Ashtavakra is one of the Greatest Hindu Sages, but was cursed with eight physical deformities when he was born. His knees, hands, chest, feet and neck were bent. This curse was cast by his Father. He was taught many things by his Father while he was unborn. His Father was a Sage and Scholar.
Ashtavakra and King Janaka
One Day, when Ashtavakra was a young adult, he accompanied his Father to a debate between spiritual intellectuals, with the King present. After a while, he stated that nobody knew what they were talking about, and the King asked if he could substantiate what he had said. Ashtavakra said he could. He said that he must be willing to follow his word to the limit in order to know, and the King agreed. He told King Janaka to meet him in the forest. When Janaka went to the forest, he got lost, and tried to find Ashtavakra. He found him sitting under a tree, and was about to get down from his horse when Ashtavakra told him to stop, so he stopped in that position. That was when he became enlightened.
They became great friends, and Ashtavakra had become Janaka’s Guru.
Ashtavakra Morale of the Story
“The most important thing is, what a person is doing within themselves. What you’re doing in the material world is just social, directing yourself to suit the situation you’re in. How you are within yourself is all that matters.”
Ashtavakra Interesting Facts
u Ashtavakra’s parents’ names are Kahola and Sujata
u His name means “one with eight physical deforms”
He was the author of Ashtavakra Gita or Samhita, one of the traditional Advaita Vedanta Scriptures.