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Author: Swami Chinmayananda
Astavakra Gita – Song Of Self-Realisation
Authored by Maharishi Vyasa, this lucid dialogue between Rajarshi Janaka and Ashtavakra systematically deals with mystical experiences of the spiritual reality. To all advanced students of meditation Ashtavakara Geeta directly points out the way and the goal.
It has been said that the ideas expressed in this Gita are compatible with the Dialogues of Plato and the Bhagavad Geeta.
It truthfully records the universal insight and spiritual experiences that a seeker gathers during moments of intense meditation. This is a book for advanced students of meditation. “Ashta” means eight and “Vakra” means crooked or curved. Ashtavakra corrected his father in all Vadas and got curse by him while he was in his mother’s womb. That is why he was born deformed with eight curvatures in his anatomy. “O King, just as the shape of a temple does not affect the Akasha (sky), the crookedness of the physical body has no effect on Atma (Soul). A wise man has Atma Drshti, he looks at the Reality behind this manifested world, whereas an ignorant one has Karma Drshti, he gets lost in names and forms,” said the young sage, who was an expert in Yoga Vidya as well as established in Atma Jnana (Self Knowledge).
Ashtavakra Gita is a short treatise on Advaita Vedanta which systematically deals with the mystical experiences of the individual in his flight to the transcendental peace and bliss. The subtle philosophical truths are expounded in the form of a lucid dialogue between the teenager sage Ashtavakra and his royal disciple, the King-seer Janaka. To Ashtavakra, Self-knowledge through direct mystical intuition is the only goal to be reached and experienced in the dynamic silence of one’s own deepest meditation.