birth, marriage, and retreat to the forest of Rāma and Lakṣmaṇa]
Gautami Mahatmya (by G. P. Bhatt)
The Jataka tales [English], Volume 1-6 (by Robert Chalmers)
Jataka 52: Cūḷa-Janaka-jātaka < [Book I - Ekanipāta]
Jataka 402: Sattubhasta-jātaka < [Volume 3]
Yoga Vasistha Volume 1 (by Vālmīki)
Chapter I - Liberation of Sukadeva < [Book II - Mumukshu Khanda (Mumukṣu-vyavahāra Khaṇḍa)]
Chapter I - Introduction < [The Yoga Philosophy]
Chapter XXX - Self-Disparagement < [Book I - Vairagya Khanda (Vairāgya Khaṇḍa)]
Devi Bhagavata Purana (by Swami Vijñanananda)
The Vishnu Purana (by Horace Hayman Wilson)
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