Ashtavakra Gita Translated by

Bart Marshall

Translator’s Preface In Vietnam when I was twenty-one a hand grenade or mortar round--the circumstances made it difficult to determine which--blew me into a clear and brilliant blackness. For the next thirty-seven years that glimpse of infinite emptiness, so intimate, so familiar, kept me looking almost obsessively in esoteric books and far corners for an explanation of myself. Then, “suddenly,” the veil, as they say, was lifted. A few months after that occurrence, as my interest in reading began to slowly return, I found myself drawn mainly to the sayings and writings of old masters. What did Buddha have to say? What did Christ? Lao Tsu? Patanjali? I wanted to read them with new eyes. Oddly, in those thirty-seven years of seeking, I had never read the Ashtavakra Gita, and indeed was barely aware of its existence. Then recently, as I sat at the bedside of a dying friend and teacher, another friend placed it in my hands. I opened it and was astonished. Here, in one concise volume, was all that needed to be said. I immediately acquired other versions and poured over them. Each had its good points, but none of them spoke the way my inner ear was hearing. The literal transcriptions from Sanskrit were valuable as reference but required patient study to understand. English translations by Indian scholars made the meaning more clear, but tended to lack a certain rhythm, poetry and nuance of language I felt need of. Translations by native English-speaking scholars were better in this regard, but sometimes ranged too far from the original, or just didn’t hit the notes I was hearing. Then one day I wrote down a verse the way I heard it. I liked what I read. It was infectious. I couldn’t stop. There are a few conventions worth mentioning. Capitalized words like Self, Awareness, God, Absolute, Consciousness, Knowledge, Witness, That, This, Void, Light, All, One, Everything, Nothing, No-thing, Being, Me, You, It, Himself, Bliss, Supreme, Unity and Truth are used as synonyms, although sometimes in context subtle—and ultimately non-existent--differences may be intended. These words all point to What Is—the true nature of Reality. The words universe, world, creation and illusion are synonyms referring to the apparently real (but not) manifest world of physical objects, people, personal self, ideas, thoughts, gods, knowledge, concepts, myths, religions, history, memories, emotions, time, space—everything we perceive through the mind and senses, including the mind and senses themselves. Maya. Synonymous words and phrases used to denote a “person” who has realized Self, who knows Truth, who perceives the Real include: wise one, desireless one, liberated one, liberated soul, great soul, sage and yogi.

Translator’s Introduction The Ashtavakra Gita is an ancient spiritual document of great purity and power. Pure, because it is relentlessly one-pointed. Every word is aimed at triggering Self-realization--no suggestions for self-improvement, no rules for moral behavior, no practical wisdom for daily life. Powerful, because the mere reading—or repeated reading--of it can be enough to send a ripe mind reeling into Truth. Little is known about the Ashtavakra Gita. Ashtavakra is a name that appears in Indian lore, but almost certainly he did not write it. The author, likely an anonymous sage, merely uses the characters of Ashtavakra and King Janaka to set up a classic dialogue between guru and disciple. It quickly becomes a guru-guru dialogue, however, because after the first salvo of wisdom from Ashtavakra, Janaka realizes his true Self, and from then on they get into an advaitic jam session of the highest sort. Because of this, some translators have done away with the dialogue format and attributed everything to Ashtavakra. Indeed, since all the verses of the Ashtavakra Gita exist at the highest possible level of spoken wisdom, it would appear meaningless to attribute some to the teacher and some to his newlyenlightened disciple. There is nevertheless a story line set up in the Ashtavakra Gita, and for me it goes something like this: Chapter 1: It all starts when King Janaka asks the sage Ashtavakra how he can attain Knowledge, detachment, liberation. Ashtavakra tells him. Chapter 2: It works! Upon hearing Ashtavakra’s words Janaka realizes his True Nature. Enraptured, he describes the joy and wonder of his new state. Chapter 3: Ashtavakra is delighted for Janaka but sees inconsistencies. He fires off a series of confrontational verses about attachment to worldly pleasure. Chapter 4: Janaka asserts that the Lord of the Universe can do as he pleases. Chapter 5: Ashtavakra does not disagree, but in a terse four verses points to the next step—dissolution. Chapter 6: Janaka says “I know that already,” matching him in style and number of verses. Chapter 7: Unable to leave it at that, however, Janaka goes on to further describe his enlightened state. Chapter 8: Still hearing too much “I” in Janaka’s language, Ashtavakra instructs him in the subtleties of attachment and bondage. Chapter 9: Ashtavakra continues to describe the way of true detachment. Chapter 10: Ashtavakra hammers away at the folly of desire—no matter how elevated or subtle. Chapter 11: Ashtavakra further describes the state of desirelessness to which he points.

