Despite the opulence and grandeur of kingly life, King Janaka was a spiritual seeker. One day in court he dozed off and dreamt that he had lost everything. He had just a few morsels of food which an eagle swooped down and snatched out of his hand. Not being able to tolerate it anymore he shouted out aloud, woke up and found himself on his throne, in the court. He was suddenly struck him by the real-like feeling of the dream. He could still feel the hunger. So what was real he wondered. Was there more to life than the one he was living He wanted to know the truth, the ultimate truth. But who could tell him King Janaka shouldered a dual responsibility-as a king and a father to his subjects. Surrounded by prosperity and abundance he lacked nothing. But he still seeked detachment. Who could show him the way Janaka was a seeker like many of you are. All of you have your responsibilities like he did and alongside the seeker in him stayed alive like it has in many of you. Despite a near perfect life Janaka had questions. All the courtiers spoke very highly about Ashtavakra, the sage whose ody was bent in eight places Most of us judge the book by its cover. But here was a deformed man who was a brahmgyani. The outward appearance is so important for us that we don take the pains to go beyond it as did some of the courtiers when Ashtavakra walked into the court. But King Janaka recognized the glow of knowledge in the Brahmarishi. This book is a beautiful dialogue between King Janaka, Sita father and the Emperor of Mithila, and Sage Ashtavakra.
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