Book review of Janaka and Ashtavakra by Ashraf Karayath
Ashtavakra and Janak
King Janaka, the father of Mata Sita, is a well-known figure in Hindu
mythology. But it is very rare to find anyone who really knows him. The
ruler of Videha, King Janaka was a highly knowledgeable person of
spirituality with deep thinking. He was in a true sense, an ideal king.
Janaka and Ashtavakra: A Journey Beyond by Ashraf Karayath is a book
that tells the story of King Janaka and his guru, Ashtavakra.
Ashtavakra, as his name suggests was deformed in 8 different places in
his body. He was a spiritual sage with calibre beyond imagination.
When young Ashtavakra’s unmatched knowledge is spotted by King
Janaka, he becomes his disciple. Janaka’s mind and heart are in turmoil
because of many problems. Sita’s marriage, his kingdom etc always
worry him. But as soon as he begins his spiritual journey under the
guidance of Ashtavakra, the hurricane that was wreaking havoc in his
The book gives the king’s journey a story format, which makes it not
tiring. There is some inside traitor in the kingdom- all these little
mystery aspects make sure the reader reads the book. The king’s calm
persona and his attitude towards everyone is awing, with a lot to learn.
The main parts of the book are the conversations between Ashtavakra
and Janaka, which are simply divine. They have been put forward very
simply by the author, making it a perfect read for beginner spiritual
readers and an introduction for those who might be interested in
reading the more complex, Ashtavakra Gita.
I applaud Ashraf Karayath for the amount of time and research he put
in writing this beautiful book.
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