Now in Hindi, Ashraf Karayath’s debut novel retells a compelling episode from Ramayana
~A voice of reason and calm amid prevailing chaos, Karayath’s book is a must-read during these trying times~
New Delhi: After the resounding success of his English-language debut novel “Janaka and Ashtavakra: A Journey Beyond”, author Ashraf Karayath is launching its Hindi translation to reach a wider readership, published by Prabhat Prakashan. The original English version of the book was published by Rupa Publications and is the story of sage Ashtavakra and his disciple King Janaka, which is one of the most gripping yet unknown episodes from the Ramayana.
The original novel launched in mid-2020 and was a quest to keep negative emotion at bay and add meaning to life, in times characterised by anxiety, stress, fear and uncertainty. It is translated into Hindi by Suman Kumar.
It narrates the story of an ancient Indian king, of his turbulent life, of impending war in his kingdom, and of treachery and conspiracy within the secretive world of his palace. Although dramatic, the work is an allegorical tale meant to appeal to modern people are caught up in and torn by the difficulties of their lives.
In the book, a young boy Ashtavakra goes to king janaka’s Court to debate the kingdom’s most learned sages but is ridiculed by the courtiers for his deformed body. After the boy triumphs in the debate, Janaka realizes that the boy has an extraordinary intellect and becomes his disciple. While Janaka is obsessed with his quest for spiritual liberation, a treacherous plan unfolds inside the secretive world of the royal palace but Janaka stays on the path to spiritual enlightenment. Ultimately, with Ashtavakra’s guidance, the king enters the realm of a new world which alters the reality for him and his kingdom.
The book gives the king’s life journey a new format, detailing the conversations between Ashtavakra, the saint with deformities at places in the body and Janaka, the guru and the disciple, making it a perfect tool for spiritual seekers. The book while answering several questions that usually haunts a seeker, in balancing one’s different roles as father, husband, son, etc., beautifully leads the reader to his/her spiritual journey. Ashraf’s book is a perfect remedy for the resent chaotic life as it acts as a motivational guide. If one could truly master some of the thoughts conveyed through this book, one would definitely be able to anchor his/her life in peace and happiness.
Ashraf Karayath, hailing with twenty-five years of business experience coupled with a background in management philosophy, authored the book to unravel the timeless knowledge of ancient Indian culture and spirituality. As an individual, Ashraf was always intrigued about the influence of subjectivity in our lives, and how the world evolves out of our consciousness. As he found the profound message of Ashtavakra Gita, he was planted with an idea to read and write more about it which is now turned into his first novel.
The author says, “For me, spirituality is nothing but untapping the innate strengths we have within us. With the Hindi translation of the book, I hope more and more readers connect to this compelling story shedding light on new-age existential questions, leading them to relate to the king and his struggles.”
The book is now available to order on Amazon and leading bookstores.