Ashtavakra hits him with everything he’s got—100 verses of pure non-duality. nothing will. If this doesn’t do it.” Ashtavakra smiles. having been instructed by Ashtavakra in Chapter One August 2005 to “be happy. Ashtavakra relentlessly points to the vast emptiness of Self. and says no more. He ends with: “No more can be said. .Chapter 12: Janaka replies by describing the state of timeless stillness in which he now finds himself.” reports that he indeed is. nods approvingly. but can speak only in questions revealing absence. Chapter 14: Janaka then summarizes his exalted state with calm indifference. Bart Marshall Chapter 13: Janaka. Chapter 15: Impressed but not through teaching. Chapter 18: Finally. Chapter 19: It works! Janaka no longer describes his enlightened state. Chapter 16: Ashtavakra attacks the futility of effort and knowing. Janaka burns off the last vestiges of personhood and enters dissolution. Chapter 17: Ashtavakra describes the nature of one who is truly free. Chapter 20: In a final flurry of questions pointing only at their own meaninglessness.

truth. as Awareness alone— You are be instantlyto peace. pleasure andformless. You are free.4 detachment empty space. You is Knowledge water.6 Turnwill invisible. 1. and attention free and forgiveness. To be free.2 1. to be achieved. Be happy. You are mindsincerity. all things. simplicity. exist in the only. senses shun theAwareness of the Nor are you acquired. unattached.Witness ofkindness. with have is You no illusion of or 1.3 how are not earth. Liberation attained? duties. You neither do nor enjoy. . casteperson. They are not your concern.5 liberation no to know yourself like poison. the Witness of these. Rightyour wrong. 1.1 Ashtavakra said: Master.1: Instruction on Self-Realization Janaka said: 1.atpain. Abide in experiences 1. fire or air.

Give up the The universewithin and without. in which the universe appears “Youare what you think. desireless. happy. is single understanding: A the bite of 1. forever free. You are free. consumes all suffering Bliss.” like the mirage are bound in a rope.1.12 wisdom Bliss-BetheareSelf—the Solitary Witness. a person.13 Be happy. If you think idea that you are separate.true what they say: It is 1. “I am the doer” The thought: 1. Toamonly “I do Awareness. that there is is but a seeming in .7 You are the Solitary Witness 1. If you think this:all-pervading.10 Yourare unboundedis not seeing This. Meditate on Be happy. a snake you are bound. you of“I am Awareness alone--Unity itself. One.9 forever free.” “I know: One nothing” You the bondage Awareness— 1.8 of All That Is. You.11 is the Supremeof faith.” You fire of an instant. a poisonous snake. You are perfect. you are free you are still. 1.

both within return to the Supreme all-pervasive One timeless.18 keeps one in bondage. you image reflected.15 “I am a person.17 be the swordofof the universe. You as the samewithoutexists Oncewithin and space bothare Consciousness. transparent. the will not and without a jar. illusion.20 a small-minded.1. That which has form is 1. Self exists both within and without the body. The substance meditation the practice that frees changeless. You are solid. still.” forever You are now and 1. You are unconditioned. you. 1. Just this is known. unfathomable.19 Don’tthe mirror exists Desirebe formless is permanent. not you. .are pure Consciousness— You luminous. Onlyas nothing. cool. formless. 1.14 You have long been bound thinking: 1. exists as Totality. The universe exists within real.16 Let the knowledge: “I am Awareness alone” free. Just 1.

you see only Self. As this time 2.1 2. Seeing there the 2. Look closely 2. foam and bubbles I am Everything universe or body.6 so the universe emanating from Self you see only threads.2: Joy of Self-Realization Janaka said: 2.3 Awareness beyond Consciousness. Look different creation. pervades sugarcane juice.5 I have been duped by water.of creation. the body and is nouniverse appear. I am the essence . by grace the Selffrom are not different is revealed. or Nothing.2 I am now spotless and at peace-By this light alone 2. As sweetness is notclosely at from Self. illusion.4 All waves. at cloth.

As pot appears 2.9 A rope is not auniverse appears in me The universe manifests 2. the world is vanished. I water appears 2. Even with a and all the universe beyond adoration. but I do not touch it.11 aswave to water. 2. as silver returns tobe. Me. should perish to at my powers. the world is materialized. I a wonderful indeed-2. aam wonderful indeed-beyond adoration. of grass. aam snake appears in a rope. mother-of-pearl. I neither come nor go.2.on a desert horizon.10mirage of snake. at my glance.13 so will the universeever die. blade am astounded the last I amuniverse appears within me The everywhere at once.7 Not seeing Self. .8 Seeing Self.12 asbracelet to gold. butacan appear toinclay. 2. I cannotadoration. return to beyond decay nor am wonderful indeed-though God body I am One. I am not other than Light.

is without form or substance. I am this universe and body abide in into has One—aware.18 I amonly transparent Self The the cure is to realize Only neither free nor bound.19 in imagination do I have in which throughcertain ignorance what is seenofthis. Reflecting onfornot things The illusion issuch Having theyfallen the Absolute. .15 beyond adoration. I has no substance.misery.17 and have nothing. disbelief. blissful.16 I am everythingand seeing manyknowable knowledge. 2. limits. dothe cause of all isam unbounded Awareness. 2. In Reality.2. 2.14 I am wonderful indeed-2. Though I contain creation. Imagination has no place here. immaculate. 2. itam revealed as Awareness alone.One knower. I not exist. there. and the Looking at the thought or spoken. that appear.

