Author Ashraf Karayath launches debut novel 'Janaka and Ashtavakra- A Journey Beyond'
Although the story is set a few thousand years ago in India, it throws light on the modern reader's existential questions
As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, Ashraf Karayath's debut novel Janaka and Ashtavakra- A Journey Beyond, published by Rupa Publications, sets a new meaning of life. For most of the population across the world, the key characteristics of life amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has become anxiety, stress, fear and uncertainty. But this mythological novel shifts that focus - to a journey in search of knowledge, liberation, enlightenment, consciousness and answers some of the questions pertaining to the absolute realities of life. The author believes that this is the most important time to keep negative emotions at bay and required to elevate our immunity and strengthen our quest.
Janaka and Ashtavakra: A Journey Beyond is a novel that 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 caught up in and torn by the difficulties of their lives. The novel is written on the premise of the vibrant storytelling tradition of the epic Ramayana and renews and deepens beloved characters for modern readers.
This book is allegorically written, with strong messages and insights, for the modern reader who is caught in the rat race and has forgotten the meaning and charm of life. Although the story is set a few thousand years ago in India, it throws light on the modern reader's questions about existence, and one can easily relate to the king and his struggles.
Ashraf Karayath has 25 years of business experience coupled with a background in management philosophy, and he tells us that he wrote 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. The author says, "This is the time where we all need to calibrate ourselves to the strength of our inner wellbeing, which is dominant and inherent in us. For me, spirituality is nothing but tapping into those innate strengths we have within us’.