Janaka & Ashtavakra : A Journey Beyond is enrooting path of a king in his quest on discovering spiritual knowledge and overcoming from his fears and anxiety.
This is the debut book by Ashraf Karayath.
This book takes inspiration from the holy epic of Ramayana, narrating the saga of King Janaka and a young sage Ashtavakra. With Ashtawakra’s incomparable knowledge and thought in the royal court, Janaka realizes the spark of this young sage and therefore becomes his disciple. The king becomes fascinated to seek guidance to overcome his anxieties.
Janaka devotes his mind and time towards Ashtawakra’s teaching not considering it important to prepare the kingdom arms and forces for the dark clouds of war.
The entire kingdom draws the vision of the unfaithful circumstances but Janaka does keep himself in the spiritual homage of Ashtawakra.
The author takes influence from the philosophies and knowledge from Ashtavakra Gita having a great start to the different parts of the book. The author refers to Ramayana to build an insightful connection with Janaka and other already known characters.
The book is weaved with utmost beauty and delicateness which stands apart and keep the plot reigning readers’ minds.
The story takes place in the beautiful state of Mithila which is ruled by King Janak. The storyline pictures his life underlying the problems related to the fact that the king required mental and spiritual awakening.
In the beginning of the book, we visualize the dreadful dream that Janaka see where he loses his everything in a war and struggles to gather food from door to door confused with his identity of a king or a beggar.
The king suffers with unusual thoughts pertaining to his identity & the future of his well-known kingdom. The king finds himself helpless and seeks helps from sages of the royal palace and his best advisors. Every answer results to a deeming terror to the kingdom.
There’s a lot of dissatisfaction with the King’s attitude when there’s already clouding terror in the state along with unfavorable incidences during the days of Sita’s swayamvar.
The story begins with an introductory tone helping the readers gain the different aspects of plot and environment of the characters. The characters are well-defined throwing light on Janaka’s bewildered thoughts and fighting his inner turmoil. The book and even the storytelling portrays a king, a hero as a human before a ruler of a state. The undergoing mindset of Janaka can be related to a human overthinking upon his nightmares. Janaka’s thoughts are deep rooted to reality and the answer that Ashtawakra shows upon are instrospective.
The writing style is just apt to process a mythological saga. The teachings and philosophy of Ashtavakra might be given many years ago but they still hold true meaning in today’s scenarios.
I would highly recommend everyone to read this book not only as a mythology admirer but also as a wanderer seeking truths and answers.
About the author: ASHRAF KARAYATH was born in Nadapuram, a village in Kerala, India. After finishing his MA in English Literature, he migrated to Dubai.
Despite his professional preoccupations, he continues in his quest to unravel the timeless knowledge of ancient Indian culture.
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