Sri Sri describes the Ashtavakhra Gita as the most unique conversation that has taken place on this planet. Sri Sri’s commentary (a set of 33 one hour Vide talks) on the Ashtavakra Gita is a must for any one wanting to go deeper into the knowledge. It illumines a conversation between King Janaka – skating on the brim of enlightenment – and the enlightened sage Ashtavakra. Sri Sri unlocks the meaning of this ancient text and makes the knowledge comes alive in our own lives.
We, in the Art of Living, listen to this commentary with a lot of reverence. Their are some basic guidelines that one needs to follow to listen to this – the primary one being daily meditation and practice of sudarshan kriya. And there is a reason, the knowledge is so deep and so full of meaning, that unless one is centered enough to absorb the talks, one may come out with a different context altogether. That’s the reason why these talks are available only to the Art of Living teachers and is disseminated only in a group.
I have had chance to listen to this commentary partially about two
years back. Since then I have been wanting to complete this. As an aside, we will begin listening to these tapes every weekend starting this weekend 7/1/05. The fact that I did not have a chance to listen to this completely, took me in search of books on Ashtavakra Gita. Amar Chitra Katha which brings out comics on Indian mythology has one on Ashtavakra Gita. The search took me to a book titled "The Duet of One, by Ramesh Balsekar"; I haven’t been able to find a copy in any of the local bookstores. So the search continues. There are only a handful of sites and books on this. Atanu writes about his introduction to the Gita courtsey an unknown taxi driver in Mumbai. Meanwhile, I recently picked up a copy of "The one in mirror" by the same author and found it pretty interesting. It has a series of quotes and paragraphs by the author, where he reflects on the core concepts of the Advaita philosophy. The one that I liked the best is on Contentment:
"If God came to me in my dream and asked me what I wanted most in life, I would ask for a state of mind, in which I would not have to ask for anything: peace of mind….contentment."