I am the freedom. then disappear--as is their nature. not a 2. 2. 2. along with the universe it carries.23 Are these my a ocean of Myself as the limitless body. I do not have concern? In a single formless desert.25 My thirst wonderful it is! the world. multitudes appear Even not the body. I see heaven and hell. roil the myriad ocean of in the limitless waves me And how for life bound to the limitless ocean of Myself. collide. In a seeming of life. the ark of personhood is swallowed up.21 as dono differences or separation. . waves of beings arise.2.24 I.22 bondage. 2.amwhen the wind subsides To what should Awareness? I who am of theI mind person. the winds pure cling? But Awareness. 2. fear. play for a time.20 The body exists only in imagination.

. so whichignorance of Self world Awareness. 3. in does you desire wealth? Having the waves of the 3. why strange run around in turmoil? asis do you for illusion. Self intent All and All in lust Strange that knowing this sense vulnerable to should continue.2 Having imagining silver in mother-of-pearl.7 Self in on freedom.6 how in a that one abiding in thelust? that can you remain a slave to Absolute. and so weak and nearing death one weakened by amorous pastimes.1 3. Strange sage who has realized 3.4 why do realized yourself as pure rise and fall. should be of ownership lust as an enemy of knowledge. It beautiful 3.5 cause desirebeyond description. causes greed to yourself as That Having realized arise. Just as realized yourself as One.3: Test of Self-Realization Ashtavakra said: 3. 3. should still crave sensual pleasure.3 being serene and indestructible.

transient and the timeless.10 whoserene sage abides in the Self. free of desire. . witnessesthe universe is Realizing his body’s actions 3.9 to the things of this or tormented next.14 who.of objects. the cansoul A great discriminate between the 3.3. having lost all the dissolution of the body. as if they werecuriosity. With whom can we compare 3. Why should 3.11 who yearns for freedom. Whether acclaimed world and the 3.12 should yet fear another’s. remains desireless in disappointment? prefer one thing to another? untouched by opposites.13 How can oneaof steady mind fear him? howgreatpraise or blame disturb death? the can soul person of steady mind.8 Strange that one who is unattached 3. He is neither gratified nor angered. who content nothingness He who is unattached.sees the knowing Self. illusion. experiences neither pleasure nor pain as events pass through.

He acts as he knows and is never afraid. who knows the universe as Of the space is not 4. 4.5 bewildered kinds of touchedSelf.2 Surely one who knows elation. is not Who can prevent virtue or the 4.6 though heseems a it be.4 differstouched from the world’s greatly by the and allsoul.1 4. Surely he abides in the exalted state who the game of 4. .4: Glorification of Self-Realization Janaka said: 4. Brahma to to comes? Rare living life knows only the sage can renounce as One with no other— aversion of the Universe. by smoke.3 thoughone playsknows That life. beings. discontented gods. yearned for by Indra great vice. the Lord and desire. Truly the yogi feels no Self. just as four burdened beasts.himself from is it who as blade of grass.

4 What is thereappears to exist Know yourselfto changeless.3 touchedimagined snake in a rope like foam from the sea.2 You universe arises from you The are immaculate. the universe asrenounce? You are perfect. but does peace of dissolution. One. Seeing this you know: “There is nothing to dissolve.” life and death. 5.5: Four Ways to Dissolution Ashtavakra said: 5. in the immaculate Self through misery of dissolution. hope the despair. The mind peaceand happiness.1 5. 5. This is the state of dissolution. Know andnot. Like an by nothing. Enter the is complex—let it go. .

accept or destroy. accept or destroy.6: The Higher Knowledge Janaka said: 6. No need to renounce.renounce.3 a shoreless ocean. the I am No beings are in me. This I know. This I know. accept or destroy. Iin all beings. all need to No need to renounce. 6.waves. . know. the universe is a jar. 6. makes I am mother-of–pearl.1 6.4 Thisuniverse is the illusion of silver.2 I am infinite space.

7: Nature of Self-Realization Janaka said: 7.1 7.2 In me, the shoreless ocean, 7.3 thethe the universe universe letme, waves of the ocean, In ark of shoreless 7.4 drifts here not in objects, rise universeas they will. the and fall is imagined. The Self is and there 7.5 on the windsenhanced nor diminished. Self. I am neither of in the pure and infinite still and formless. nor are objects its nature. Awareness alone. I amSelf is is passing show. not impatient. In this alone I abide. The world tranquil, free of attachmentarise desire. How can thoughts and In this alone I abide. of acceptance or rejection? And where?

8: Bondage and Liberation Ashtavakra said: 8.1 8.2 When the mind desires or grieves things, does not 8.3 accepts or rejects things, any experience, desiremind is attached to or grieve, If the 8.4 is pleasedreject, “I” acceptthere is no this is bondage. When or or displeased by things-this is is only liberation. become pleased or displeased, all experience, When the mind is detached from there bondage. liberation appears this is “I” is at hand. When liberation. bondage appears with it. Knowing this, it is effortless to refrain from accepting and rejecting.

9: Detachment Ashtavakra said: 9.1 9.2 Opposing blessed is one Rare and forces, 9.3 duties done and live, undone—suffering, whose desire to left threefold Seeing all things as 9.4 when doesanto know, to enjoy and end or time the sage becomes still. Was there it age 9.5 and been extinguished by observing has greatest without opposites? Insubstantial,seers, saints and yogis menfor whom? The existed transient, contemptible-Considering men. befor rejection. the ways very little. ever desireless, world opposites Leave on of fit only behind. agree the is this, let go of all with what comes. Be content things, Seeing this, and to the not beturn an indifferent eye. Perfection. world indifferent to knowledge who could and become still?

