JANAKA AND ASHTAVAKRA:
A Journey Beyond
A Journey Beyond
The story of a sage Ashtavakra and his disciple King Janaka is one of the most gripping yet unknown episodes from the Ramayana.
A young boy Ashtavakra goes to King Janaka’s court to debate the kingdom’s most learned sages but is ridiculed by the courtiers for his deformed body. After the boy triumphs in the debate, King Janaka realizes the boy is extraordinary and becomes his disciple. While Janaka becomes obsessed in his quest for spiritual liberation, inside the secretive world of the palace, a treacherous plan unfolds. Very soon war clouds gather on the horizons of Mithila, but Janaka devotes more and more time with the young sage. Even though the whole world believes a calamity is imminent, Janaka stays on the spiritual path. With Rishi Ashtavakra’s guidance, the king enters the realms of a new world that alters the reality for him and his kingdom.
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'I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.' Thus says Orhan Pamuk in his famous book, The new life. I am experiencing it now. This morning, I completed reading Ashraf Karayath's Novel, Janaka and Ashtavakra: A Journey Beyond, and I am changed.
The book did not disappoint. If I had to rate it amongst the books I have read in the genre of Indian mysticism, I would rate this in the top two. The other book that gripped me as deeply was Chitra Divakarunni's Palace of Illusions, probably because the character of Draupadi felt close to me. As do the characters of Janaka and Ashtavakra through deep and personal association. But in a diabolically different way. The book is un-put-downable. It deserves to be read and experienced by many many people.
"Wow! I started reading, thinking it was like any other spiritual book on the same lines as Ashtavakra Gita which is a popular scripture on Self Realization. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this book brought out a totally different dimension about King Janaka and Mithila. I feel blessed to have got a chance to read this awesome book. The book answered a lot of questions I was struggling with for some time.
Very well written book. As a young entrepreneur myself, this is a great book for me to read especially in the genre of fiction as it beautifully guides the mental state of Janaka balancing his duties as a King, Father, husband and his spiritual journey. I urge everyone to read "Janaka and Ashtavakra" as it's the perfect ingredient in today's chaotic and very transactional recipe of life to bring a wholesome goodness.
Beautifully conveyed through a story told in uncomplicated prose, Ashraf's book is a motivational guide with a deeply positive message for today's uncertain times.
A really good read. One thing that really captivated me was that the philosophical concepts and ideas expressed are apt even in our fast moving world. If you could truly master some of the thoughts conveyed through this book, I believe you will be able to find peace. Really glad that i invested some time and money to read this. Worth every penny!!!
Ashraf Karayath was born in Nadapuram, a village in Kerala, India. After finishing his MA in English Literature in 1991, he migrated to Dubai. He has twenty-five years of business experience coupled with a background in management philosophy. Despite his professional preoccupations, he continues in his quest to unravel the timeless knowledge of ancient Indian culture.