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Ashtavakra Gita

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 Ashtavakra’s wife?


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 Ashtavakra Gita?


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.

Q4. What 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?


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) purpose.