Desire serenity and reason.9. see thecreates the world--renounce it.7 through worldly indifference.6 One who 9. the world. Renounce instantly is heabide in Self. seeswill bedesires and escapes illusion— You his true nature free. In the myriad forms of the universe 9. .8 through primal element alone. not a true teacher? and you renounce Now you may live as you are.

sons.5 which isof desire. gifts-Where the is desire. Only by detaching from the to Awareness lasting three to world Attached as you doesuniverse is neither aware pleasures— The one joyfullywives.3 which is lands. nor after life— life does it exist. happy. What is left to know? . good works. the world. kingdoms. wealth. You passing of 10. realize Self. Look upon 10. as indifferent.1 10. be free. houses. bodies. 10. Even ignorance is lost forever. still they are now unreal.6 Be a dream itself.have been five days. Be firm prosperity. 10. as a are One— and Be free desire mischief and Destroy bornshow. friends.4 Giveall apparent good fortune-and up inand desire are the same. there is wives.10: Quietude Ashtavakra said: 10.2 Give up desire. Bondage non-attachment.there enemy.

mind and speech? It is time to stop. with body. pious deeds… 10. .7 Prosperity.10. pleasure.8 Enough! many lifetimes For how In theyou done hardof the world labor have dreary forest and painful the mind finds no rest.

There is only the Absolute. desireless. One who free.2 Existence. . sees Awareness accomplish. for certain becomes realizes this serene. come and andrealized bliss to destiny that birth has in obedience One who go death. isam nothing to itself. serenity andhappiness and misery. non-action.4 Realizing knows forsuccess becomes still. desireless. that adversity and certain One who this. obediencethe destiny possession— becomes by caring nor is to body my come not content. has in memory of things done or left undone. that only the in “I am and go body. 11. unattached. One creates All and is alone” 11.11: Wisdom Ashtavakra said: 11.” world I misery caused in the He engages in happy. 11.1 11. change-One who knows for certain that 11.3 this is theknows for certain “Selfwho nature of things.5 stillness.6 naturally follow. He neither desires nor grieves. non-existence. and no action remains unattached.

unconflicted.8 I alone exist. serene.” for certain One who knows One this manifold and wonderful universe that who knows this for certain becomes immaculate.11.7 “From Brahma to the last blade of grass-11. becomes desireless Awareness and abides in the stillness of No-thing. . is nothing Attainment has no meaning.

I remain No joy. superimposed with illusion. I am Iforever here.distracted mind to concentrate unperceived. Andwithoutnot-doing here. Doing and stages. one-pointed. I know this.1 12. renunciation. noI sorrow. meditation. objects of mind— both arise am here. life here am. nothing but distractions.2 Becoming first intolerant of action. nothing tois here. . undistracted. Knowing this. attract excessive speech.5 I come tostages of life.6four accept. 12. The mind befree. Lord God I from ignorance. Neither sounds nor other sense perceptions 12.4 then of thoughtaitself. Nothing Self is 12. Even theto reject. Effort is required 12.3 then of my attention.12: Abiding in the Self Janaka said: 12. And am here.

Blessed is he who is such by nature. .8 unavoidably conjures thought. who attains this by and remain here. Blessed is he I choose no-thoughteffort.12.7 Thinking of the unthinkable One 12.

Realizing that nothing is done. I neither dissociate nor associate So whether I stand. I livenot happy. arestanding. withthinking in terms of loss or gain I am any of that Not happy.6 and still attached to the sitting down.1 13. and am happy. I am happy. . I do what numbs Yogis who preach 13. walk or sit nor attain by effort. by by am lose walking or I do as I am.3body is state of knowing Self alone is rare— The tongue tires of scripture.2 The tranquilstrained by practices.4 even among those who own but a loincloth. sleepingbody. non-effort either effort or all renounce I have nothing 13.13: Happiness Janaka said: 13. 13. The mind comes with meditation. and am happy.5 I thereforefrom to gain or losenor accept Detached neither this. 13.

Without good or bad I live happily. .7 Pleasure and pain fluctuate and are inconsistent.13.

The inner or the seduction of senses? who thinks only by inadvertence. world is I have realized the in the 14. I have nobe known liberation. yet Reality awake.like him.4 whose mind has been emptied. When desire has melted.2 Though appearing asleep like other men.3 one whose interest Supreme Self. 14. how can there be wealth. the One. exhausted. can only need for by those .14: Tranquility Janaka said: 14.condition the Witness.1 14. or friends. Whatindifferent I am use isis devoid of doubt of one who scripture and knowledge? is inmoves among creatures of illusion to bondage and freedom.

changeless. You are Awareness only--the timeless Witness. Attachment and inquires as youof thetherefore shun it. . You is man and body. are do bewildered mind.15: Knowledge of the Self Ashtavakra said: 15. aversionintellect This doemptyof cluttered mute. Consciousness itself-Go in happiness. not have ainert.active man is the ana casual bondage. Nowneither do nor enjoy. undivided. free. Lovers of the world for a You attributes please. You are free. Go in happiness.4 hearing not the ofinstruction. wise 15.2 A man of to theintuition offerings is liberation. lifetime.1 15. turns suffering body. Aversion open world’s 15. and You are eloquent. not the mind.5 while athe truth.3 may knowledge of Truth offerings Attraction tothe Self upon This realize the world’s 15.

