How To Meditate
King Janak is mentioned in Bhai Guru Das Ji's Vaars
bhagath vaddaa raajaa janak hai guramukh maayaa vich oudhaasee||
King Janak was a great saint who amidst maya remained indifferent to it.
dhaev lok no(n) chaliaa gan ga(n)dhharab sabhaa sukhavaasee||
Along with gans and gandharvs (calestial musicians) he went to the abode of the gods.
jamapur gaeiaa pukaar sun vilalaavan jee narak nivaasee||
From there, he, hearing the cries of inhabitants of hell, went to them.
dhharamaraae no aakhioun sabhanaa dhee kar ba(n)dh khalaasee||
He asked the god of death, Dharamrai, to relieve all their suffering.
karae baenathee dhharamaraae ho saevak t(h)aakur abinaasee||
Hearing this, the god of death told him he was a mere servant of the eternal Lord (and without His orders he could not liberate them).
gehinae dhharian eik naaou(n) paapaa(n) naal karai nirajaasee||
Janak offered a part of his devotion and remembrance of the name of the Lord.
paasa(n)g paap n pujanee guramukh naaou(n) athul n thulaasee||
All the sins of hell were found not equal even to the counterweight of balance.
narakahu(n) shhuttae jeeaa ja(n)th kattee galahu silak jamafaasee||
In fact no balance can weigh the fruits of recitation and remembrance of the Lords name by the gurmukh.
mukath jugath naavai(n) kee dhaasee ||a||
All the creatures got liberated from hell and the noose of death was cut. Liberation and the technique of attaining it are the servants of the name of the Lord.
Saakhi - How To Meditate
There was once a great sage and his disciple. The sage send this disciple to the court of King Janak to learn how to meditate. The disciple did not want to go. Here he was, a Brahmin, a monk who had renounced the world. What could a King who was only a Kshatriya teach him. But since the master had ordered him he went. When he reached the court of the King, he saw the King living a very luxurious lifestyle. He was disgusted; a great condemnation arose in him. What could such a person have to teach a monk. He bowed to the king. King Janak saw his mental state and said that if he wanted he – the monk – could return the very next day. On this condition the monk agreed to stay the night.
King Janak took every care of the monk’s needs. After having him fed and washed he personally escorted the monk to the bedroom where he was to spend the night. As can be expected the bedroom was luxurious and comfortable. The monk got into bed and tried to sleep. Just then he saw hanging above him a sword suspended from above from a thin thread. The slightest touch of breeze and the sword could fall injuring or even killing him.
The monk spent the entire night in a state of fear and extreme alertness since he knew that if he stopped being watchful for even a moment he might lose his life.
The next morning King Janak asked the monk if he had spent a comfortable night. The monk grew indignant and asked what was the meaning of having him sleep under a naked sward. He said that he had not slept the whole night despite being very tired from his long journey.
King Janak replied that this was exactly the lesson on how to meditate that he had wanted the monk to learn. The monk had to be alert and aware the whole night. It was a matter of life and death to him. This was the teaching of King Janak. King Janak said that despite living in luxury and all else he remained aware of the sword hanging over his head. The sword was invisible, but it was very real. It was his own impending death. Since King Janak kept the awareness of death in his mind, he was able to stay detached from his luxurious lifestyle. He knew that it could end any moment; that in fact it would inevitably end one day. In this manner he lived in the palace and yet was a hermit.
This is exactly the attitude to be brought when we are learning how to meditate or to life itself. You can remain unaware if you think that you will live forever. But how can you be unaware when you know that life can end any moment. You will be constantly aware – on your guard !
Source: sikhee.com - Sikh Stories: King Janak: How To Meditate