ASHTAVAKRA SAMHITA a.k.a. ASHTAVAKRA GEETA introduction:
Before knowing ashtavakra geeta, first we have to understand what the entire book is all about, otherwise we may miss the core idea of it. Here is the simplified version of the story behind ASHTAVAKRA GEETA………..
Apart from other holy books, ASHTAVAKRA SAMHITA doesn’t have any interesting story line up or characters that are playing roles & all other stuffs. No other useless talks, no illusions, no politics, no hidden meanings nothing like that. Baseline of “astavakra samhita is TRUTH” yes the hardcore TRUTH. Whatever is written in this book is based on truth and its effect. As it is not written in the form of story & articles, it’s not that much popular among people as other holy books are (naturally, because naked truth is always hard to digest).
Eventually, ashtavakra samhita is a conversation between King Janak & Rishi Ashtavakra. Ashtavakra (person whose physical appearance is bent from 8 different places, Ashta = 8, vakra = bend).
So, before going to the deep dive into the ocean of truth let’s see how the name ASHTAVAKRA came from or whats the history behind the name “ASHTAVAKRA”.
By born Rishi Ashtavakra was the son of a pandit (Brahman), so when he was inside the womb he was listening to VEDAs, PURANAs & other religious books frequently. One day while listening to books inside the womb he couldn’t control himself and spoke from inside addressing to his father…. “Whatever you are enchanting or speaking is not absolutely correct, it’s a long way to get isolated from the world” and father got angry and replied: “you will born with a physical body which will be bent from 8 different places”. Hence Rishi Ashtavakra born with 8 physical defects (Bent from 8 places).
Now, going towards core of ashtavakra samhita, how & why the conversation between King Janak & Rishi Ashtavakra took place????
Ans: Once King JANAK announced within its state to find most knowledgeable person (pandit) among all, for this purpose he arranged a meet within his palace. At decided day all padits & learned brahmans came with their knowledge in mind & books and started discussion. Somehow Rishi Ashtavakra reached over there, by looking at him all started to laugh, King Janak also started. Very next moment Rishi Ashtavakra started to laugh even more than any other in the palace. Whole environment got paused.
Then King Janak asked to Rishi Ashtavakra: “these people are laughing at your appearance, what you are laughing at actually??”
Rishi Ashtavakra replied: “I am laughing because these CHAMAAR (person who is related to work of skin of animals) are getting together to discuss about being knowledgeable?? And you are king of state, you also thinking the same?? Because what they are seeing is my physical body which is bent from 8 places & laughing over it, so it’s very clear that they don’t have interest to know what my knowledge is all about.”
That day meeting was concluded, next day King Janak went to Rishi Ashtavakra & asked to have deep conversation about real knowledge & truth. Also King invited Rishi to come at their palace & talk personally about all the confusion he faced up till. And this personnel talk about King Janak & Rishi Ashtavakra is known as “ASHTAVAKRA SAMHITA”