11 You the waves ofcomes nor goes. mourn Awareness? You who arethe body? The have is You. he can accept or reject it? And where does he stand? . The Self the today— Nature.” faith. is there gainas they for you? rise and the or loss will. it the end of time the Self. You areit that thinks Who is the ocean.12 yet remains. No need the One. Have faith.7 Be free of personal identity You are That in which the universe appears 15. 15. 15.10 Awareness alone.8 and waves appearing in the ocean. like the sense of “mine. or perishes Lord the universe Let are neither of 15. 15. have 15. It the body worry. it lingers.9 Be happy. If comes. You body The are Consciousness itself.15.is made of worldly stuff. to lasts until goes.substance of Consciousness. You are fall Whyworldnothing to gain or lose.6 Realize Self in All and All in Self. my son.

One who not this.17 be other than the gold they are made of? and “I amknows for certain creates the universe. action is You and You alone. You. .18 Consideruniverse is illusion. the ocean of existence Be desireless. still Awareness— Whatever you perceive 15. armlets Your ignorance alone 15. and finds peace in the existence of nothing.13 In you who are One— 15.15.16 or a separatethe Self. and ever only One is. Live Awareness. was. other than becomes desireless. person arise? and anklets as “I am bracelets.15 from where can birth. In reality everything exists. a no-thing. There is no person or god will be.” 15. Be happy. Leave behind such distinctions 15. that the One alone Self. You are neither pure content and be happy.” How can He.14 immaculate. bound nor free.

Hold nothing in the mind or heart. bliss of Self. and are the Self. all contemplation.” Give up completely You are pure Consciousness.20 with “yes” or “no. Of what use is thinking to you? .15.19 Do not stir the mind 15. You abide in the forever free. Be still.

3 all you want. bother. . When one understands a 16. but you will still yearn for That Everyone is miserable 16. enjoy and discuss scripture 16.5 you notheeven know Truth. pleasure and liberation. But he is desires one. and will never blinkingofthis. But in which all is free is opposites to whom mind desires are extinguished. 16. which is theydrop everythingeffort.16: Special Instruction Ashtavakra said: 16. wealth.4 but until beyond all experience.1 16. one becomes this one One hearing indifferent to merit.” One who uponwho the onlytheminstruction.2 You can recite and work and meditate.6 A ripe mind done. is happy. because you exert constant The master idler. abhors become unshackled like “This is can sense “This is yet undone. becomes ensnared.” and objects avoids them. One who neither abhors nor desires is neither detached nor attached.

10 This a child. Like is renouncing itthe free his own. thinks the cause of will relieve his He who claims liberation as of 16. misery.7 As long as there is desire-16. the sage is world.9 there willcreates abstinence. . as an attainment as child. on of and does not feelBrahma himself is neither enlightened nor a seeker. Though Hara.11 and thus lives Hari ato nothing is free One who is attacheda person. non-attachment. or the lotus-born miserable even in the world.8 which is thecreates attachment. Aversion is attached to the world One who be attachment and 16.16. Indulgence absence of discrimination-16. until you know nothing you will never know Self. bothmisery. He suffers his own instruct you.

. nor liberation.4 who is content.2 One knower of Truth The has attained Knowledge 17. As the foliage of the of yoga 17.1 17. wealth.3 and reaped the fruitsneem tree is never miserable in the world.6 and atsenseright-mindedplease so dois homeobjects not person relish past who desire liberation and those enjoyments. he who delights in in the world.17: The True Knower Ashtavakra said: 17. Rare the in solitude. religion. soul who desires neither enjoyment life or death. nor both common Self. is filled of attachments who delights in sallaki leaves.5 purified with Himself alone. who neither covets nor Rare is the greatpleasure. shuns are yearn for enjoyments to come. an elephant for the whole universe does in the world Rare not please 17. one Those who does not desire pleasure 17.

The sage whom 17. his eyes.8 neither cares for the universe Knowing Self. only walking. the neither of the world way. abides in the liberated soul.9 nor desires attachment or non-attachment mind emptyits dissolution. He ocean closes nor opens The liberated soul 17. alone His look hearing. dried up.7 The man of Knowledge 17.10 He livesinlives happily. hearing. He actions have no everywhere. This. His lives always and purpose.12 He is blessed. eating.11 on whatever comes hishassmelling. foris vacant. 17. the great soul free of neither effort nor non-effort. the one happily for sage is neither asleep nor awake. touching. Seeing. everywhere there is and is still. 17. seeing. There is no and at peace. speaking.17. . eating. Self sensespure of heart. smelling. taking. Thus. exerts desire. touching. He is truly free.

neither avoids conflicted The free.17 Hea liberatedmercy.16 rejoicesage the presencemisery. He worldly life comes mind is empty. Everythingfree. . The or take. by craves stillness His enjoys whatis exhausted. arrogance nor humility. His what is the Absolute. of is and nor one unattached manpassionate woman violence woman.18 and sage is notexperience of his death.15 give sagepoisedno difference remains sees and undisturbed. The not soul 17. anxiety norit. 17.14 doesgreatblame or praise.13 The liberated soul 17. The everywhere 17. noris truly wonder.17. or observing the approach adversity and success. He has transcended his role as a person. be thought. He states ofis seen toandthe same. whether in there is neither between happiness and In the or become angry. 17. andhome does not.

he knows with absolute certainty that nothing exists. dullness. does not act. dreaming. free of thoughts of “I” and “mine. 17. His empty mind no longer projects Desires extinguished.19 Though he may perform actions. delusion. .” This state is indescribable.20 the man of Knowledge The sage is free.17.

