Ashtavakra Gita

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 dearest one, shun the objects of the senses like poison. Draught the nectar of tolerance, sincerity, compassion, contentment and truthfulness. 1.2

You are neither earth, water, fire, air or even ether. For liberation know yourself as consisting of consciousness, the witness of these five. 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 warrior 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 – now 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; you are always free. 1.6

You are the one witness of everything, and are always totally free. The cause of bondage is that one sees the witness as something other than this. 1.7

Since you have been bitten by that black snake of self-opinion- thinking foolishly that `I am the doer,’, now drink the nectar in the fact that “I am not the doer”, and now be happy. 1.8

Burn down the forest of ignorance with the fire of understanding. Know `I am the one pure awareness.’ With such ashes now be happy, free from distress. 1.9

That in which all this appears is but imagined like the snake in a rope; that joy, supreme knowledge and awareness is what you are; now 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 `Thinking makes it so’ is true . 1.11

Your real nature is one perfect, free, and actionless consciousness, the all-pervading witness – unattached to anything, desireless, at peace. It is illusion that you seem to be involved in any other matter. 1.12

Meditate on yourself as motionless awareness, free from any dualism, giving up the mistaken idea that you are just a derivative consciousness; anything external or internal is false. 1.13

You have long been trapped in the snare of identification with the body. Sever it with the knife of knowledge that “I am awareness”, and be happy, my dearest. 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 filled 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, imperturbable – such consciousness is unclinging. 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 as part and apart from its reflected images, so the Supreme Lord exists as part and apart from this body. 1.19

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