I. Vision of the Self as the All-pervading Witness (Saakshi)

The Song of the Self-Supreme

Ashtavakra Gita

Radhakamal Mukherjee (publisher Motilal Banarsidass Publishers 1971)

I.  Vision of the Self as the All-pervading Witness (Saakshi)

  1. Janaka said : O Lord, teach me how man attains wisdom, how salvation comes and renunciation is achieved.
  2. Ashtavakra said: O child, if you desire salvation, avoid the objects as poison and seek forgiveness, straightforwardness, compassion, contentment, truthfulness, and nectar.
  3. You are neither earth nor water nor fire nor wind nor sky. For the sake of freedom know the Self as the embodiment of pure consciousness and the witness of all these.
  4. If you differentiate yourself from the body and abide in rest in pure intelligence, then (in this existence) you will become happy, serene and free from bondage.
  5. You are neither a varna, such as Brahmana, nor do you belong to an asrama, nor are you perceived by the senses. You are non-dual, formless and witness of the universe (Thus contemplating, be happy).
  6. Oh all-pervasive one, virtue and sin, happiness and sorrow are attributes of the mind, not of yourself. You are neither the doer, nor the enjoyer. Surely you are ever free.
  7. You are the one seer of all and surely ever free. This is indeed your bondage that you apprehend the non-dual, eternal) seer differently.
  8. ‘That I am the doer’, this egoism bites one like a big black snake. ‘That I am non-doer’, drink this faith like nectar and be happy.
  9. Burn the forest of ignorance with the fire of certitude that ‘I am the non-dual and pure consciousness,; abandoning sorrow, be blissful.
  10. In that pure, supremely blissful consciousness the universe appears as illusory, like the snake apprehended as the rope. Live in that consciousness.
  11. One who fixes mind to freedom is free as one is bound who fixes his mind to bondage. There is the true popular saying, like intention, like becoming.
  12. The Self is witness, all-perceive, perfect, non-dual, free, intelligent, action-less, desire-less, unattached and serene. It appears through illusion as if absorbed in the world.
  13. Having abandoned the illusion of the reflected self and its internal and external fluctuations, meditate on the Self as immutable, non-dual, pure consciousness.
  14. O child, you are ever bound by the fetters of the ego-sense. ‘I am pure consciousness’, with the axe of wisdom, rend asunder the fetters and become happy.
  15. You are non-dual, non-active and Self-effulgent. That you practice meditation, this, indeed, is your bondage.
  16. You encompass the universe as the universe enters into you. You are in reality the embodiment of pure consciousness. Do not give way to the pettiness of the (finite) mind.
  17. Become unconditioned, changeless, dense, serene, profound in intellect, unperturbed, and absolutely fixed on pure consciousness.
  18. All which have form are false. The formless (Self) is the changeless. Knowing this truth there is cessation of births (freedom).
  19. Just as a reflection covers both the inside and outside of the mirror, so the Supreme Lord (the Supreme Self) encompasses both the interior or exterior of the body.
  20. As the same all-pervading sky enters into the jar, even so does the immutable and all-encompassing Brahman enter into all beings and things (existences).
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