XV. Astavakra on the Self or Brahman

The Song of the Self-Supreme

Ashtavakra Gita

Radhakamal Mukherjee (publisher Motilal Banarsidass Publishers 1971)

XV.  Astavakra on the Self or Brahman

  1. Astavakra said: A person of pure intelligence obtains his supreme goal even by being taught casually.  Another person is confused in this even after enquiring throughout life.
  2. Detachment from sense-objects is salvation; passion for sense-objects is bondage. Knowing this do as you please.
  3. This knowledge of the truth (of Atman) makes a person who is eloquent, wise and vigorous, mute, inert and inactive. Hence it is shunned by those who wish to enjoy (the world).
  4. You are not the body, nor is the body yours; you are neither the enjoyer nor the doer. You are pure intelligence itself, the eternal witness and the indifferent onlooker. Move about happily.
  5. Passion and aversion are qualities of mind (not of yours). The mind is never yours. (Hence) you are free from desires and thoughts. You are intelligence itself and free from fluctuations. Move about happily.
  6. Realizing the Self in all beings and all beings in the Self, be free from ego-sense and possessiveness and make yourself happy.
  7. It is from you whence the world springs as the waves from the ocean. That (intelligence) verily you are. O you, pure intelligence, be free from the fever of the world.
  8. Have faithfulness, my child, have faithfulness. Have no delusion about this. You are the essence of supreme wisdom, transcending nature. You are the Lord, you are the (supreme) Self.
  9. The human body, saturated by attributes (of the sense), comes, stays and goes. (But the Self neither comes nor goes. Why do you lament over this?
  10. Let the body remain to the end of the cycle of eras or vanish even today. Is there any increase or decrease of yourself are pure intelligence?
  11. The waves representing the universe spontaneously rise and disappear in you, the infinite ocean (of consciousness). There is no gain or loss of yours.
  12. O child, you are pure intelligence itself. This visible universe is not different from you. Hence how, where and whose can there be any thought of (its) acceptance or rejection?
  13. From you who are indivisible, changeless, serene and stainless, all-pervasive consciousness, how can there be birth, activity and egoism?
  14. You alone are manifest in whatever you see. Do the bracelets, armlets and anklets appear different from the gold.
  15. Abandon all such distinctions as ‘I am that’, ‘I am this’, and ‘I am neither this nor that’. Knowing for certain that the Self is all, be free from any reasoning whatever and be happy.
  16. The universe verily exits due to your ignorance. In reality you alone exist, (Hence) there is no God or creature other than yourself.
  17. This world it only an illusion and is nothing. Knowing this for certain, one becomes desireless and pure intelligence and finds serenity because (for him) nothing exists.
  18. In the ocean of existence the one (the pure Self) only was, is and will be. There is neither bondage nor salvation for you. Fulfill yourself and move about happily.
  19. O pure intelligence, do not agitate your mind with (the thoughts of) affirmation and denial. Silencing these abide happily in your own Self – the embodiment of bliss itself.
  20. Forsake in every way even contemplation. Hold nothing in your consciousness. You are the Self and surely ever free. Why do you ponder (over the Self) for nothing?
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