Bestselling author Ashraf Karayath’s ‘Janaka and Ashtavakra: A Journey Beyond’ has bagged the PVLF Author Excellence Awards in the Best Debut Fiction category. The Awards were organized by the Federation of Indian Publishers, Frontlist, and Nielsen India on January 8, 2022.
The book is published by Rupa Publications and captures the story of sage Ashtavakra and his disciple King Janaka, which is one of the most gripping yet unknown episodes from the Ramayana.
Karayath’s debut novel, with its English version launched in 2020 and the Hindi translation in 2021, 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 who are caught up in and torn by the difficulties of their lives.
The original novel launched in mid-2020 and was a quest to keep negative emotion at bay and add meaning to life, in times characterized by anxiety, stress, fear, and uncertainty.
Ashraf Karayath, hailing with twenty-five years of business experience coupled with a background in management philosophy, authored 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. As he found the profound message of Ashtavakra Gita, he was planted with an idea to read and write more about it which is now turned into his first novel.
Ashraf Karayath says, “Penning Janaka and Ashtavakra has been, for me, the most wonderful experience. I’m grateful to have received the PVLF Author Excellence Award for best debut fiction. The book has within its pages a spiritual voyage for the readers, of which I happened to be the first traveler. It’s a compelling story shedding light on new-age existential questions, leading readers to relate to the king and his struggles.”