The work Ashtavakra Gita, also known as Ashtavakra Samhita, contains 298 verses in the simple anushtubh metre, spread over 20 chapters. Most of the chapters are very small. The 18th chapter alone, however, contains 100 verses.
The book, which often gives the description of the atman in hyperbolic terms, stresses that it can be realized here and now. Disciplines like renouncing the desires for the pleasures of life, cultivating virtues like forgiveness, kindness and truth are advocated. There is a beautiful description of the man of knowledge in the 17th chapter. Supreme detachment is a special characteristic of his. But it is difficult to recognize him since he often lives like an ordinary person. Only another man of knowledge can recognize him.
Q1. Who is
Some Vedic scriptures
quote that the sage Ashtavakra married a woman named Suprabha. She was the
daughter of sage Vadanya. To marry her with Ashtavakra, the sage asked him that
he would first have to pass a test, to which he agreed. When he returned
successfully after completing the challenge, the sage agreed to give the hand
of her daughter to Ashtavakra. In this way, he got married to Suprabha.
Q2. What does
Ashtavakra Gita teach?
The Ashtavakra Gita presents a dialogue or conversation
between Ashtavakra and Janaka, the King of Mithila, which is commonly known as
the Ashtavakra Gita. Ashtavakra was a revered sage who was born with eight
(Ashta) bodily deformities. He instructed the King on the difference between
the body and the real self (Brahman). The happiness or pleasure that one
derives from the senses is temporary but the happiness on the level of the soul
is permanent. The religion of the soul is not based on the external appearance
of the body but is completely on the spiritual platform therefore, one should
rather strive hard to achieve transcendental bliss.
Q3. Who wrote
The Ashtavakra Gita is a scriptural text that
describes the conversation between the sage Ashtavakra and King Janaka (the
father of Sita) on the science of soul or self-realization. It mentions how the
consciousness of a self-realized person is different from an ignorant man and
how a person can come to the platform or state of transcendental bliss. Many
commentaries have been written on the Ashtavakra Gita that continues to inspire
people and take to spirituality.
is Ashtavakra Gita Art of living?
The Ashtavakra Gita Art of Living is a commentary
penned or written by Sri Sri
Ravishankar. This book unlocks a deeper understanding of spiritual
enlightenment and helps one to practically apply the knowledge in their life.
This wisdom opens the door to real and eternal happiness which is beyond the
three modes of material nature. You can get this book on Exotic India and relish
its practical wisdom.
Q5. What is
special about Ashtavakra Gita?
Ashtavakra Gita is a conversation between the
12-year-old sage Ashtavakra and the king of Mithila, Janaka Maharaj. It sets an
easy path for the conditioned souls of this material world to know about
Brahman, the Absolute Truth. The king submissively inquired from Ashtavakra the
knowledge about the nature of the real self and how a person can be liberated
from this material world.
Q6. How many
verses are there in Ashtavakra Gita?
There are 298 verses in Ashtavakra
Gita. These verses are organized into twenty chapters that elaborately
explain how to achieve transcendence in this material world. This book has been
translated into many languages by many authors and is read by people from all
over the world. The person who reads this book understands his original
position or identity (that he is not his body but a spirit soul) and gets to
know how to achieve real happiness.
Q7. Who is Janaka in
Ashtavakra Gita is an ancient mystical scripture
that is a dialogue between Ashtavakra
and Janaka. We get many instances from Vedic scriptures that Janaka in the
Ashtavakra Gita is none other than the King of Mithila and the father of Sita.
The King approached the sage Ashtavakra to gain spiritual knowledge (Adhyatmik
Jnana) and the sage elaborately explained to him the science of
self-realization. Janaka Maharaja played the role of a conditioned soul in this
material world and is thus teaching us to lead a life of higher (spiritual)
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