Ashtavakra Gita Sutras

  • By Ankur Gupta
  • April 9, 2024

Introduction extracts from book.  

Who was Ashtavakra?

Ashtavakra (Ashta "eight", vakra "bent, curved") is a sage mentioned in Hindu scriptures. He is described as one born with eight different deformities of the body (two feet, two knees, two hands, the chest and the head). Ashtavakra is the Guru of King Janaka and the sage Yājñavalkya.


Why Ashtavakra Gita?

It speaks to the heart and the very reading of it gives even an ordinary person a foretaste of the bliss of freedom. Before the end of the dialogue, King Janaka realises the joy of self[1]realisation through the subtle philosophical truths. This spiritual scripture contains words of wisdom that can be contemplated over and over again, leading to a deeper and deeper understanding of the Self. Ashtavakra Gita is a dialogue between Ashtavakra and Janaka on the nature of soul, reality and bondage. It offers a radical version of non-dualistic philosophy.


The Gita insists on complete unreality of external world and absolute oneness of existence. It does not mention any morality or duties, and therefore is seen by commentators as 'godless'. It also dismisses names and forms as unreal and a sign of ignorance.


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