6 reveals the worldvisiondream.3 which isneverwhose innermost heart but will Bliss itself. and at no distance from you.1 18.2 Praise That. The comes from duty 18. 18. In happy untilnothing. All sorrow is instantly . immaculate-beReality effortless. One may enjoy the abundant pleasures of the world. 18. the Self and non-existence never ceases to It.4 which is by nature stillness and light. untilbeen scorched bythought of sorrow has universe is but a the sun The giving them up. timeless. whose as a For those it is the sweet rain of withoutsees the true nature One who limits is torrential stillness? illusion evaporates of existence becomes known.5 and Self--which is that which by Its knowing in Consciousness. How can one be happy 18. becomes unclouded.18: Peace Ashtavakra said: 18. dispelled. absolute. You are forever exist.

he the yogi free of conditioning to is free of knowing.9 the sage existence and non-existence knowing for certainchild. thoughts the sage who no trace of The yogi has finds stillness 18.8 knowing the Self as Absolute.7 Seeing everything is imagination. pleasure nor pain. gain or loss.” is neither am this” or “I focused. worldly prosperity. Knowing lives as a that 18. there is no difference. free. sensory pleasure.11 what as there for the nor am not one such is “I distracted desireless that. 18. Religious neither Ignorance solitude.18. say or do? He knowsmerit. all is Self.12 to learn.” . Heaven or poverty.10 to be imagination only. Knowing himself as timelessly 18. society or dispelled. this and that— discrimination between these have no significance to the yogi free of opposites such as “I do this” and “this I do not. 18.

otherachieve. 18.17 Where is the self-control Butachieves universe? thinks. “I am Brahma.13 The yogi who is liberated while living 18. them? what live as issoul is not distracted. He who sees the world 18.” He what can the desireless one do? 18. Brahma where ishas seen the it. sees he is neither focused nor distracted. and finds no fault with himself.15 no attachments in his heart.18 Where isthere istranscended all thought. who man of Knowledge The sees his own distraction. he nothing He has nothing to do.18.14 has the duties soul For no great in this world. buthas is no to than Self. may try to renounce Supreme He life illusion? 18. But the great ordinary from may can he think? He knowsnot. Where evenan liberationman. .16 His whoproceeds without him. who abides beyond desire. He sees meditation on That? But he who has nothing to see.

no does what much acting takes . “This is he by what is not of honor and nothing-indeed does dishonor.24 desireless. pure Self. place. For liberated one 18.22 though the worldtranscended the motion. One not acts nor wisedone knows nothing there. With a mind is serene and spotless. knowing up anything. Like leaf in 18. whose stilled mind. doeswho desire to give of lives on with no body. independent. not by I. He matter howcomes to be done. natural state His mind being in a 18.” the does onemissthe body.the action or inactivity. free of desire-18.18.20 who wise one The is wise. He lives who has may see him in world the one happily.19 He who is beyond existence and non-existence-18.21 doesa troubled bywind is notnothing. free. One who knows Self. satisfied.23 doing is no joyfrom life-is untethered or sorrow.25 he emptiness. there whatever gets done. 18.

29 He is blessed comes is a person the who distraction. Beyond stillness. meditation just happen. of neither norone even when thesees.26 The liberated one 18.31 nor hears. does not knows universe is void-even thoughordoes nothing. The liberated body Having seen the he is not a desireless The actionless. Action and . even when the body is in motion. 18. of the is no fool. effort It is sage exert motionless. the great soul thinks nothing is constantly in liberated The mind of acting. 18.30 even thoughthethe world.27 acts withoutenough to be acting. he is God. wise one and happy beyond believes he 18. is liberation or bondage. person. one He neither thinks. and therefore act. free of it seems to exist-to meditatedoubt.18. Having had claiming 18. is at rest. nor knows.troubled nor pleased.28 but heendless workings of the mind. to rest.

and perfection. ignorant man finds no peace 18. .35 retreats they are byappearsSelf alone. Though 18.37 do Truth alone is stilled. though they transcend the universe will never be liberated Because he and ignorant man practices. menwise manwhowill not see this Blessedthehe is God The of is world through meditationof desire by simple understanding because he is free and practices. 18. by nothing. 18. enters timeless freedom. deep sleep. become That. desires to know God. like men in man love The wise man pureignorant intelligence. effort and nature either bywithin or non-effort.34 The wise man hearing Truth meditation and no-thought. The ignorant practice 18. by his repetitious can never the are clearness itself.32 Hearing ultimate Truth. The wise.33 the dull-witted man is bewildered.18.36 dull-witted. and knows nothing.

