[an error occurred while processing this directive] Ashtavakra Gita: The Song of Ashtavakra Tranlated by John Richards.
Janaka said:
How is knowledge to be acquired? How is liberation to be
attained? And how is dispassion to be reached? Tell me
this, sir. 1.1
Ashtavakra said:
If you are seeking liberation, my son, shun the objects of
the senses like poison. Practise tolerance, sincerity,
compassion, contentment and truthfulness like nectar. 1.2
You are neither earth, water, 3re, air or even ether. For
liberation know yourself as consisting of consciousness, the
witness of these . 1.3
If only you will remain resting in consciousness, seeing
yourself as distinct from the body, then even now you will
become happy, peaceful and free from bonds. 1.4
You do not belong to the brahmin or any other caste, you
are not at any stage, nor are you anything that the eye can
see. You are unattached and formless, the witness of
everything - so be happy. 1.5
Righteousness and unrighteousness, pleasure and pain are
purely of the mind and are no concern of yours. You are
neither the doer nor the reaper of the consequences, so you
are always free. 1.6
You are the one witness of everything, and are always
totally free. The cause of your bondage is that you see the
witness as something other than this. 1.7
Since you have been bitten by the black snake of the
self-opinion that I am the doer , drink the nectar of faith
in the fact that I am not the doer , and be happy. 1.8
Burn down the forest of ignorance with the 3re of the
understanding that I am the one pure awareness , and be
happy and free from distress. 1.9
That in which all this appears - imagined like the snake in
a rope, that joy, supreme joy and awareness is what you
are, so be happy. 1.10
If one thinks of oneself as free, one is free, and if one thinks
of oneself as bound, one is bound. Here this saying is true,
"Thinking makes it so". 1.11
Your real nature is as the one perfect, free, and actionless
consciousness, the all-pervading witness - unattached to
anything, desireless and at peace. It is from illusion that
you seem to be involved in samsara. 1.12
Meditate on yourself as motionless awareness, free from any
dualism, giving up the mistaken idea that you are just a
derivative consciousness, or anything external or internal.
You have long been trapped in the snare of identi3cation
with the body. Sever it with the knife of knowledge that I
am awareness , and be happy, my son. 1.14
You are really unbound and actionless, self-illuminating
and spotless already. The cause of your bondage is that
you are still resorting to stilling the mind. 1.15
All of this is really 3lled by you and strung out in you, for
what you consist of is pure awareness - so don't be small
minded. 1.16
You are unconditioned and changeless, formless and
immovable, unfathomable awareness and unperturbable, so
hold to nothing but consciousness. 1.17
Recognise that the apparent is unreal, while the unmanifest
is abiding. Through this initiation into truth you will
escape falling into unreality again. 1.18
Just as a mirror exists everywhere both within and apart
from its re3ected images, so the Supreme Lord exists
everywhere within and apart from this body. 1.19
Just as one and the same all-pervading space exists within
and without a jar, so the eternal, everlasting God exists in
the totality of things. 1.20
Janaka said:
Truly I am spotless and at peace, the awareness beyond
natural causality. All this time I have been a3icted by
delusion. 2.1
As I alone give light to this body, so I do to the world, As a
result the whole world is mine, or alternatively nothing is.
So now abandoning the body and everything else, by some
good fortune or other my true self becomes apparent. 2.3
Just as waves, foam and bubbles are not di3erent from
water, so all this which has emanated from oneself, is no
other than oneself. 2.4
In the same way that cloth is found to be just thread when
analysed, so when all this is analysed it is found to be no
other than oneself. 2.5
Just as the sugar produced from the juice of the sugarcane
is permeated with the same taste, so all this, produced out
of me, is completely permeated with me. 2.6
>From ignorance of oneself, the world appears, and by
knowledge of oneself it appears no longer. >From ignorance
of the rope a snake appears, and by knowledge of it, it
appears no longer. 2.7
Shining is my essential nature, and I am nothing over and
beyond that. When the world shines forth, it is simply me
that is shining forth. 2.8
All this appears in me imagined due to ignorance, just as a
snake appears in the rope, the mirage of water in the
sunlight, and silver in mother of pearl. 2.9
All this, which has originated out of me, is resolved back
into me too, like a jug back into clay, a wave into water,
and a bracelet into gold. 2.10
How wonderful I am! Glory be to me, for whom there is no
destruction, remaining even beyond the destruction of the
world from Brahma down to the last clump of grass. 2.11
How wonderful I am! Glory be to me, solitary even though
with a body, neither going or coming anywhere, I who