🌿Chapter — 1🌿
 ~ Introduction ~

🌱 Day — 1 🌱


Thousands of years ago, there reigned a king called Janaka, who had attained the highest knowledge. However, he was curious and wanted to know more despite being fully engaged in the regular duties of a king.

One evening he was holding court where his subjects were talking about their problems. Reports were being read from different parts of his kingdom(so it must have been a little boring). While listening to the reports, Janaka dozed off. In his sleep he saw a famine and loss of grains, fields and cattle. Everything was lost! He became a pauper and found himself roaming from street to street as hungry as ever! He wanted a piece of bread to eat. He ask d everybody but nobody had it. Finally, somebody gave him a piece of dry bread.

There was a law or rule (dharma) for householders in those days. If someone else was present, they could not have food by themselves. First, they had to feed the person and then eat themselves. Since he had only one piece of bread, he was worried that he would have to share it if he met someone.

So he hid it under his robe. He found a place where there was nobody and, as he was about to it, an eagle flew down and snatched it out of his hand. At that moment he could not tolerate it and shouted, ‘ Haaaaah!’ When he shouted, he woke up and realized that he was in the court which was full of people! He could still feel the hunger. Maybe it was dinner time. But then he got confused. Which was real? He wondered if he was dreaming. Was the dream real or was the court real? He became concerned about this. What is reality?

He was one who could never let go of questions very easily. So, he assembled all the scholars of the kingdom and asked them for a solution to his problem. Their solution did not satisfy him, and he was troubled by it for several days. Then someone told him that there was a man called Ashtavakra who could be approached for a resolution of his problem.

Ashtavakra’s body was bent in eight places, i.e. he had eight deformities. His legs were uneven — one was long and the other was short. There were eight knots in his body. That was why he was named Ashtavakra. It meant, ‘a man with eight knots or eight bends in his body’.

Ashtavakra was a Brhama jnani knower of the Brhama. He was invited to the court of King Janaka.

A conversation took place between Janaka and Ashtavakra. This is the most unique conversation that has ever taken place on this planet. This discussion between them is a unique phenomenon! On one side was King Janaka, enjoying the peak of life, wanting to know about the Self and reality, and on the other side was Ashtavakra who had risen to the pinnacle of existence, telling what reality is. This is called Ashtavakra Gita. Gita means a song and Ashtavakra Gita is the song of Ashtavakra. Krishna gave the Gita to Arjuna in the battlefield amidst all the chaos. King Janaka was given the knowledge in his royal residence in a very peaceful environment.

Ashtavakra was brought to the palace with all honour. Many people were skeptical about him and his appearance. They wondered how he was going to reveal the highest knowledge to the King. But Janaka was a perceptive person. He could recognize the glow in Ashtavakra; the light. It is very difficult for people to recognize truth and reality

They recognize pomp and splendour because they can just see the outer shine. They are unable to see the light or life which is beyond; which is beneath; which is deep inside. So, the Ashtavakra Gita is not for someone who has not yet started on the spiritual path. It’s for those who have already started on the path, and it opens up many avenues for them.