Song of Ashtavakra
by Ashtavakra | 1994 | 8,560 words
The Ashtavakra Gita (अष्टावक्रगीता; aṣṭāvakragītā) or the 'Song of Ashtavakra' is a classical Advaita Vedanta scripture. Ashtavakra Gita (or 'Ashtavakra Samhita') is a dialogue between Ashtavakra and Janaka (king of Mithila) on the nature of soul, reality and bondage. It offers an extremely radical version of non-dualistic philosophy. The Gita ins...
1 Truly I am spotless and at peace, the awareness beyond natural causality. All this time I have been afflicted by delusion.
2 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.
3 So now abandoning the body and everything else, by some good fortune or other my true self becomes apparent.
4 Just as waves, foam and bubbles are not different from water, so all this which has emanated from oneself, is no other than oneself.
5 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.
6 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.
7 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.
8 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.
9 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.
10 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.
11 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.
12 How wonderful I am! Glory be to me, solitary even though with a body, neither going or coming anywhere, I who abide forever, filling all that is.
13 How wonderful I am! Glory be to me! There is no one so clever as me! I who have borne all that is forever, without even touching it with my body!
14 How wonderful I am! Glory be to me! I who possess nothing at all, or alternatively possess everything that speech and mind can refer to.
15 Knowledge, what is to be known, and the knower - these three do not exist in reality. I am the spotless reality in which they appear because of ignorance.
16 Truly dualism is the root of suffering. There is no other remedy for it than the realization that all this that we see is unreal, and that I am the one stainless reality, consisting of consciousness.
17 I am pure awareness though through ignorance I have imagined myself to have additional attributes. By continually reflecting like this, my dwelling place is in the Unimagined.
18 For me there is neither bondage nor liberation. The illusion has lost its basis and ceased. Truly all this exists in me, though ultimately it does not even exist in me.
19 I have recognized that all this and my body are nothing, While my true self is nothing but pure consciousness, so what can the imagination work on now?
20 The body, heaven and hell, bondage and liberation, and fear too, All this is pure imagination. What is there left to do for me whose very nature is consciousness?
21 Truly I do not see dualism even in a crowd of people. What pleasure should I have when it has turned into a wilderness?
22 I am not the body, nor is the body mine. I am not a living being. I am consciousness. It was my thirst for living that was my bondage.
23 Truly it is in the limitless ocean of myself, that stimulated by the colourful waves of the worlds everything suddenly arises in the wind of consciousness.
24 It is in the limitless ocean of myself, that the wind of thought subsides, and the trader-like living beings' world bark is wrecked by lack of goods.
25 How wonderful it is that in the limitless ocean of myself the waves of living beings arise, collide, play and disappear, according to their natures.