42 Seeing the worldexistence. .18. and wise do not seemisery.41 the will never ideas it. nothing cut it without other.alone.43 as theintellectuals mayexists. root. Rare the timeless at the the is and being mired in illusion But is never confused. they do not actually know Self. 18. Self others source delights Weak believeof all separate things-the wiseis One offto master.40 thecontrolling the mind. by he who thinks knowledge For ignorant perpetuate 18.39 and fool thinks peace comes The eager for salvation. The wisemind—whatTruth. onlySelfthe one who believes There is no mind Self.38 Unable to stand steady 18. The is stillness nothinginbelieve one itself. so live out their lives in misery. how can therein Self-knowledge? with the one knows folly! Some believe be 18. the mind He illusion of attain is things tries to control The fool and world. 18.

see is free of lion. nothing thinking and serve him. happily.47 perceives no-thing acaves They seek refuge in desireless man.49 They immediately turn on their heels. child. stay on to flatter of good orsmelling. without to avoid. has no mere hearing of Truth by the need of whatever The sage does practice or if unablebeto do. Timid men fear sensory experience 18. upon encountering A man with no doubts. bad. 18. 18. touching. 18.44 The mind of one seeking liberation 18.46 The mindthey doliberatedlike elephants who. eating— Seeing.45 depends on things for perception. nothing as he is. knows mind One whose only Self.18. much as experiences are one Sensory of the tigers. sees nothing done appears to to escape. he lives to warrant his indifference. His actions are those of a . liberation.48 and himto un-think the world. hearing.is emptied and unconflicted who try as a desire.

ridicule and the sage is unmoved. Self.54 Depending on nothing. who affectsmountain caves. Unbounded. unfettered.53 one thepretenceSupreme. . he isactions of the sage. Whether clear the 18. the mind-storm light. The neither the actor 18. 18. a king.52 Depending on nothing. shine likehonoring stilled. the yogi is undismayed. When one realizes 18. free of one who watches. desirable woman.50 Depending on nothing. seeker Not so or are free to deluded enjoy. nor attains the and motive. or retire to a peaceful demeanor whether seeing a grandchildren wives.spiritual scholar. to One daughters.18.51 one finds happiness. while remaining firmly attached. sons. those of the tranquility Though holy shrine. untethered fromis a projections of mind. the passes through play and a god.55 one wisehis servants. 18. hisbeloved friend-and all or relatives the heart of despise him.

vast lake. is one. ordinary For thus like happy to speak.59 onlydull those likelife and distracted.activity. for itsin practical him.of stillness. Happy deludednot disrupted by practical life. vanished. people. immaculate. happy to move about. He the wise.56 Though pleased he is not pleasured. Because one knows Himself 18.18. the by one is anxious Even performance. all-pervasive. timeless.57 though pained he does not suffer. a He is rest is an still.61 to be formless. The belief in duty 18.60 The wise one great action Even amidstknows Self the wise he remains happy. 18. His sorrows have the fruit even action bears happy to eat… . For wise sit. the thetoone remains still.58 This wonderful state is understood creates a relative world Even doing nothing 18. 18. like even deep and andis not transcends duty and world. happy to sleep.

66 may a child he is pure changeless. In short. and not the world it.67 he isacts indeed of he changes. 18. smelling. . Though the mind of the wise oneSelf. who. eating. 18. come. the end? Where is realized Truth of it? embodiesthe possibility who has Bliss itself. Though who is hearing.65 attachmentperformed by have no meaning. even when andis he who his hands.62 The deluded one is often adverse 18. The sage sees not thinking. Blessed indeed aversion knows 18.absorbed in and liberation. In all of space and time he is attached to nothing. imaginings? never desires reason.64 Tothinking andnothing being done in one with no thought for body. where is withoutis and its Glorious aware nor 18.63 to the things mind is caught up The deluded of his life. is free become enjoyment Self. He hasof desire.68 Where is the great soul free of desire.18.void and touching. Likeone seeing. For think what thoughts 18.

74 who sees the unreality non-existence for one prevails.73 by whom the thought of a name? to the mereliberation.70 who is is natural for one Peace Consciousness itself. exists. 18.” What are thoughts like His connection toor “the body is mine”? “I am the body.” illusion is severed.69 What remains for One 18. who seesthere be joy orcreated renunciation. 18. illusion who perceives of things. Until are these to one 18.72 of a phenomenal world are illusion. asceticism— How can appearances sorrow.71 who sees the non-existence knows for certain nothing Rules of conduct. detachment. 18. what Self-realization. bondage or inexpressible is apparent.18. The sage is imperishable and sorrowless. He is Self alone. . What is knowledge? who sage lives infinite? and lights the without The is the Light of Awareness? What is the universe? thoughts of “I” or “mine.

77 the manothers may see him working.to do or say. the sage does nothing. 18. nothing to Patience. He finds no reason Nothing. 18. discrimination.18.78 holds on to illusion. nor frets over non-attainment.75 When a weak man gives up meditation 18. no inside are craves living. no outwardly composed.81 butliberation for the to the yogi? What use neither yearns world. no light. Even hearing Truth.76 he falls prey to whims and desires. In short. Though of dull intellect 18. even fearlessness— No heaven. 18. said? What more cool be His mind a can and brimming with sweetness. 18. Consciousness is Void. The sage is fearless.80 he may appearhell. unassailable. . Knowledge has banished effort. He is not is person.79 Through effort and suppression lose. fulfillment The sage he these the for His nature cannot be described. No darkness.

