Ashtavakra Gita

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...

Chapter XVII

Ashtavakta said:

1 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.

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

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

4 Not attached to the things he has enjoyed, and not hankering after the things he has not enjoyed, such a man is hard to find.

5 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.

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

7 He feels no desire for the elimination of all this, nor anger at its continuing, so the lucky man lives happily with whatever means of sustenance presents itself.

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

9 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.

10 Surely the supreme state is everywhere for the liberated mind. He is neither awake or asleep, and neither opens or closes his eyes.

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

12 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.

13 The liberated man is free from desires everywhere. He does not blame, does not praise, does not rejoice, is not disappointed, and neither gives nor takes.

14 When a great souled one is equally unperturbed in mind and self-possessed at the sight of a woman full of desire and at approaching death, he is truly liberated.

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

16 There is no aggression or compassion, no pride or humility, no wonder or confusion for the man whose days of running about are over.

17 The liberated man is not averse to the senses and nor is he attached to them. He enjoys himself continually with an unattached mind in both achievement and non-achievement.

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

19 Free of 'me' and 'mine' and of a sense of responsibility, aware that 'Nothing exists', with all desires extinguished within, a man does not act even in acting.

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

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