III. Astavakra on the self in all and all in the self

The Song of the Self-Supreme

Ashtavakra Gita

Radhakamal Mukherjee (publisher Motilal Banarsidass Publishers 1971)

III.  Astavakra on the self in all and all in the self

  1. Astavarka said: Knowing the Self in its true nature as eternal and non-dual, where is the passion for earning wealth of the poised man of wisdom?
  2. O disciple, just as due to ignorance a sea-shell is sought by mistaking it for silver, even so due to the ignorance of the Self, there is attachment towards the illusory world of the senses.
  3. Having realized, ‘I am That’ whence the universe streams forth like waves from the sea, why do you as a wretched creature run (after the universe)?
  4. Even after hearing that the Self is pure consciousness and is unsurpassedly beautiful, whu do you become deeply entangles with sex and get tarnished?
  5. Realizing the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self, it is surprising that the man of wisdom continues being egoistic.
  6. Having realized the transcendent non-duality and become fixed in the goal mof liberation, strange it is that a person yet comes under the sway of lust and is distraught by sexual habits.
  7. Strange it is that knowing the upsurging sex as the great enemy of knowledge, one who is extremely feeble and approaches his end should yet desire sex-gratification.
  8. The wise are free from attachment to this world and heaven, discriminate between what is ephemeral and what is external and aspires after salvation. Strange it is that even they would dread salvation.
  9. The wise man feted or tormented (by the world) even sees the absolute Self and is neither happy nor angry.
  10. The great man witnesses his own active body as that of another person. How can he be perturbed by praise or blame?
  11. Having realized this world as illusory and lost all zest, why would the person of poised intelligence be freightened by the nearness of death?
  12. What comparisons can there be with a great person whose mind is free from desire even in frustration, and who experiences delight in his self-knowledge?
  13. The man of poised intelligence knows that the visible world from its very nature has no substance. He considers nothing acceptable or rejectable.
  14. For him who has abandoned the mind’s passions, who is above the duality of attributes and is desireless, for him any experience that comes as a matter of course gives neither pleasure nor pain.


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