The Indian Reading Duo Book Review 📚🇮🇳
Book- Janaka and Ashtavakra
Author- Ashraf Karayath
Published – 2020
Genre- Mythological fiction
✍️‘Ramayana‘ is famous Indian epic which tells us about the constant struggle between right & wrong and how truth always prevails. But along with the main theme there are many other characters who played their role and left behind something that you can ponder on. ‘Janaka and Ashtavakra’ is one such story where the author explained beautifully.
✍️The book starts with King Janaka (Sita’ s father and king of Mithila) getting a weird dream which leaves him with the question- ‘Am I a beggar or a king?’
The entire book describes his journey towards the answer. The replicating dream which often leaves him distressed forces him to seek answers from the palace sages. Inspite of bestowing awards to any person who helps him interpret his dreams, the king doesn’t get his answers.
✍️Destiny plays a role and the answers come via a crippled 14 year old Ashtavakra. Ashtvakra, inspite of his age is very learned and intelligent. On the insistence of his grandfather Sage Uddalaka,he goes towards Mithila kingdom to find about his father and also helps king Janaka.
The book as it’s name is ‘Janaka and Ashtavakra’ focuses on their interactions and conversations.The ever looming war on the kingdom due to divine bow and Sita’s swayamavar (wedding) conditions leave the entire palace including king’s brother Kushadwaja and the main advisor Mahosadha unsettled. The struggle Janaka faces to find inner peace amongst all these external unrest in penned beautifully.
✍️The book ends with a fictional version of Sita’s and Ram’s marriage and the question- is it real what i see? The deep insights make you think hard. This may be a fictional version of Janaka’s struggle but every question he asks to Ashtavakra is something you can relate to your everyday situations. The answers are explained in lament language, easy to understand and leave you with deep sense of peace and calmness. The concepts of illusions, sankalp, detachment, enlightenment, atmajnan or self realization and many others are explained wonderfully with easy examples of daily life.
✍️I really liked the book. I will recommend this for the easy explanations of Ashtavakra Gita chapters and also because there are rare books which you can read more than once and still come out of them feeling fulfilled and learning something new…