Ashtavakra Gita

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Part IV

Ashtavakra said:

While a man of pure intelligence may achieve the goal by the most casual of instruction, another may seek knowledge all his life and still remain bewildered. 15.1

Liberation is distaste for the objects of the senses. Bondage is love of the senses. This is knowledge. Now do as you wish. 15.2

This awareness of the truth makes an eloquent, clever and energetic man dumb, stupid and lazy, so it is avoided by those whose aim is enjoyment. 15.3

You are not the body, nor is the body yours, nor are you the doer of actions or the reaper of their consequences. You are eternally pure consciousness, the witness, in need of nothing — so live happily. 15.4

Desire and anger are objects of the mind, but the mind is not yours, nor ever has been. You are choiceless awareness itself and unchanging — so live happily. 15.5

Recognising oneself in all beings, and all beings in oneself, be happy, free from the sense of responsibility and free from preoccupation with “me.” 15.6

Your nature is the consciousness, in which the whole world wells up, like waves in the sea. That is what you are, without any doubt, so be free of disturbance. 15.7

Have faith, my son, have faith. Don’t let yourself be deluded in this. You are yourself the Lord, whose very nature is knowledge, and you are beyond natural causation. 15.8

The body invested with the senses stands still, and comes and goes. You yourself neither come nor go, so why bother about them? 15.9

Let the body last to the end of the Age, or let it come to an end right now. What have you gained or lost, who consist of pure consciousness? 15.10

Let the world wave rise or subside according to its own nature in you, the great ocean. It is no gain or loss to you. 15.11

My son, you consist of pure consciousness, and the world is not separate from you. So who is to accept or reject it, and how, and why? 15.12

How can there be either birth, karma, or responsibility in that one unchanging, peaceful, unblemished, and infinite consciousness which is you? 15.13

Whatever you see, it is you alone manifest in it. How can bracelets, armlets and anklets be different from the gold they are made of? 15.14

Giving up such distinctions as “He is what I am,” and “I am not that,” recognise that “Everything is myself,” and be without distinction and happy. 15.15

It is through your ignorance that all this exists. In reality you alone exist. Apart from you there is no one within or beyond samsara. 15.16

Knowing that all this is just an illusion, one becomes free of desire, pure receptivity, and at peace, as if nothing existed. 15.17

Only one thing has existed, exists and will exist in the ocean of being. You have no bondage or liberation. Live happily and fulfilled. 15.18

Being pure consciousness, do not disturb your mind with thoughts of for and against. Be at peace and remain happily in yourself, the essence ofjoy. 15.19

Give up meditation completely but don’t let the mind hold on to anything. You are free by nature, so what will you achieve by forcing the mind? 15.20

Ashtavakra said:

My son, you may recite or listen to countless scriptures, but you will not be established within until you can forget everything. 16.1

You may, as a learned man, indulge in wealth, activity, and meditation, but your mind will still long for that which is the cessation of desire, and beyond all goals. 16.2

Everyone is in pain because of their striving to achieve something, but no one realises it. By no more than this instruction, the fortunate one attains tranquillity. 16.3

Happiness belongs to no one but that supremely lazy man for whom even opening and closing his eyes is a bother. 16.4

When the mind is freed from such pairs of opposites as, “I have done this,” and “I have not done that,” it becomes indifferent to merit, wealth, sensuality and liberation. 16.5

One man is abstemious and averse to the senses, another is greedy and attached to them, but he who is free from both taking and rejecting is neither abstemious nor greedy. 16.6

So long as desire, the state of lack of discrimination, remains, the sense of revulsion and attraction will remain, which is the root and branch of samsara. 16.7

Desire springs from usage, and aversion from abstension, but the wise man is free from the pairs of opposites like a child, and becomes established. 16.8

The passionate man wants to eliminate samsara so as to avoid pain, but the dispassionate man is free from pain and feels no distress even in it. 16.9

He who is proud about even liberation or his own body, and feels them his own, is neither a seer nor a yogi. He is still just a sufferer.16.10

If even Shiva, Vishnu, or the lotus-born Brahma were your instructor, until you have forgotten everything you cannot be established within. 16.11

Ashtavakra said:

He who is content, with purified senses, and always enjoys solitude, has gained the fruit of knowledge and the fruit of the practice of yoga too. 17.1

The knower of truth is never distressed in this world, for the whole round world is full of himself alone. 17.2

None of these senses please a man who has found satisfaction within,just as Nimba leaves do not please the elephant that has acquired the taste for Sallaki leaves. 17.3

The man is rare who is not attached to the things he has enjoyed, and does not hanker after the things he has not enjoyed. 17.4

Those who desire pleasure and those who desire liberation are both found in samsara, but the great-souled man who desires neither pleasure nor liberation is rare indeed. 17.5

It is only the noble-minded who is free from attraction or repulsion to religion, wealth, sensuality, and life and death too. 17.6

He feels no desire for the elimination of all this, nor anger at its continuing, so the fortunate man lives happily with whatever sustinence presents itself. 17.7

Thus fulfilled through this knowledge, contented, and with the thinking mind emptied, he lives happily just seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting. 17.8

In him for whom the ocean of samsara has dried up, there is neither attachment or aversion. His gaze is vacant, his behaviour purposeless,and his senses inactive. 17.9

Surely the supreme state is everywhere for the liberated mind. He is neither awake nor asleep, and neither opens nor closes his eyes. 17.10

The liberated man is resplendent everywhere, free from all desires. Everywhere he appears self-possessed and pure of heart. 17.11

Seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, tasting, speaking, and walking about, the great-souled man who is freed from trying to achieve or avoid anything is free indeed. 17.12

The liberated man is free from desires everywhere. He neither blames, praises, rejoices, is disappointed, gives, nor takes. 17.13

When a great-souled one is unperturbed in mind, and equally self-possessed at either the sight of a woman inflamed with desire or at approaching death, he is truly liberated. 17.14

There is no distinction between pleasure and pain, man and woman, success and failure for the wise man who looks on everything as equal. 17.15

There is no aggression nor compassion, no pride nor humility, no wonder nor confusion for the man whose days of samsara are over. 17.16

The liberated man is not averse to the senses nor is he attached to them. He enjoys hinself continually with an unattached mind in both success and failure. 17.17

One established in the Absolute state with an empty mind does not know the alternatives of inner stillness and lack of inner stillness, and of good and evil. 17.18

A man free of “me” and “mine” and of a sense of responsibility, aware that “Nothing exists,” with all desires extinguished within, does not act even in acting. 17.19

He whose thinking mind is dissolved achieves the indescribable state and is free from the mental display of delusion, dream, and ignorance. 17.20

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