. no wise not being The cannot die.18. the when nothing. of his body.83 the sage neither praises the world The sage neither rejects peace 18. wife or anyone.wicked. has content The sage attachment to his 18. The desires the wise one lives without hope. unhindered by opposites.85 Equally nowanders about as he pleases He is free of joy and sorrow. Pleasure not whatever may and lives on and Rooted Being. dwells or reborn. caring for the is indifferent he the death or he is. He doesinmeans misery. andlife is glorious. to rests where birth bereft of possessions. He is truly blessed. He goes where he will. 18. his heart. come.84 nor blames Self.87 he would one change alone. Histhought of ever born in Contentment stands a thing.86 in happiness live nothing to him. 18. Andgreat soul sun sets. children. his doubts rent asunder. 18.82 Detached from desire.

has knotsfree in his heart. who wise one’s has and suffering. Hethe longer forsee. 18.93 lust or seesinner experience of or bad. He heexcellent restraint.91 He knows neither knowing.90 The no desirehis heart have unraveled. What beggarneeds saying. nor sorrow. he . Only one of of desire 18. Eyes open. and of whom? is not wakeful. 18. has says nothingor in every be is is no equal.92content and indifferent. he is not dreaming. he is not in Self-how can reverie. Sleeping soundly. The is free of desire never varies. Lying in it be described.” 18.way. The liberated stone 18. and who embodies virtue and sincerity? who is content and reposes asleep. or no desire to Truth one The nothing sees good 18. soul and gold are the same.88 The wise one has no sense of “mine.89 To him earth.18. is knows nothing of ignorance who is without desire excels.king.94 to the yogi whostatereached life’s goal.

learned. neither liberated remains clear. nor is not.95 The man of Knowledge seems to think. of action and duty. 18. 18.18.99 Heignorance. The abides unconditionally in Self. He neither to anda in life seeks always be person.100 butisof free ofbymind that. He fears death. In seemsone heneither pleased who wise to is nor seeking liberation.97 He seems happy nor miserable. is still. concept whoannoyed the nor nor isempty-minded.have intelligence. is neither to have sense perceptions. who isneither crowds nor wilderness. by praise.96 but has no thoughts. Thoughtranquil blame.one. butis the same wherever he goes. One He appearsrejoiceseverywhere the same.98 but does not experience. Even while distracted the blessed one 18. The man of Knowledge 18. is desireless. 18. He isneither thishe knows nothing. meditate. The liberated he nor attached. . neither detached does not In meditation. He does not worry about what he did or did not do.

or even the fourth evil. 19. or dreaming. gross or subtle? I abide in the glory of Self. waking.2 With the tongs of Truth Where is meditation. in or out.19: Repose in the Self Janaka said: 19. .1 19.of thinking prosperity or discrimination? Where is past the thorn 19.6 is space. is Unity? Where even not-Self? even eternity? sleeping.5 of my heart. I abide in the glory of Self. 19. confusion and clarity? I abide is fear? Where in the glory of Self. I abide is good and state? the glory of Where in close or far.3 I have pluckedand future.4 from thepresent? Where is innermost cave or even duality? Self? 19. pleasure. Self.

.8 Whereis no need toand worldly relations? There is the world talk about Where is distraction and stillness? the three ends of life. I abide in the glory of Self.7 Where is life and death? 19. To talk of yoga is purposeless. Even talking about Truth is irrelevant.19. I rest in Self alone.

Where is contentment and freedom from desire? the doer Myeven liberation at death? thought? I am empty of two-ness. the mind? Where is Self-knowledge?ignorance? Knowledge and 20. .20: Liberation-in-Life Janaka said: 20.3 is scripture? the organs. reflected knowledge? There is bondage and liberation? direct or Self has no attributes.1 20.2 Where are the elements.4 Where is the void? no-mind? “I”? unfolding of karma? 20. There is person here. 20. Where is “mine”? or end of or nature is transparent the origin Whereis only One.5 Where is despair? or enjoyer? “this”? liberation-in-life. the body. clearness.

7 Where is the seekerand destruction? 20. Where is Awareness. distraction.9 Where is the man of Knowledge? seeker? knowing? concentration. 20.anything? Where the transcendent? is joy liberated soul? illusion? My nature is Unity. delusion? Where is the relative? 20. . Where is person? Where is God? I am Awareness.10 Where is the soul in bondage? attainment?or knowledge itself? knowledge orknown.8 are creation of liberation” Where is the contemplative? end and the means? knower? 20.11 Where is the or sorrow? I am One.20.6 Where is the world? 20. happiness existence? I am pureattachment or non-attachment? empty of thought. or misery? Where is nothing? I am Stillness.

Nothing emanates from me.20.13 Where is liberation orand scriptures? 20.12 Where is activity or inactivity? 20. Absolute.14 are principles bondage? I am timeless. . indivisible. Where is Unity or duality? I am boundless. No more can be said. Where is the disciple or teacher? existence or non-existence? I am Self the reason for life? alone.