|BOOK TITLE||JANAKA AND ASHTAVAKRA: A Journey Beyond|
|PUBLISHER||Rupa Publications India (5 July 2020)|
|COST||RS.211(PAPERBACK ) KINDLE (RS.79)|
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 in 1991. 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.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When comes to fiction, Mythology is my priority. I have been reading mythological books for a long time. Most of the reads were related to the tale of Ramayana. These books use to focus on the untold part of the Ramayana. Today, I am going to share with you a similar book that will cover one of the most beautiful parts of Ramayana. This story belongs to The King of Mithila Janak and a young sage Ashtavakra.
Ramayan is one of the most beautiful stories and when you will read this story you will fall in love with it. The narration is very attracting and motivating. The language is simple along with a breathtaking ending. The story will give you goosebumps at times and it will also make you think why such kind of turns have taken place. At times you will feel that it is like a mystery book.
The best part that I liked about this book is the ending. The ending was not what I guessed it was just perfect. You will love this tale. It is just one of the perfect mythological books. The thing that I didn’t like about this book is that it was really short. The author may have made it into a series, which would have made it an awesome read. Yet, it is good as it is.
The best apart of such books is that they keep you hooked till the end. You always crave to know what’s next. The length of this book was around 200 pages so I was able to complete it in day 1(I am fast in reading mythology.). I would rate this book 4 stars. It is a good read for all and a must-read for mythology lovers.
#qotd – Do you love mythological books?
From the Publisher
In conversation with the author
What is the central message of the book?
This is a story from the Ramayan of King Janaka, the father of Sita. My story depicts a man who maintains equanimity during every crises and dives deep within himselfin order to find the solutions to his problems. .
How do you place the book in the context of the Corona pandemic?
When the whole world is gripped by fear and uncertainty, people tend to lose their self-belief as well as faith, and that leads to anxiety and stress. These negative emotions impact our mental health very badly, which, in turn, will affect our immune system. It is important that we should be happy, maintain equanimity, and calibrate ourselves to the strength of our inner self, which is inherent but often lies dormant within us. The people who will emerge stronger from the current turbulence in our lives will be those who remain calm and thoughtful.
How is it different from regular mythological fiction?
At first glance, it may seem like a mythological story, but it’s a story about the search for knowledge, liberation, enlightenment, consciousness and more. Janaka understood the follies and meaninglessness of the luxuries which surrounded him, and was also a saint who always sought the right path in order to be liberated, to be enlightened.
What is Ashtavakra’s philosophy?
Ashtavakra Gita is a unique discourse on the philosophy of non-dualism, consciousness, liberation and the absolute realities of life. The wisdom from Ashtavakra Gita would help one to elevate himself from the relative to the absolute, giving a seeker the path to liberation. It teaches how a person can effortlessly jump to timelessness and eternal bliss, and help him have control on his consciousness in a matter of seconds or a flash.
What made you write this book?
It was about 17 years ago, I had a chance to attend Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Ashtavakra video lessons, which was organized by the Art of Living Group in Dubai. I found roots of many philosophies I have studied, such as: new age science, self-help studies, theory of law of attraction, existentialism and theory of quantum physics in it. When I found the profound message of Ashtavakra Gita, an idea was born in my mind to write about it. It was then that the seed was planted in my mind.
What are the challenges you faced to write this book?
I had only a dream, an idea. But I nurtured that idea and started developing it. Janaka’s story was fragmented in various scriptures and puranas, and Ashtavakra Gita was not easily comprehensible. To bring the messages of Ashtavakra within the context of a story, make it dramatic and engaging to the reader without deviating from the main story was not easy.